Maine Mesothelioma Lawyer
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What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare but aggressive form of cancer which attacks healthy cells of the mesothelium, a membrane that protects the internal organs of the body. In the United States, about 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed annually. Most of these patients have from four to 24 months to live. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in patients over the age of 65, although secondary exposure has caused variations in this trend. As individuals come into contact with loved ones exposed to asbestos, these individuals can too suffer from the substance\'s toxic characteristics. Most mesothelioma cancer cells attack the lungs, although it is not uncommon for the cells to infect other areas of the body. Cancer cells are detected in the abdomen in 30 percent of patients suffering from the condition.
How Do I Know if I Have Mesothelioma?
There are symptoms that clearly indicate a problem. Mesothelioma that has developed in the lungs is likely to cause abnormal coughs that never go away, bleeding, chest pain, difficulties breathing, and weight loss. Cases that attack the abdomen are more difficult to detect. Unfortunately, even if you notice the symptoms early on, chances are, the disease has already progressed to untreatable stages. Similarly, by the time most people notice the symptoms, asbestos fibers have probably been contained in the infected areas for decades. If you are worried about whether or not you have developed this cancer, your physician can refer you to a specialist to perform diagnostic tests. A thoracoscopy can be used to examine the lungs, or other infected areas, and a specialist can look for asbestos fibers within the tissue sample. There have been recent medical breakthroughs relative to early detection of mesothelioma. Scientists have discovered blood cell markers specific to mesothelioma cancer. There is a chance that, if caught early enough, treatments can extend your life expectancy. However, most treatments are intended for the relief of symptoms associated with the condition, not as a cure.
Who Is Most At Risk for Mesothelioma?
Anyone that has worked in an industry with the potential for asbestos exposure is at risk. Iron mills were the most popular industries before the 1970s and are most likely the cause of mesothelioma claims filed in Maine. Owners regarded asbestos as a miracle substance. It was flame retardant and practical, especially as businesses faced new labor laws, which enforced fire safety regulations. The dangers of asbestos can be dated back to the late 1920s; however, it was not until the late 1970s that these dangers were publicly linked to mesothelioma. Some viewed the new findings with caution, while others ignored them. For years, employees were forced to endure asbestos exposure. As a result, cases of mesothelioma are beginning to pop up across the country. For these reasons, the cancer is considered an occupational condition, and those at risk ingested or breathed the hazardous fibers for years. While the condition can develop through secondary exposure, it is much less likely. In fact, 80 percent of mesothelioma cases are linked back to specific job sites. Be sure to have inspections performed before purchasing a house built before 1970, and if asbestos is present, have a professional remove it.
Can I File a Lawsuit?
If evidence against a company verifies negligence, you may be able to establish a solid case. You need to gather other medical documents and work history to prove that your cancer can be traced back to this establishment. Moreover, your lawyer needs to prove that the mesothelioma has left you physically impaired, and that your employer is directly responsible for your debilitating health. In terms of rank, the state of Maine is not high on the list of states threatened by mesothelioma. Between 1979 and 1999, 168 mesothelioma-related deaths occurred. While this may seem insignificant, it is important to consider that many more cases are likely to be diagnosed in the next ten to twenty years, due to the delayed progression of this disease. It may not be clear how many people have been affected until years from now. If you or a loved one has suffered from mesothelioma, and you believe you deserve compensation for your loss, contact an attorney immediately to begin litigation.
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