What is Mesothelioma?
The tissue that lines your lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs is called mesothelium. Mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a tumor of that tissue.
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.
Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural malignant mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.
Mesothelioma doesn't include a form of noncancerous (benign) tumor that occurs in the chest and is sometimes called benign mesothelioma or solitary fibrous tumor.
Do I have Mesothelioma?
Sometimes it is hard to tell the difference between malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer. Your doctor uses imaging tests and a biopsy to make the diagnosis. Malignant mesothelioma is often found when it is advanced. This makes it harder to treat. Treatment may include surgery, radiation, and/or chemotherapy.
Symptoms to watch for include:
- Trouble breathing
- Pain under the rib cage
- Pain, swelling, or lumps in the abdomen
- Weight loss for no known reason
If you suspect that you may have mesothelioma, you need to talk to your doctor and other medical experts promptly. Your doctor will first take your medical history and perform a physical exam, and then decide if you need additional testing. There are several tests available including X-ray, pulmonary function test, computerized tomography scan (CT) and a lung biopsy among other tests.
If mesothelioma is so rare, how did I get it?
The main risk factor for developing mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Most cases of mesothelioma have been linked to asbestos exposure in the workplace.
Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers. These fibers, found in soil and rocks in many parts of the world, are made of silicon, oxygen, and other elements.
When asbestos fibers in the air are inhaled, they tend to stick to mucus in the throat, trachea (windpipe), or bronchi (large breathing tubes of the lungs). Chrysotile fibers tend to be cleared from the lungs by being coughed up or swallowed. But the long, thin amphibole fibers are harder to clear, and they may stay in the lungs, traveling to the ends of the small airways and penetrating into the pleural lining of the lung and chest wall. These fibers may then injure mesothelial cells of the pleura, and eventually cause mesothelioma.
Despite the fact that asbestos is classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer), it has been used in many products because of its heat and fire resistant properties. Products traditionally using asbestos include insulation, floor tiles, door gaskets, soundproofing, roofing, patching compounds, fireproof gloves, ironing board covers, and brake pads.
Although use of Asbestos in products has decreased in the U.S., millions of American are still being exposed to asbestos in their workplace. People at risk for asbestos exposure in the workplace include:
- factory workers,
- insulation manufacturers and installers,
- railroad and automotive workers,
- ship builders,
- gas mask manufacturers,
- construction workers, among other jobs.
Family members of people exposed to asbestos at work can also have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma because asbestos fibers can be carried home on the clothes of the workers. Sadly, it is not an uncommon situation to have the factory worker exposed to asbestos during his workday, unknowingly bring home the cancerous minerals at the end of a workday exposing his entire family to the potential of this cancerous material.
Should you consider a Chicago, IL Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
When asbestos workers are not adequately warned that their exposure to asbestos could result in mesothelioma or other debilitating lung diseases, the worker or family members may have legal options and should talk to a Chicago IL Mesothelioma Lawyer to discuss filing a Chicago, IL mesothelioma lawsuit.
Chicago IL mesothelioma and asbestos exposure lawsuits allege that one or more of these parties had a duty to warn you about the dangers of asbestos, failed to provide you with adequate warnings and that, as a result you developed mesothelioma and you are entitled to damages
Mesothelioma victims or their survivors should contact a Chicago, IL mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible so they don’t risk losing their legal rights completely. Each state has its own deadline for allowing victims of asbestos cancer to file lawsuits. These rules are called statute of limitations.
The first step in filing a lawsuit is to contact a Chicago IL mesothelioma lawyer for a free, no obligation consultation. Your Chicago IL mesothelioma attorney will review your work history, medical history and other facts pertinent to your case and advise you on your ability to file a Chicago, IL mesothelioma lawsuit.
Your Chicago IL mesothelioma attorney will zealously represent you and provide compassionate counsel to you and your family during every stage of your case. TorHoerman Law represents clients in 50 states and the attorneys serve as leaders in several national litigation efforts. Our veteran staff of investigators, medical staff, secretaries, paralegals and case support personnel are skilled at providing the exceptional personal attention that your Chicago, IL mesothelioma lawsuit deserves.
Contact TorHoerman Law today for a free, no obligation Chicago, IL mesothelioma lawsuit consultation.