Mesothelioma is a terminal illness that affects the lining of the heart and lungs caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral deposit found globally. They mainly occur in the United States, especially the western region and the eastern coastal side. Throughout the 20th century, a lot of asbestos mining happened until health risks started emerging. Asbestos occurs in six different forms, and each affects the body, causing various forms of sickness associated with asbestos.
Currently, the sale of asbestos from Russia accounts for the majority of the cases of mesothelioma today. In third world countries, especially in Africa, the mineral deposit has not been mined; hence rare cases are witnessed. The persons at high risk of getting this terminal illness are US military veterans, tradespeople in manufacturing or construction trades, auto industry workers, and factory workers. In the United States, there is no more mining of asbestos after its danger to health was widely recognized. Though, some buildings and houses built in the 70s and 60s may still have asbestos materials that, if disturbed, could lead to serious health complications.
The health risks associated with swallowing or inhaling the asbestos fibers are; mesothelioma (a type of cancer), lung cancer, asbestosis, colon cancer, and other illnesses. Sokolove Law has enabled millions of people across the United States to get justice and get compensation from exposure to asbestosis for the last 40 years. Mesothelioma is an expensive procedure that takes a financial, emotional, and physical constraint on the patient and the family. No amount of money can remove the agony the mesothelioma patients go through. Compensation eases the financial burden and helps in palliative care in the last few days. When the mining started, companies that mined and manufactured products from asbestos withdrew information from the public and the government. This led to heavy lawsuits and the closure of more than a hundred companies.
Industries with the highest risks to contact asbestos-related illness are;
- Shipyard workers
- Construction workers
- Industrial and power plant workers
These employees handle a large volume of asbestos-related materials during their line of work. It is also important to note that though their jobs are risky, their insurance covers may fail to handle their medical bills if they fall ill. Mesothelioma can affect children, but people under the age of 45 may not show symptoms of this illness in rare cases. After exposure, it may take 20-50 years for any signs to offer.
Signs and symptoms associated with mesothelioma include;
- Weight loss
- Sweating at night and fever
- Shortness of breath
- Pain around the chest and the abdominal area
A doctor will then carry out blood samples and a biopsy to determine the type of mesothelioma. He/she can use other diagnostic tools to check how far gone cancer is and at which stage. The average life expectancy of a patient who has had their prognosis done is between 18-31 months. Again, this depends on which stage the cancer is diagnosed. Some patients outlive that period by months and years. The treatment options include having chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and surgeries. Doctors and researchers continue to have clinical trials and new therapies to cure mesothelioma. A multimodal approach of combining two options has enabled mesothelioma patients to live longer.