Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, a rare cancer of the lining of the chest, heart and lungs. Pleural mesothelioma affects the tissues surrounding the chest and lungs, while peritoneal mesothelioma affects abdominal tissues. Across the nation, approximately 3,000 people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma annually. Although asbestos is a naturally-occurring group of tiny mineral fibers, when inhaled these fibers can cause a number of serious problems in addition to mesothelioma—larynx cancer, lung cancer, asbestosis, esophageal cancer, stomach cancer, rectum cancer and colon cancer. Health issues resulting from exposure to asbestos may not be noticed for years, or even decades, following exposure.
Despite the fact the EPA has stated there are no safe levels of asbestos exposure, asbestos is still present in many products. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you need a strong advocate in your corner. The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates will zealously represent you, seeking financial compensation for the injuries and losses you have suffered as the result of your mesothelioma diagnosis. Through the years, Coxwell & Associates have obtained judgments and/or settlements for clients with mesothelioma exceeding $150 million dollars, and will work equally hard on your behalf.
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Factors Involved in the Development of Mesothelioma
Primarily, workers who are employed in industries which expose them asbestos on a regular basis, are the victims of mesothelioma. The loved ones of those who work in such an atmosphere may also develop mesothelioma from secondary exposure. This can occur when the worker unknowingly brings home asbestos fibers on his or her skin or clothing. Despite the health problems associated with asbestos, it is still used in many products because it is virtually indestructible, fire and chemical resistant, and a conductor of electricity and heat. Many of the products we all use contain asbestos, including:
- Heating ductwork;
- Shingles and roofing felt;
- Materials used in fireproofing;
- Insulation used for electrical wiring;
- Some adhesives;
- Potting mixtures and fertilizers;
- Blankets made of metal mesh;
- Some paints;
- Ceiling tiles, and
- Cooling towers.
As you may can tell by the above list, those most likely to come into contact with asbestos include drywall installers, workers in textile mills, certain railroad employees, steamfitters, plumbers, masonry and cement workers, HVAC workers, steel and iron workers, those who work in aircraft production, telephone linemen, auto mechanics, carpenters and bricklayers, roofers, painters, longshoremen, sailors, and merchant marines. The primary issue for all those workers who developed mesothelioma is that it is very likely the companies which use asbestos in their products were aware—decades ago—of the potential harm, yet failed to warn their employees.
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Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose, and rarely present until the disease has progressed to later stages. Fever, night sweats, a cough, fatigue and muscle weakness are early signs of mesothelioma, however these symptoms are often mistaken for more common—and much less serious—illnesses. When mesothelioma has progressed to a more advanced stage, the following symptoms may appear:
- Pain in the chest;
- Weight loss;
- Difficulty breathing or swallowing;
- Coughing up blood;
- Pleural effusion;
- Bowel obstruction;
- Nausea and vomiting, and
- Blood clotting disorders.
When the tumor on the mesothelium is cancerous, it is malignant mesothelioma, while noncancerous tumors are diagnosed as benign mesothelioma. Patients with malignant mesothelioma may undergo chemotherapy, radiation and/or resection to treat their illness.
How We Can Help
The attorneys at Coxwell & Associates are highly experienced in helping victims of mesothelioma. We understand the difficulties you will face following your diagnosis. You may be unable to work following your diagnosis, therefore you must deal with financial issues in addition to your health issues. We will work hard on your behalf to ensure you receive a fair settlement for your employer’s negligence. Contact Coxwell & Associates today for a free consultation.