This post covers the symptoms of Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Although you might think that modern safety regulations would make mesothelioma and other asbestos related illnesses a thing of the past, it can take more than fifty years for the first mesothelioma symptoms to appear.
Today, doctors are diagnosing patients with cancers caused by asbestos exposure in the workplace during the 1960s and 70s. If you have ever worked with or around asbestos materials or served in the Navy during the mid-20th century, mention this history to your physician and be on the lookout for the symptoms of mesothelioma.
- Chest pain. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lining of the lungs or other organs. Pain under the rib cage is one of the most common symptoms.
- Painful coughing.
- Shortness of breath. Mesothelioma causes thickening of the lung tissue and can make breathing difficult.
- Lumps in the skin covering your chest.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Abdominal pain and swelling. Mesothelioma can also develop in the lining of the abdomen, causing pain and inflammation.
What If I Have Mesothelioma Symptoms?
If you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms, see a doctor immediately and discuss any history of asbestos exposure. Many of these symptoms can also be caused by non-mesothelioma lung cancers, or other much less alarming causes. The sooner you visit your doctor, the more quickly you can put your mind at ease.
Your physician should conduct a complete physical examination, including lung function tests. If the physical exam or blood work is abnormal, your doctor may schedule a chest x-ray or CT scan. Definitive diagnosis of mesothelioma requires a biopsy. A biopsy is an invasive procedure conducted under anesthesia, in which a doctor inserts a needle and removes a small tissue sample for study under a microscope.
Following a mesothelioma diagnosis, most patients are treated with some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and/or radiation therapy. Because these standard cancer treatments have proven largely unsuccessful in improving long-term survival rates for mesothelioma victims, patients are often encouraged to sign up for clinical trials and other experimental therapies.
If I Have Mesothelioma, How Can I be Compensated?
Although the association between cancer and asbestos exposure was well understood by the 1960s, employers and asbestos product manufacturers took no safety precautions for decades, placing countless Americans and their families at risk of serious illness.
Contact an experienced asbestos litigation firm today, to discuss your options. Bergman Draper Oslund has handled more mesothelioma cases than any other law firm in the Pacific Northwest, for clients like you. Call us today for a no-cost, no-obligation consultation.