This month we will cover two sides of mesothelioma: the legal elements and the medical elements. Each side of this disease can be heavily daunting. One side of the coin gives you a diagnosis that in a large majority of the cases is fatal within 2 years. There are many obstacles to cover to prolong life and protect and preserve the quality of life that remains. The other side of the coin represents the law and the illegal exposure to asbestos that was the cause of your deadly illness. Most will want to legally pursue options to hold the parties of this exposure responsible and go after monetary compensation.
Your first inclination about asbestos-related illness will come from a medical diagnosis. Most people are devastated and do not know exactly where to begin. Finding a medical professional or specialist near you will be your first priority. Your next priority will be understanding the legal implications of the negligence of others afflicting you with a deadly disease and you will want to take legal recourse.
Both sides of this coin represent a battle – each with specific steps and understandings you must comprehend and master in order to win the war. This months’ blogs will help to empower you with information to cover both fronts.
Most people do not know that Navy ships with asbestos exposed thousands of soldiers to a deadly carcinogen. This unfortunate occurrence took place as they were serving their country. Ironically, surviving a war or the time they served in the Navy most likely meant that 30-50 years later, their lives would be ultimately stolen from them anyways. Many were also exposed to asbestos in industrial settings and may not be aware of it until later, now that they have been diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer or another asbestos-related illness. Commonly used in the industrial field as a fire-retardant, filling for pipes, electrical fixtures, boilers and other materials, asbestos was an ideal product. Shipyards are among the many industrial settings in which asbestos was commonly used and responsible for the exposure of thousands.
Navy ships with asbestos are absolutely responsible for a high percentage of the asbestos cancer diagnosed each year. Usually at the point of diagnosis, the cancer is aggressive and has spread to several organs and/or the lymph node system. It is responsible for attacking the mesothelium, a protective membrane covering our internal organs including the abdomen, heart and lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs when this layer surrounding the abdomen contains tumors caused by asbestos exposure. Pericardial mesothelioma occurs when the heart is affected and pleural mesothelioma is when the lungs are infected. For all, unless caught in an early stage, mesothelioma life expectancy is around 2 years. People serving on navy ships with asbestos will most likely not be diagnosed until later stages of the cancer.