Because mesothelioma is so uncommon, many healthcare practitioners take too long to diagnose it. A faster diagnosis gives a patient the best chance to take advantage of life-extending treatments. Often, by the time a patient’s doctor recognizes the symptoms and signs of mesothelioma, the disease has progressed too far for life-extending treatment to be successful. Sadly, mesothelioma is almost always fatal.
If you received a diagnosis of mesothelioma or recently lost your loved one to this horrible disease, you should speak with a local attorney to learn more about your legal rights and options. Contact us at Brayton Purcell L.L.P. to discuss your financial compensation options.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. It usually take decades to develop in a person’s body after exposure to asbestos, the only cause of mesothelioma. It develops after somebody ingests or inhales asbestos fibers. These fibers travel throughout the body. Over time, they cause inflammation, scarring, cancer, and other problems.
Mesothelioma can form in four different locations in the human body. It usually develops in the pleura, which is the very thin membrane that surrounds the lungs, but it can also form in the membrane that surrounds the abdomen, heart, or testicles.
While some people’s conditions can improve with chemotherapy, radiation, and other treatments, most treatment programs available today cannot cure the disease. Instead, these treatments aim to help people extend their lives. The average life expectancy of a mesothelioma patient today is between 18 and 31 months.
Early detection and treatment of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma gives patients the best chance of leading a longer life. Prevailing in a mesothelioma lawsuit could provide a patient financial access to the best possible medical treatments available today. A legal victory could also help secure the patient’s family’s economic well-being.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Because mesothelioma is so rare, doctors often mistake it for other illnesses. The symptoms of mesothelioma vary based on the type and location of the disease.
Pleural Mesothelioma—Surrounding the Lungs
Unfortunately, many of the signs of pleural mesothelioma resemble those of other, more common illnesses, such as pneumonia and bronchitis. People with pleural mesothelioma often experience a dry cough, shortness of breath, chest pain, and fatigue. They might also experience hoarseness of the throat or trouble swallowing.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma—in the Abdomen
Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of a patient’s abdominal cavity. People with this form of mesothelioma frequently suffer from abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and swelling or fluid in the abdomen. With early detection and treatment, patients with peritoneal mesothelioma have a longer life expectancy than patients with other forms of the disease.
Pericardial Mesothelioma—in the Heart
Patients with this rare form of mesothelioma frequently suffer from chest pain, irregular heartbeats, heart murmurs, fluid in the chest, and shortness of breath.
Patients with this form of the disease experience testicular masses, pain, and swelling. With treatment, testicular mesothelioma patients have a longer life expectancy than with some other forms of mesothelioma, but the recurrence rate is very high.
It is critical to work alongside a compassionate attorney who understands the various diagnoses and prognoses of each type of mesothelioma.
Work with a Local Lawyer Who Understands How to Look for the Symptoms of Mesothelioma
If you believe that you were exposed to asbestos either through direct or second-hand contact, and you are experiencing shortness of breath, chest pain, or any of the other common signs of mesothelioma, you should seek medical assistance. A doctor could perform the bloodwork, imaging, and biopsies necessary to give an accurate diagnosis and prognosis.
You should also consider filing a legal claim for compensation. Our compassionate attorneys understand you and your family’s suffering, and we will work hard to achieve justice on your behalf. Call today.