Getting diagnosed with mesothelioma evokes many emotions, including frustration, worry, confusion, and anger. Contacting a lawyer who specializes in recovering damages after a mesothelioma diagnosis can help individuals figure out if they may be entitled to compensation for exposure to carcinogens that led to the development of the condition.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the soft tissues around the lungs, male genitals, or heart. Over time, mesothelioma causes respiratory difficulty and cardiovascular issues. It may also cause men to experience erectile dysfunction.
Although patients with mesothelioma can learn to manage their disease and get treated for it, they cannot cure it. Mesothelioma is aggressive. In most cases, mesothelioma leads to early death due to low long-term survival rates.
There are several types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma attacks the lungs. Pericardial mesothelioma is focused on the sacs around the heart. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal lining, and testicular mesothelioma rests in the genital area in male patients. It is possible for some people to receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma that covers more than one type of the cancer, such as a person who presents symptoms of both peritoneal and pleural mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma does not have a congenital or hereditary origin, although in rare cases, patients have contracted mesothelioma after undergoing radiation therapy. Instead, the vast majority of people with mesothelioma develop the condition after constant, high-level exposure to asbestos, such as while they were working at an asbestos-heavy job site or with the raw mineral asbestos itself. Asbestos is a substance that was once used in building materials, insulation, and manufacturing processes.
When undisturbed, asbestos is not dangerous to humans. When released into the air, asbestos fibers can be breathed into the body where they lodge in the soft tissues and lungs. Once inhaled, asbestos fibers cannot be surgically removed. After many years of being in the body, asbestos fibers encourage inflammation and scarring of the soft tissues and lung linings, frequently leading to mesothelioma.
It should be noted that mesothelioma does not usually develop in a few years. Many people discover that they have mesothelioma decades after exposure, such as during their retirement years.
Some occupations are known for putting workers in contact with asbestos on a regular basis. Employees who worked in mines or on construction projects prior to 1980 are at danger of being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Other industries and career choices linked to later-life mesothelioma include the following:
Consequently, anyone over 45 years old who is working or worked in those fields may want to stay alert for the warning indicators of mesothelioma. Catching mesothelioma in its earliest stages offers the best chance for long-term survival.
Mesothelioma presents itself in a few key ways, although not everyone experiences every symptom of the cancer.
Patients with mesothelioma commonly report the following:
Anyone who has these warning signals should make an appointment with a family physician or work with an oncologist immediately. The faster someone gets diagnosed with mesothelioma, the faster the person can take action to minimize effects.
Only a trained physician can properly diagnose and treat mesothelioma. After an initial consultation and examination, the doctor will order X-rays, MRIs, CT scans or other image-related evaluation tools. Bloodwork may also be drawn to indicate the presence of cancer. Doctors may also require that patients undergo a biopsy of tissues in and around the chest, abdomen, or genitals.
Mesothelioma treatment varies, depending upon how far along the cancer has progressed. Patients may respond well to more invasive procedures, including surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Clinical trials of alternative, untested trials may be available for some patients, depending upon the type and staging of the mesothelioma.
As with any diagnosis of a serious health condition, mesothelioma is not just a terrifying disease to have, it is also very expensive. Many families with a household member who receives a mesothelioma diagnosis are devastated emotionally and financially. Paying out-of-pocket expenses for chemotherapy treatments and medications can lead to bills in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. This can wipe out an individual’s or couple’s savings for retirement quickly, leaving nothing.
The good news is that many people with job-related mesothelioma have been able to recover significant damages from their former employers. In fact, a large pool of money is available for mesothelioma victims. However, mesothelioma patients typically choose to work with legal representatives rather than try to go after damages on their own.
Working with a lawyer to recover compensation makes sense for the majority of people and families dealing with a life-changing mesothelioma diagnosis. Lawyers can be a bridge between victims and the fair compensation they deserve. Attorneys and their teams will also help build a strong case to prove that the mesothelioma was a direct result of employment rather than caused by something else.
Even if it seems as if a person’s mesothelioma is linked to a prior occupation, corporate and insurance lawyer teams will try to prove otherwise. Since mesothelioma happens so long after exposure to asbestos, getting proper documentation to prove causality can be difficult. Attorneys well-versed in fighting for mesothelioma clients understand how to streamline the process. Lawyers already working for mesothelioma patients will have inroads to experts who can help prove these cases.
Mesothelioma treatments can be very costly, so it is essential to receive compensation. If you recently received a mesothelioma diagnosis, contact one of our Delaware mesothelioma lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. Contact us online or call us at 302-656-5445 for a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.