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What you should know about Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Since its founding, the law firm of Wallace & Graham has assisted many victims of mesothelioma, including Navy veteran asbestos exposure victims, in seeking and obtaining legal relief and damages for their exposure to asbestos and their serious illness.

Companies manufacturing, selling, distributing and using asbestos products have known for years that it is a harmful substance. However, many of these companies for years did not warn workers and consumers about these risks. Thus, if you or someone you love has mesothelioma, you may have a right to recover damages.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lings (pleura) or the abdominal contents (peritoneum). Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos. As a matter of fact, in the United States, there is no other known proven cause of mesothelioma other than asbestos.

Tumors of the mesothelium can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Since malignant mesothelioma is much more common than benign mesothelioma it is often simply called mesothelioma.

Characteristics of a malignant tumor are that it has the ability to spread to other parts of the body, making it much more dangerous.

Approximately three-fourths of mesothelioma cases start in the chest cavity and are known as pleural mesothelioma. Another 10% to 20% begin in the abdomen and are called peritoneal mesothelioma. Those starting in the cavity around the heart, or pericardial mesothelioma, are very rare. The covering layer of the testicles is actually an out pouching of peritoneum into the scrotum. Mesothelioma that affects this covering of the testicles is quite uncommon.

Mesothelioma is still fairly rare. There are about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases per year in the United States. Most of the people who are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma are over fifty years old and it is seen more often with people in their seventies, since they were exposed to asbestos in the 1940s-50s or earlier. Those who were exposed to asbestos in the 1960s-70s may be diagnosed in years to come. The disease attacks men 3 to 5 times more than women.

Men are more likely then women to get this disease because men held more construction positions than women in past decades (before the women's rights movement had taken place).

Even though this disease is rare it is very serious. By the time it is diagnosed it is often in its advanced stages, making the outlook not as good as it is for other cancers that are found earlier. The average survival time is about 1 to 2 years after being diagnosed. Of course, survival rates are increasing due to advances in medical technology and new treatments that are being developed for mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has been diagnosed in asbestos workers, family members, and residents who live close to asbestos mines. If you believe you or someone you love may have mesothelioma, you are advised to see your doctor immediately. For legal assistance, please call 800.849.5291 or email us. If you believe you or someone you love may have mesothelioma, you are advised to see your doctor immediately.