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Answers from Dedicated Pennsylvania Mesothelioma Lawyers

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is caused almost exclusively by exposure to asbestos particles. Although it is the most widely recognized asbestos-related disease, there are many other illnesses and cancers that can be linked to asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma symptoms typically do not manifest for 20 to 50 years after the exposure to asbestos, making early diagnosis of mesothelioma difficult—which is why it is so important to seek the counsel of an experienced Pennsylvania mesothelioma law firm who can obtain the benefits that you may be entitled to receive.

Despite national exposure standards, employees can still be exposed if they are unaware of these safety standards.  Many trades and workplaces present an increased risk of asbestos exposure. The death rate from mesothelioma rose from 2,000 per year in 1980 to 3,000 per year in 1990.  In addition, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 20,000 people in the United States died from this illness between 2000 and 2010.  Each Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyer at BRBS is committed to helping those with mesothelioma obtain the fair compensation they and their families deserve.

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that consists of soft and flexible fibers. This material was extremely useful in construction because these fibers are resistant to heat, electricity, and corrosion. Although an effective insulator, asbestos can also be used in cloth, paper, cement, plastic, and other materials to make them stronger.

How Does Asbestos Exposure Cause Mesothelioma?

When you inhale the asbestos fibers, they imbed themselves in the protective lining of internal organs. The lining is called the pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial lining, or mesothelium.

What is the Mesothelium?

The mesothelium is a membrane that protects the lungs, abdomen, heart, and testes. Asbestos can lodge itself in the mesothelium, where it causes mesothelioma to develop.

Can Asbestos Fibers be Removed After Individuals Have Been Exposed?

When asbestos enters the body, it cannot be removed. These fibers are so small that they are impossible to see and remove. Once you are exposed to asbestos, there is no telling if you breathed in the fibers.

Only asbestos abatement professionals should handle and remove asbestos from buildings. Homeowners and workers should contact an asbestos abatement company before renovation or demolition of a building begins.

How Common is Mesothelioma?

It is a very uncommon form of cancer. Each year in the United States, about 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma, which is less than one percent of all cancer diagnoses. However, those exposed to asbestos are still at risk.

What are the Risk Factors for Mesothelioma?

While mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure, there are other risk factors, including gender, advanced age, general overall health, and whether the patient smokes.

What Occupations Have the Highest Mesothelioma Risk?

The professions with the highest risk to this disease are those routinely exposed to asbestos. Trades at risk include firefighters, construction workers, industrial and power plant workers, and shipyard workers.

What are the Different Types of Mesothelioma?

There are four different types of mesothelioma based on the location of the tumor:

Pleural Mesothelioma

Located in the lining of the lung. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal mesothelioma is responsible for 10 to 20 percent of all cases. It is located in the abdomen lining.

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma accounts for less than one percent of all cases. This is when the cancer is in the protective heart sack.

Testicular Mesothelioma

Develops in the outer lining of the testes.

What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma symptoms typically do not manifest for 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos, making early diagnosis of mesothelioma difficult.

There are several symptoms that you will experience when it comes to mesothelioma. Some of them include pain in the side of your chest or lower back, shortness of breath, coughing, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, and swelling in your face and arms.

How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Your doctor will start by checking you physically for lumps or abnormalities. They might order a chest X-ray or computed tomography (CT) test of your abdomen and chest. If that is not sufficient, they may order additional tests.

What is the Average Life Expectancy for Individuals Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?

The average life expectancy rate will vary, depending on several factors, including the type and location of the disease, the stage at diagnosis, general patient health, and treatment options. However, generally survival rates are about four to 18 months from the diagnosis.

What Treatment Options are Available?

The primary treatment options for mesothelioma are surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. They will help relieve improve your symptoms and hopefully increase your life expectancy.

Are New Treatments for Mesothelioma Being Studied?

Always. At any given time, researchers are looking into new techniques and combining traditional techniques to improve your prognosis.

What are My Legal Options if I Have Been Diagnosed With Mesothelioma?

If your employer failed to fully disclose the possible ramifications of asbestos exposure, you can file a claim for negligence. You can seek compensation to recoup your medical expenses and other costs.

Once you are diagnosed, you have a limited time to file a lawsuit. Since mesothelioma usually does not appear until 20 to 50 years after the exposure to asbestos, the statute of limitations does not begin until you are diagnosed, but you do have a limited time to file a lawsuit once a diagnosis is made.

How Can a Mesothelioma Lawyer in Philadelphia Help Me?

By filing a lawsuit for compensation, your lawyer can obtain the financial resources you need to acquire the best medical care while dealing with your illness and providing for your family.

How Much Will Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer Cost?

Lawyers typically work based on a contingency fee. This means that they receive a percentage of the settlement or verdict, and there is no out-of-pocket expense. If a lawyer believes you do not have a case, you pay nothing. If a lawyer feels you have a case but you do not know where you were exposed to asbestos, they can arrange for an investigator to determine when the exposure happened and identify the responsible company.

Our Asbestos Attorneys in Philadelphia Help Clients Diagnosed With Mesothelioma Due to Asbestos Exposure

If you have mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure, contact our Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler for legal help. Call us at 215-569-4000 or 800-369-0899 or fill out our online form today to schedule a free consultation. Located in Philadelphia, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.

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