What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium – the tissue that surrounds and protects the stomach, heart, lungs, and other vital organs. An aggressive cancer, mesothelioma generally starts out in the lining of the chest (the pleura) and spreads to nearby tissues and organs. The most common type of mesothelioma encountered by our Phoenix asbestos attorneys is pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is most often attributed to the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Though treatments are available to slow the progression of pleural mesothelioma, the disease is almost always life-threatening.
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Because there are such diverse symptoms associated with mesothelioma, it is extremely difficult to diagnose. Mesothelioma symptoms are often mistaken for other forms of cancer and less serious conditions related to respiratory distress. Symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath, cough, chest pain, pneumonia, fever, bowel obstruction, abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, and painful swelling near the face and neck. In many cases, mesothelioma symptoms do not emerge until the disease has already spread to other parts of the body. Mesothelioma diagnosis is also problematic because symptoms generally do not appear for approximately 10 to 50 years after the initial asbestos exposure.
If you or a family member has already been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is important to contact our Phoenix asbestos attorneys to investigate your legal options. At Phillips Law Group in Arizona, our mesothelioma attorneys are committed to helping victims of asbestos exposure receive the compensation they deserve.
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What is Asbestos?
The term “asbestos” refers to a group of minerals that can be mined from the earth in the form of strong, flexible fibers. Resistant to heat and chemicals, these fibers provide added strength and stability when mixed with cement, plastics, insulation, and a variety of other materials.
Asbestos was popular in the late 19th century and throughout the 20th century and widely utilized in construction, the automotive industry, and several other manufacturing industries. Asbestos use reached its peak after 1945 and continued unrestricted through the late 1970s, until consumer groups began pushing for builders and manufacturers to eliminate asbestos in their products. It was around this time that the general public became aware of the dangerous health risks associated with asbestos. Our Phoenix asbestos attorneys estimate that more than 5,000 products contain some level of asbestos.
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Asbestos contains small fibers that have a tendency to break and form a dust that drifts through the air. If these fibers are inhaled or swallowed they can potentially make their way into the lining of the lungs and cause permanent damage to the mesothelium. The frightening aspect of asbestos exposure is that it only takes a small amount of inhaled or swallowed asbestos particles to cause mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure is currently the only known cause of mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our Phoenix asbestos attorneys can help you trace the source of your exposure.
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Who is at Risk?
Asbestos exposure generally occurs on the job. Individuals who work in the construction industry, automotive industry, and shipbuilding industry are at the highest risk for asbestos exposure.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and you fall into any of the following job categories, contact our Phoenix mesothelioma attorneys today:
asbestos mining, milling, and manufacturing
oil refinery, chemical plant employees
dust often clings to the skin, hair, clothing, and shoes, the families of individuals working with asbestos may also be at risk for asbestos exposure. Studies demonstrate that while those with elevated levels of asbestos exposure are at a higher risk for developing mesothelioma, the disease also develops in individuals with only brief exposure.
Because it takes so long to know you have the disease, when you find out, it is important you immediately contact an attorney as all cases like these must be brought within a short time period after the symptoms are discovered.