Did you know that today, September 26, marks Mesothelioma Awareness Day? To spread the word, we thought we would provide five facts about the rare and aggressive disease that affects 3,000 new individuals every year (Cancer.org).
1) Mesothelioma develops as a result of asbestos exposure. After microscopic asbestos fibers are inhaled by an individual, they can become trapped within the lining of the lungs, heart, abdomen, and more. The body's immune system will attempt to remove the fibers, but prolonged exposure can cause malignant tumors to grow over time.
2) Men are more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma because, historically, they have held blue collar jobs that exposed them to asbestos fibers for years on end. Many trades are known to have used asbestos materials on the job up until their use was regulated in the 1970s.
3) The lifespan of patients with mesothelioma drops dramatically once the disease is diagnosed. It can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years for the symptoms of mesothelioma to appear after asbestos exposure, and patients are given 1 to 2 years to live after diagnosis. Treatments are available to help treat the symptoms of the disease, and some patients have gone on to live longer, healthier lives as a result.
4) There are different types of mesothelioma. Pleural, Peritoneal, Precardial, Testicular, and other types have been recorded in workers after prolonged exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma diagnosed ain the United States.
5) Those who work around asbestos should consider their family's safety before returning home from a work day. Secondary exposure to asbestos can lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Spouses and children have been diagnosed with the disease after being exposed to the fibers in cars and on work clothing. Who knew a hug could be so deadly?
No amount of asbestos exposure is safe -- anyone exposed at any point in time is at risk for developing mesothelioma. Thankfully, many patients are compensated for the cost of medical bills, loss of work, and more after being diagnosed with the debilitating disease.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed, do not hesitate to reach out to an experienced mesothelioma attorney today. Many firms dealing with asbestos cases offer free consultations to evaluate your case.