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What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral found in nature. While intact, asbestos doesn’t pose much of a threat. However, when the mineral is disturbed, pieces of its fibers become loose and airborne. Whoever Â breathes them in can develop a range of health complications, including mesothelioma cancer.
In general, mesothelioma affects the lining of the body’s most vital organs, including the lungs, heart and the abdominal cavity. Depending on the type of mesothelioma and the area that is affected, victims may experience lesser or more severe symptoms. There are actually three different kinds of mesothelioma:
- Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and makes up about 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases. The most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, fluid buildup, and a persistent cough. Victims can also experience pain when breathing.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) and accounts for between 20 to 25 percent of all known mesothelioma cases. Those who are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma have the best life expectancy, especially if the cancer is caught and treated as soon as possible. However, while peritoneal mesothelioma doesn’t typically spread to the lungs, it has been shown to spread other areas in the abdomen, including the ovaries, liver, and intestines. Common symptoms include stomach pain, fluid buildup, sudden and unexplained weight loss and loss of appetite, nausea, blood clots, and fever.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma As the name suggests, pericardial mesothelioma targets the heart. The most common symptoms of this type of mesothelioma cancer are chest pain, fatigue, fluid buildup, and heart murmurs. Of all the different kinds of mesothelioma cancer, pericardial mesothelioma is especially hard to detect and diagnose. In addition, the cancer has a high chance of metastasizing to the lungs or abdomen, so obtaining medical treatment right away is critical.
What Treatments are Available for Mesothelioma Victims?
Though mesothelioma cannot be cured, if it is caught in time, doctors may be able to slow the progression of the cancer. An oncologist may suggest one or a combination of treatments, depending on the type of mesothelioma in question and how far along the disease has progressed. Below are some of the most common types of treatment options available to mesothelioma victims.
The longer a victim waits to obtain treatment, the harder it will be to manage the cancer. However, many victims never obtain treatment because the symptoms of mesothelioma develop several years after initial asbestos exposure and can mimic those of other, lesser concerning ailments, such as the common cold or flu.
Make an appointment with an Idaho mesothelioma lawyer near you so you can start reaping the benefits of expert legal counsel. Your mesothelioma attorney will strive to get you the full spectrum of benefits you are entitled to after having been exposed to asbestos. Don’t let this terrible asbestos-related disease put your life on hold.