Mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer that is caused by asbestos exposure. The National Institute of Health (NIH) estimates that over 11 million people were exposed to deadly asbestos fibers between 1940-1978, with over 40,000 people losing their lives from this disease since the new millennium. Another 2,000 to 3,000 people are fatally injured each year in the United States from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases.
The latency period between exposure to asbestos and the presence of mesothelioma symptoms can be anywhere between 20 and 50 years. Asbestos fibers are inhaled and become embedded deep into the lung tissue. Once symptoms of the disease are detected, the cancer is usually in an advanced stage. Only eight percent of mesothelioma patients survive five years past diagnosis.
The experienced New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler have represented over 10,000 victims of asbestos exposure since 1984, claiming millions of dollars in compensation for those whose lives have been impacted by this deadly disease. Our team is committed to helping victims of mesothelioma and their families claim the compensation that they deserve.
Exposure to asbestos was common in several occupations prior to 1978 when federal laws went into effect that prohibited the mining, manufacturing, importing, and use of asbestos and asbestos-related products. The following occupations most at risk for asbestos exposure include, but are not limited to:
Asbestos was commonly used in these industries because of its insulating and heat resistant properties. Construction materials, car parts, electrical wiring and insulation, plumbing equipment, welding processes, and heavy machinery exposed millions of workers to airborne asbestos fibers. Left undisturbed, asbestos poses little risk to workers or those in close proximity, but once exposed, the thin fibers become airborne and can be inhaled.
Many spouses of those in high risk occupations became victims of mesothelioma from secondhand exposure. Workers unknowingly carried the fibers home to their families on their hair, clothing, and shoes. Children and spouses who came into contact with the workers inhaled the fibers, risking them to developing mesothelioma later in life.
Though survival rates are low for victims of mesothelioma, new treatments and medical interventions have been prolonging the lives of many people diagnosed in the early stages. Persistent coughing, shortness of breath, and chest pains are commonly seen in the beginning stages of the disease, followed by weight loss, night sweats, and loss of appetite as the disease progresses.
There are several medical tests that can detect mesothelioma. Blood tests can indicate the presence of a tumor while CT scans and x-rays can also be used to detect tumors present in the lungs, abdomen, and chest. MRIs and PET scans determine changes in tissue that would indicate mesothelioma, and pleuroscopy procedures use a video camera inserted into the chest cavity that can also detect tumors and tissue changes that indicate the presence of mesothelioma.
Once a diagnosis is made, there are several initial treatment options. Surgery to remove tumors and diseased tissue can be performed. Radiation and chemotherapy, as well as several new immunotherapy treatments, have had promising results in slowing the progression of the cancer. Alternative medicine can help the patient with the side effects of treatment as well as the physical and emotional aspects of living with the disease. Acupuncture, massage, aromatherapy, and meditation can help patients cope with the often-overwhelming discomforts associated with the disease.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma can quickly devastate a patient’s financial and emotional health. Many victims are unable to work. The cost of surgery, medications, therapies, and doctor visits compounded with the loss of wages makes it difficult for family members to care for their loved one and maintain an income to protect their homes and lifestyle. Compensation is available to help offset these burdens. Our New Jersey asbestos lawyers at BRB&S can help you claim the compensation you are entitled to and ease some of the burdens thrust upon you during such a challenging time.
If you or someone you know has been exposed to asbestos, or has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related illness, we can help. The experienced team of New Jersey mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler is dedicated to helping victims and their families claim the maximum compensation available.
Call us at 215-569-4000, or toll-free at 1-800-369-0899, or contact us online to schedule a consultation today. Our offices are located in Philadelphia and serve clients throughout Delaware County, Chester County, and New Jersey.