Even though most people know that mesothelioma is a rare and dangerous cancer, few know much more about the details of this deadly disease. Whether you have recently been diagnosed, know someone who was diagnosed, or you’re simply curious, knowing the facts can help you handle the next step. Learn more about how mesothelioma is caused, how it’s diagnosed, and how it can be treated by reading through these frequently asked questions.
Q: What Causes Mesothelioma?
A: Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or other nearby organs. In most cases, mesothelioma is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.
Q: What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
A: A person with mesothelioma may show signs of chest pain, a chronic cough, shortness of breath, swelling of the abdomen, trouble swallowing, fever, and more. The symptoms may vary depending on the type of mesothelioma and the affected area. Also, symptoms may take years to present themselves because asbestos can remain dormant in the body before finally causing severe health problems.
Q: How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
A: If a patient presents symptoms of mesothelioma, their doctor will ask about the patient’s family history of cancer and their occupation. In most cases, the doctor can find a potential link between asbestos exposure and the patient. After a physical exam is performed, the doctor will likely order an MRI scan, CT scan, x-ray, or other tests, depending on other circumstances.
Q: What are the Treatment Options?
A: When a patient has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, their doctor will likely explain their various treatment options. Typically, treatments include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In many cases, especially more advanced cases, the doctor may prescribe a treatment plan that includes two or three different types of treatment.
Q: Who is at Risk for Developing Mesothelioma?
A: Anyone exposed to asbestos can develop mesothelioma, but most people who develop the rare cancer do so after living or working around asbestos for a prolonged period of time.
Some of the most at-risk occupations include:
- U.S. Navy veterans, especially those who worked in shipyards
- Oil refinery workers
- Auto mechanics
- Construction workers
- Railroad workers
Q: Do I Have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
A: If you developed mesothelioma because of the negligence or carelessness of someone else, you may have a lawsuit on your hands. Some companies knew of the risks associated with asbestos exposure, yet they continued to expose workers to the dangerous, cancer-causing fibers. Even if you aren’t sure how you could have been exposed to asbestos, a knowledgeable mesothelioma attorney will have the knowledge necessary to find out if your diagnosis is linked to any past experience.
Ready to get started? Contact Shrader & Associates L.L.P. for help with your mesothelioma case.