Most mesothelioma cases are due to asbestos. The asbestos fibers enter the body through the nose or mouth and, if they are trapped in the mesothelium, they can begin to cause damage at the tissue level. Over time, the fibers cause inflammation, scarring, and genetic changes and, for some people, this can lead to mesothelioma.
After some types of exposure, months, years or decades can go by without any symptoms. Mesothelioma cancer is known to develop slowly and tumors caused by the disease may take between 20 and 50 years to develop. Hiring a Mesothelioma law firm is the best way to get the compensation you deserve.
Exposure to asbestos does not always cause mesothelioma cancer. Occasionally, an exposure can cause lung cancer or asbestosis and, in some cases, it does not cause any type of illness. There are many factors that affect the possibility of a person contracting mesothelioma and these can range from the duration of exposure, the intensity of said exposure, and the genes of the person exposed.
Who is affected by mesothelioma cancer?
Mesothelioma can affect patients regardless of race, age or sex. However, some characteristics present in patients are a little more common than others. The majority of patients affected by mesothelioma cancer are white male patients, older than 65 years. Women, children, and people who are identified as African-American or Hispanic are affected to a much lesser degree compared to those mentioned above.
A little less than 3,000 people are affected annually in the United States and that number has remained in recent years. Research has shown that far fewer people will be affected by mesothelioma cancer after the year 2055.
How does one know if they have been affected?
Most patients affected by mesothelioma cancer do not realize they have the disease until they are diagnosed. Symptoms vary from chest pain to cough, as well as:
- Difficulty breathing
- Reduction of breast expansion
- Abdominal pain
Affected patients may think they have some other disease at the beginning. Normally, going over the patient’s medical history, undergoing a physical examination, and different types of advanced diagnoses are needed to know if the patient is affected by the disease.