Have You Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma?
A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be devastating, and the Frenkel & Frenkel, a Dallas law firm specializing in mesothelioma cases, offers this information on how to handle your mesothelioma diagnosis and what options are available to you and your family, after being diagnosed with this incurable disease. Causes of Mesothelioma Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Because asbestos is made up of microscopic fibers that become airborne, they are easily inhaled or swallowed. The small fibers then imbed themselves in the lining of internal organs, the mesothelium, which causes irritation that many researchers believe leads to the development of mesothelioma. Types of Mesothelioma There are three types of mesothelioma[ii]. Two-thirds of those diagnosed with the disease have pleural mesothelioma, a cancer that develops in the mesothelium of the chest cavity. Symptoms include shortness of breath, painful coughing, unusual lumps under the skin of the chest, or unexplained weight loss. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which is a more rare form of the disease, occurs in the lining surrounding the abdominal organs. Symptoms include abdominal pain and swelling, lumps in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. Pericardial mesothelioma occurs in the lining surrounding the heart, and is the rarest form of the disease. Symptoms include difficulty breathing and chest pain. Unfortunately, symptoms are frequently mistaken for other minor illnesses, which often delays treatment and diagnosis of mesothelioma. Latency Period Asbestos was used extensively in the past as insulation, on vehicle brakes, in shingles and flooring, as well as in many other areas where people came into contact with the substance on a daily basis. During World War II, many people who worked in shipyards or served in the U.S. Navy came into contact with the substance, and a significant number of these people have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma some forty to sixty years after exposure. This is due to the latency period between exposure and diagnosis, another factor that makes diagnosis difficult. Second-hand Exposure Another factor related to asbestos is that the fibers cling to clothing and hair of those who have been exposed. Many who have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma may not have realized they were being exposed when they laundered clothing worn by the exposed person, or came in contact to skin and clothing when the exposed person arrived home after work. If you have received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you have options. Contact us at the Frenkel & Frenkel at 214-333-3333, 817-222-2222 or toll free at 800-384-0000.