Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can be caused by exposure to asbestos. It is an incredibly serious and tragic disease that often results in death. But as long as it’s caught early enough, there are treatment options available that can improve a person’s prognosis. The World Health Organization says that more than 50 million people throughout the world are exposed to asbestos each year. Asbestos is most often used in construction and manufacturing to provide fireproofing and soundproofing.
In the past decades, many building materials that contained asbestos were replaced with non-asbestos choices, but much of the building material still remains in use. After exposure to asbestos, someone can become sicker over time or experience serious health problems like an extra layer of skin growth. It’s important for people who were diagnosed to understand how mesothelioma/asbestos is contracted, as well as how it can be treated. Because mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, there’s very little information available on how to combat it.
Mesothelioma is a very serious cancer that can be caused by exposure to asbestos:
More than 50 million people around the world are exposed to asbestos every year, and many of them are at risk of developing mesothelioma. The World Health Organization has devoted a lot of resources to researching asbestos exposure and the illness that can result from it. Because there is so little information regarding this rare form of cancer, there is still a lot to learn about it. The following information is meant to provide some basic facts about mesothelioma.
- Mesothelioma Is Often Hard to Diagnose:
There is no definitive test that diagnoses mesothelioma, but doctors are highly trained in how to recognize the symptoms of the disease. This makes it easier to catch and treat early before cancer becomes too advanced. The most common symptom is a chest x-ray that turns up some form of irregularity, like an extra layer of skin or fluid in the chest area.
- Mesothelioma Can Be Incurable:
It’s important for mesothelioma patients to know that their disease may have a fatal outcome. It’s also important for them to know what symptoms to look out for and what treatment options are available. Because of this, it’s important that a doctor is consulted at the first sign of symptoms. When mesothelioma is not caught early, treatment options become more limited, and the prognosis becomes much worse.
- Mesothelioma Has Fewer Treatment Options:
Because mesothelioma is so rare and the research around it is still in its infancy, there are not a lot of high-quality treatment options available. Usually, doctors will try chemotherapy to see if it will cause cancer to shrink before considering a more aggressive form of treatment. Surgery is also an option, but it is rarely used alone. Sometimes radiation is used in conjunction with chemotherapy to encourage the growth of healthy tissue instead of cancerous tissue. Even with treatment, mesothelioma can be fatal.
- The Initial Exposure Is Usually Long Ago:
Most people who develop mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos in some form during their early professional years. This exposure is often associated with events like construction or manufacturing. Many of these jobs occurred before the year 2000, which means that people with mesothelioma are often decades past the initial exposure.
Mesothelioma lawsuits are common:
Mesothelioma/Asbestos lawsuits are a common occurrence in the United States. These lawsuits are filed against companies and individuals who were involved with asbestos exposure. The asbestos exposure could have been decades ago, and it might no longer be possible to identify the exact person who was involved. Most plants that use asbestos in their products have closed or been remediated. This means that asbestos exposure no longer occurs, but there are still lawsuits coming out of the people involved in the various companies that sell asbestos. It’s possible that someone who was exposed decades ago to a company or industry is suffering from mesothelioma as a result.
Mesothelioma has a long latency period:
The reason why mesothelioma lawsuits are so common is that it can take decades for someone to develop mesothelioma. The World Health Organization says that exposure to asbestos can result in a diagnosis of mesothelioma after 20 years or more. This means that many people are exposed to asbestos in their early professional lives and don’t get an advanced cancer diagnosis until much later. It’s also important to note that the latency period might be longer than 20 years, depending on the person involved and their exposure level. This is one of the reasons that mesothelioma lawsuits are so common.