Asbestos Diseases

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In recent years, with the spread of knowledge relative to the harms associated with asbestos, many disease and ailments haven been linked to this harmful substance. While research is still being conducted to confirm these links, there are two asbestos-related diseases well-known in the general public. Mesothelioma and asbestosis diagnoses have reached astronomical proportions in recent years., as symptoms are just now coming to the surface. The seriousness of these conditions have led to legislation reforms regarding safety measures and asbestos removal regulations to adhere to.

Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that strikes the tissues lining the lungs and abdominal cavities The disease has also been known to attack other areas of the body as well. Still, 65 to 70 percent of all cases develop in a patients lungs, while 30 percent attack the abdominal cavities. Mesothelioma is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a fibrous material which enters the body through inhalation or ingestion. The cancer can take decades to manifest itself, as long as 50 years in some cases, as most people diagnosed with the condition are 65 years of age or older. Nevertheless, mesothelioma is a terminal condition, leaving the individual an average of 2 years to live and as short as 4 months, depending on varying circumstances. Mesothelioma was deemed an occupational cancer because it is most common in people who have direct contact with asbestos at the workplace. Sometimes, this is the the fault of employers neglecting to provide safe working conditions for employees. In other cases, the substance went simply undetected for years.

Asbestosis is another condition, closely linked to mesothelioma. While asbestosis is not a malignant disease, it is as critical, crippling the quality of life of sufferers. When one is exposed to asbestos for long periods of time, microscopic fibers burrow deep into the tissues of vital, internal organs. Over time, damage to the organs yields extensive scar tissue in these affected areas. It is considered a respiratory disease because fibers are inhaled, rather than ingested. Scar tissue prevents the lungs from expanding and contracting, making it difficult for one to breathe, as gas exchange is halted. One might also experience abrasive coughs that never go away, chest pains, and abnormalities of the fingernails. Asbestosis can lead to mesothelioma if left untreated. A chest percussion and postural drainage may be required to treat the symptoms associated with this disease. Medications can also be taken to reduce the amount of mucous secretions produced by the lungs. The chances of contracting asbestosis can increase for smokers already at risk for lung cancer. Prognosis is difficult to predict because the disease often leads to chronic heart failure and other ailments. Prognosis also depends on the amount of scar tissue that has developed and other health issues you may be suffering from. Typically, when managed, the disease is less fatal than mesothelioma.

If you have been diagnosed with either of these diseases and need compensation to pay for medical treatments, an asbestos attorney may be able to provide you with solutions. New legislation is making it increasingly more difficult to file a claim, so it is important to let an attorney handle the litigation process. He or she has knowledge of state regulations and experience handling similar lawsuits. When you need to make up for lost wages, medical expenses, and medications, it is best to contact someone that can guarantee a timely settlement. One mistake can cause you to lose your case, so research prospective attorneys carefully before selecting one to service you. Most attorneys, prior to taking on your case, can offer you free consultation services. Here, they can review your evidence and medical documents and determine how much compensation you may be entitled to. You must act quickly, though, because state laws enforce time limits for such claims to be made.


Legal•Info State Mesothelioma Information

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