Asbestos & Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a form of malignant cancer caused most often by exposure to asbestos. The name mesothelioma comes from the mesothelium, the lining of organs where this disease most often attacks. While mesothelioma most often attacks the lungs, it can also develop in the lining of the abdomen or even of the testes in males.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, pain in the chest or other body areas, and possibly unexpected weight loss. Diagnosis is made by a chest x-ray or CT scan and may be confirmed by blood work and biopsy. The disease has a very low cure rate with chemotherapy and radiation and is considered one of the most aggressive forms of cancer.
How Did I Get Mesothelioma?
It is unclear why some people who worked with asbestos never develop this disease while others succumb after a relatively short time. Like most cancers, there is not much rhyme or reason in whom it strikes and when. However, studies have confirmed a definite link between exposure to asbestos and development of mesothelioma. Smoking does not cause the disease but may cause a person to have a higher chance of developing it as smoking weakens the lung tissue, making it more vulnerable to this and other lung diseases.
The relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is undisputed by most experts. While there have been a few cases of mesothelioma in victims not exposed to asbestos, the vast majority of victims have worked in industries in which exposure to this substance is common. In the few cases in which there is no asbestos exposure in the victim’s past, there is almost invariably exposure to some other particulate that leads to the disease, such as erionite.
Why Should Someone Pay for My Disease?
Normally, the development of cancer cannot be traced to a single cause. Even in smokers who develop lung cancer, there are other factors that may affect the type and course of the disease. However, the link between asbestos and mesothelioma is very clear, and many companies that caused workers to undergo this exposure are now liable for the disease that these workers have contracted.
Lawsuits against asbestos manufacturers were actually filed as long ago as 1929. Incredibly, in almost 100 years of litigation, the federal government has not passed any legislation on asbestos exposure. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or OSHA, has issued guidelines for safe exposure levels, but these are difficult to implement and many companies continued to allow workers to be exposed to almost unlimited quantities of asbestos.
If you have been a victim of mesothelioma, or if you have a loved one who has become ill or died from asbestos exposure, you do have legal options. A West Virginia Mesothelioma personal injury attorney can explain these options to you and help you file a suit for medical costs, pain and suffering, and wrongful death if you have lost a loved one.
Heavens Law Firm has experience in handling mesothelioma cases. You can meet with Chris Heavens, a West Virginia personal injury attorney, for a free consultation about your mesothelioma case.