If you have been diagnosed with cancer due to Mesothelioma or Asbestos-related diseases, you may be eligible to file a lawsuit.
Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, & Asbestos
Selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer can help provide you with a sense of security during an incredibly difficult and emotional time.
If you or a loved one has suffered from Mesothelioma or Asbestos-Related Diseases it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Our attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your legal options so we encourage you to contact us for a free legal consultation.
WHAT IS ASBESTOS?
Asbestos is a type of mineral that occurs naturally in rocks and soil. Like other minerals, asbestos has been mined because it is useful, plentiful, and relatively cheap. It is also a known carcinogen, which means it can cause cancer.
Manufacturers began using asbestos in all kinds of consumer products at the end of the 1800s because it is strong, and also because products could be made heat resistant, fireproof, or flame-retardant. Today, you can still find asbestos in shipyards, in residential and public buildings, at construction and demolition sites, in home remodeling projects, in automobile manufacturing and repair industries, in factories, and in the oil industry.
Asbestos has been used to make roofing materials and to make wallboard, ceiling panels, and floor tiles. Steam pipes, water heaters, and electrical cord coverings also may contain asbestos. The asbestos used in these products was meant to prevent them from becoming dangerously hot.
HOW DOES IT CAUSE THESE TYPES OF CANCER: MESOTHELIOMA AND LUNG CANCER?
If left undisturbed wherever it happens to be, asbestos is not a problem. However, once asbestos is disturbed in any way, its tiny fibers can be released into the air, soil, and water.
One of the most dangerous forms of contact is the air. Every time someone breathes in asbestos fibers, those fibers can become stuck in the lungs. These fibers can irritate, accumulate, and irreparably damage the protective lining surrounding the lungs.
Inflammation, redness, and scar tissue can develop. If left untreated, lung damage can worsen over time. At a microscopic level, healthy cells can become damaged, and mutations can occur. Cancerous cells can form and begin to attack healthy tissue. A person can develop a specific type of lung cancer called mesothelioma.
WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA?
Mesothelioma is named for the specific type of tissue in the body it targets, the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin layer of cells called mesothelials. These cells form a protective lining that surrounds internal organs.
Mesothelioma can attack different parts of the body, including the lungs, heart, and abdomen. Depending on where mesothelioma first develops in the body, it is called different names.
When mesothelioma first attacks the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma. Other types of mesothelioma include peritoneal (abdomen) and pericardial (heart).
Mesothelioma is an insidious disease, which means it generally sneaks up on a person long after the asbestos exposure took place, typically several decades. The first symptoms may seem to come out of the blue without warning. By the time someone experiences symptoms, the disease is often very advanced, and the damage cannot be reversed.
WHAT IS ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER?
Asbestos lung cancer is called pleural mesothelioma. The mesothelium surrounding a person’s lungs is called the pleura. The pleura help the lungs expand and contract easily. Healthy pleura is essential for taking in oxygen and releasing carbon dioxide.
The pleura is actually two separate layers. These layers are slippery membranes. Surface tension keeps these layers close together. One layer rests directly against the lungs. The outer layer rests directly against the chest wall.
Between the two pleura layers is an incredibly narrow space. In this space is a small amount of fluid. This fluid is what creates the surface tension that keeps the two pleura layers together. When mesothelial cells are healthy, they produce exactly the right amount of fluid to help the lungs move comfortably.
Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer that damages the pleura. These slippery membranes can no longer function the way they are supposed to. They can no longer glide smoothly and help a person breathe easily. Friction makes breathing more difficult, even painful.
Another effect of damaged pleura is overproduction of fluid. This condition is called pleural effusion. This excess fluid can eventually get into the lungs. Breathing can become painful. A person may also develop a fever and chronic coughing.
At its worst, pleural mesothelioma can lead to total respiratory failure. If this happens, a person’s lungs will stop working altogether and a person can no longer breathe.
People who are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma are more likely to die from total respiratory failure than any other complication of this disease.
WHO GETS MESOTHELIOMA OR LUNG CANCER?
Anyone who is exposed to asbestos either directly or indirectly could develop mesothelioma, an aggressive lung cancer. Thousands of new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year, and thousands of people die from this aggressive cancer annually.
Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos at some time in their lives.
People who work in certain industries face a greater risk of being exposed to asbestos. The oil industry, shipbuilding, construction and demolition work, auto manufacturing and repair, and the military are some of the more dangerous environments where people can come into direct contact with asbestos.
Asbestos is used in car brakes, automotive clutches, gaskets, roofing materials, pipe coverings and insulation.
Some people who are exposed to asbestos directly through their jobs day in and day out for years develop mesothelioma. However, some people who are exposed for a short time, even for just a few hours or months, can develop this disease.
Aside from direct contact, or primary contact, people can also indirectly be exposed to asbestos. A wife, for example, may be exposed to asbestos when she does her husband’s laundry. The husband might work at a construction site, get asbestos dust or fibers on his clothes, and then return home. The asbestos particles shed from his clothing. Other members of the household may also be exposed to asbestos because dust particles may linger in the air.
It is even possible for the husband not to develop mesothelioma and for another family member to develop the disease as a result of indirect, or secondary, exposure to asbestos.
Old buildings and school may also have crumbling asbestos, especially when under renovation.
WHO QUALIFIES FOR A POTENTIAL LAWSUIT?
Anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma may qualify to file a potential lawsuit. Also people who have been diagnosed with lung cancer, even if they smoke, may be able to seek compensation for their asbestos-exposure injuries.
Mesothelioma is a very specific type of lung cancer that often can be directly traced to asbestos exposure. People who have smoked cigarettes for years may also have been exposed to asbestos, even briefly, and developed asbestos-related lung cancer.
Doctors who specialize in treating lung diseases are able to determine the specific type(s) of lung cancer a person has developed. Through a variety of diagnostic tools, doctors can classify different types of lung cancer, including pleural mesothelioma.
WHEN TO CONTACT AN ATTORNEY
If you or a loved one has suffered from mesothelioma or asbestos-related diseases, it is important to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Selecting the right mesothelioma lawyer can help provide you with a sense of security during an incredibly difficult and emotional time.
Our attorneys can evaluate your case and explain your legal options so we encourage you to contact us for a free legal consultation.