Asbestos is the name given to a group of naturally occurring minerals that occur as bundles of fibers. When materials containing asbestos are disturbed, they can release tiny asbestos fibers which are then inhaled into the lungs. People who are exposed to asbestos can contract mesothelioma, also known as ”asbestos cancer” which is a rare form of cancer found in the lining of the heart, lungs, abdomen, or the internal reproductive organs.
The greatest rates of exposure are generally occupational. People who have handled asbestos or came into direct contact with asbestos are at risk. So are people who worked in an area where asbestos was handled by others. People who work with asbestos-containing products in aircraft manufacturing, shipyard workers, auto mechanics who work with brake materials, railroad and refinery workers, asbestos abatement or building demolition workers, asbestos miners and millers, textile workers who weave asbestos into cloth, and asbestos transport workers, among others, are at risk. All kinds of construction workers may be exposed to asbestos materials, as well as firefighters and rescue personnel who are exposed to heavily damaged asbestos-containing materials in the course of rescue operations. Mesothelioma can also occur from non-occupational exposure, as evidenced by manifestation of the disease in women whose exposure came from washing the clothing of men (father, husband, and son) who worked with asbestos.
If you have been exposed to asbestos either directly or even indirectly, you may be at risk for developing mesothelioma. Every year thousands of men and women are diagnosed with mesothelioma. The risk of mesothelioma actually increases with age, because the tiny asbestos fibers lie hidden in your lungs for decades before it is diagnosed.
Due to the ever-changing nature of asbestos litigation, it is important to contact the Chicago asbestos attorneys of Willens Law Offices if you feel you have a case. People who are exposed to asbestos and contract mesothelioma can bring an action or file suit against those responsible and recover compensation for their damages. Contact Willens Law Offices today at 312-957-4166 to find out how we can help.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. “Mesothelioma” is the term used to describe a cancerous tumor which involves the mesothelioma cells of an organ, usually the lungs, heart or abdominal organs. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. The pleura is a thin membrane found between the lungs and the chest cavity. It provides a lubricated surface so that the lungs do not chafe against the chest walls. Thus, a pleural mesothelioma is often referred to as a “lung” cancer. Another form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesotheliomas. The peritoneum is the membrane that encloses the organs of the abdomen. While peritoneal mesothelioma are less common than pleural mesotheliomas, they tend to be more invasive, and thus result in a shorter life expectancy for the patient.
Mesotheliomas, like other types of cancer, typically consist of two general types-benign and malignant. By far the most common mesothelioma is the diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma. This type of tumor is invasive and very aggressive. It spreads quickly over the surface of the lungs, abdominal organs or heart. Life expectancy for victims of this disease typically ranges between four and twenty-four months, depending on the stage at which the disease is detected, the relative health and strength of the patient, and a variety of other factors. The average patient with diffuse malignant pleural mesothelioma survives for between four and twelve months from the onset of symptoms. With proper care, some victims have survived for several years.
A unique feature of asbestos-related injuries is the long latency period between exposure to asbestos and the onset of the injury or disease. For mesotheliomas, the latency period is between 15 and 50 years, or more. That means that a person could have been exposed to asbestos 50 years ago, and develop mesothelioma today. The average mesothelioma latency period is approximately 35 – 40 years.
Exposure to asbestos is known to cause other types of cancer, not just mesothelioma. If you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, colon cancer, or rectal cancer, you may have a claim against the companies that manufactured the asbestos or product containing asbestos that caused your illness.
For legal advice regarding mesothelioma or other asbestos related cancers, contact the Chicago asbestos attorneys at Willens Law Offices at 312-957-4166 to find out how we can help you.
In general, the clinical presentation of this disease may include the following:
Management of mesothelioma depends largely on the staging of the tumor. Early diagnosis and surgical intervention may lengthen life expectancy. Depending on the age and physical condition of the patient, however, surgery may not be a viable option. In addition to surgical options, radiation treatment and chemotherapy may be helpful in the overall therapeutic program. Pain management and home care are typical alternatives in the later stages of the disease.
After diagnosis, it is important to understand your treatment options. Your doctor or oncologist will provide you with information on the treatments that are available to you.
It is also important to know about your legal rights. If you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, or any other asbestos-related disease, you were probably exposed to asbestos. Many of the manufacturers of asbestos insulation products knew for decades that asbestos was hazardous, yet made a business decision not to warn people of those hazards. As a result, you may have a right of recovery against those manufacturers, which can help defray the costs of treatment and provide compensation for your pain and suffering.
According to the National Cancer Institute, approximately 3,000 cases per year of malignant mesothelioma are being reported in the United States, and the incidence appears to be increasing. The disease is three times more common in men than in women. In men, the occurrence of mesothelioma is ten times higher in men between the ages of 60-70 as compared to men between the ages of 30 to 40. Occupational exposure to asbestos over the past fifty years in the United States is calculated to have occurred in approximately eight million people, and up to 300,000 new cases are expected to occur by the year 2030.
Contact our skilled Chicago asbestos exposure lawyer at Willens Law Offices today for your FREE consultation at 312-957-4166 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible to find out how we can help you. An attorney can meet you at your home, hospital or at our convenient Chicago office. Attorney consultations are free and you will only be asked to pay attorney fees if we are successful in recovering compensation for you.