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Undeniable Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer
Undeniable Mesothelioma Facts
Part I of Our Mesothelioma Guide Series
Undeniable Facts About Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma. Most people can’t spell it, they can’t pronounce it and they have no idea what it is. Most people, that is, unless they’ve been met with mesothelioma head-on, either as a mesothelioma patient, friend or family member of someone with the cancer. Because once you’ve seen what mesothelioma is, you can’t forget.
You may not be able to spell it or pronounce it or even explain its devastation to your next-door neighbor the same way that you’ve known it — but the facts are real, and we think they stand for themselves.
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive type of cancer with no cure that is caused by (the unnecessary) exposure to asbestos or materials containing asbestos.
Asbestos has been the known cause of mesothelioma since as early as 1964. (And that is conservative; many studies show links as early as the late 1800’s.)
There is a “latency period” that comes with mesothelioma; meaning, it can take several decades for an initial exposure to asbestos to result in symptoms of mesothelioma.
Because asbestos has not been banned in the United States, and because asbestos exists in so many older commercial and residential buildings, more people may be exposed to the asbestos that will eventually cause them to develop mesothelioma. (That’s because we have yet as a country to learn from our lesson, AKA Fact #2.)
For patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are three main types of the cancer: pleural, peritoneal and pericardial. Each one of these types of mesothelioma has to do with the “mesothelium,” a thin layer of cells that line up the body’s internal organs. Thus, the name “mesothelioma” that is so hard to pronounce.
Pleural mesothelioma: This is a type of mesothelioma that develops in the “pleura,” which is an area of protective lining that surrounds the lungs. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma, with upwards of 70 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses.
Peritoneal mesothelioma: That would be a type of mesothelioma that originates in the “peritoneum,” a lining of the abdominal cavity. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for between 10 and 30 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses.
Pericardial mesothelioma: That is a type of mesothelioma that begins in the “pericardium,” the lining of the heart. Pericardial mesothelioma only makes up around one percent of mesothelioma diagnoses.
Mesothelioma Guide PART II: Mesothelioma — Who Does it Hurt?
Mesothelioma Guide PART II: Mesothelioma — Who Does it Hurt?
Make no mistake — cancer treatments are improving for countless forms of cancer. But mesothelioma is a little different (and one of the most rare forms of cancer). While the medical field has a better understanding of mesothelioma today and its different treatment options, the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma is only now just starting to be measured in years, not months.
Who are these people? We’ll preface by saying they are your parents, your siblings, your aunts and uncles, they are your neighbors and friends… but we’ll get more specific now.
To start, an individual is at risk of developing mesothelioma if he or she has been exposed to asbestos. An individual may be exposed to asbestos for a variety of reasons, either in their home, their place of work or that of their loved one’s. Some individuals were exposed to asbestos while in the line of duty. Because of the latency period, some veterans who served in the Army, Air Force and Marines may no be developing mesothelioma if they served from the 1930’s through 1980’s. To learn more about veterans suffering from mesothelioma, please visit our Mesothelioma and Veterans page.
In addition, mesothelioma tends to hurt individuals who are:
- Over 60 (In fact, the risk of developing mesothelioma is 10 times higher for people over 60 than it is for people under 40.)
- Male (Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women, largely because of a historically increased exposure at places of work.)
- In charge of laundry duty (That’s right — wives or partners in charge of “laundry duty” for their significant other may come into contact with asbestos on their loved one’s clothes should their loved one be exposed to asbestos at work.)
- “Repeat customers” (Anyone who was exposed to asbestos multiple times is more at risk of developing mesothelioma, that’s particularly bad news for people who were or could be exposed on the job.)
Other areas of work that are particularly prone to asbestos exposure and the latter development of mesothelioma include renovation and construction-related jobs and work in other public facilities that may be infected with asbestos.
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) estimates that 11 million people were exposed to asbestos between the years of 1940 and 1978. That’s a lot of people, and many of them at work. That is why we encourage you: If you or someone you know may have worked in a field with a higher risk of asbestos to exposure, we encourage you to share this guide by sharing this link: https://baronandbudd.com/news/mesothelioma-guide-a-four-part-series/2/.
Mesothelioma Guide PART III: Mesothelioma — The Symptoms to Know
Because patient prognosis is better the sooner patients are diagnosed, it is important to be aware of the main symptoms of mesothelioma, even the earliest stage symptoms, so that you or your loved ones may be better prepared.
Early symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Dry Cough
More advanced symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Chest Pain
- Weight Loss
- Respiratory Problems
Advanced, and often fatal, symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Respiratory Failure
The type of mesothelioma affecting the patient also has a hand in what symptoms they experience. For patients with pleural mesothelioma, earlier symptoms of mesothelioma include:
- Shortness of Breath
- Dry Cough or Wheezing
- Chest Pains
- Decreased Chest Expansion
- Pleural Effusions (A buildup of fluid that occurs between the layers of tissue lining the lung and chest cavity)
If you or someone you know may have an increased risk of mesothelioma (see Part II: Mesothelioma — Who Does it Hurt?), please, do not hesitate. Schedule that doctor’s appointment. See what you are facing.
And if you think you know someone who could be at a higher risk, please share this guide with your network using this link: https://baronandbudd.com/news/mesothelioma-guide-a-four-part-series/3/
Mesothelioma Guide PART IV: Mesothelioma & How You Can Help
There is no question about it: Mesothelioma is excruciating, for both the patient and their loved ones, and everyone involved will need as much help and support as they can get.
Here are our top suggestions.
For the Patient:
Ask for help. Do not be afraid of speaking up with your friends and family for what you need. Seek several opinions if you think you need them. And consider filing a mesothelioma lawsuit and getting your family involved in order to help make sure they are taken care of. To learn about the major mesothelioma lawsuit facts, visit our mesothelioma Q&A page.
For the Friend:
Do what you can! Be a confidant ready to listen and a shoulder open for tears. You may feel like your friend may require extra space… that may be true, but ask them first and let them know that, no matter what, you are always their for them.
For the Family Member:
It’s all about love and support now. Letting your family have some time together to share memories, love, joy and sorrow. It’s also time to get organized. Unfortunately, there is a time stamp that comes with filing a mesothelioma lawsuit. Meaning: it’s a good idea to contact a mesothelioma lawyer sooner than later to see if you are able to file a mesothelioma lawsuit to help your family and fight against the asbestos industry that wronged them. (To start the process, give one of mesothelioma lawyers a call at 855-280-7664 or email us.)
For the Loved One:
Be all you can be and more. Now is the time to savor, savor, savor with your loved one and let them know how much you care about them. You can also help them get organized by going over wills, treatment plans, doctor’s appointments and the possibility of filing a mesothelioma lawsuit — whatever you can do, do it.
For the Neighbor:
Let them know you are here and ready and able to help, with whatever they need. Picking up kids from school, running errands, stocking the fridge… these are mainstays for a reason: They help those hurt by mesothelioma and their families find time to focus in on what they need to do.
For the “Long Lost Friend”:
Now is NOT the time to stay quiet. Pick up the phone, shoot an email, send a text. Here’s all you need to say: I am thinking of you and I am here for you. And then follow through with what you say. Because it is never too late to help and make a difference in the life of someone you once knew.
And there you have it.
As we have worked to explain, mesothelioma is tough and it isn’t pretty. But with the right tools, you and your family can be a little more prepared.
If you benefited from reading this guide, we encourage you to share it with those near and dear to you by copying and pasting this link: https://baronandbudd.com/news/mesothelioma-guide-a-four-part-series/4/