District of Columbia Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Mesothelioma is a very rare but aggressive form of cancer that is primarily caused by exposure to asbestos materials. The cancer attacks the lining of the lungs, known as the mesothelium. It causes fluid buildup and forms large amounts of scar tissue in the lungs, making it hard for the patient to breathe. Types of mesothelioma may also attack the heart, stomach or other areas of the abdominal cavity.

Asbestos was a building material that was very popular before the mid-1970, because it was durable, flexible and resistant to fire and heat. Asbestos products were used at manufacturing facilities, railroad facilities, factories, construction sites, and mines, just to name a few.

As a result, millions of people were put at risk for asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma, especially those who worked with the material on a long-term basis. Over six percent of insulation workers have gone on to develop asbestos related mesothelioma, and they are 300 times more likely to die from this type of cancer than the average person. The survival rate for those diagnosed with mesothelioma is drastically low, sometimes only around eight percent. Even today, asbestos is still in over 700,000 buildings in all parts of the country.

Once asbestos is inhaled through the nose or mouth, the body is unable to break it down. The asbestos fibers settle into the cavities and linings of the lungs, heart or abdomen. Mesothelioma can occur several decades after a person's initial exposure to asbestos. Most often, mesothelioma develops in people between the ages of 50 to 70, and 3,000 new cases of asbestos related mesothelioma are diagnosed each year. This number is expected to rise significantly over the next decade.

There are three types of mesothelioma cancer:

Pleural mesothelioma- the most common form of mesothelioma, which attacks the lungs and chest cavity
Peritoneal mesothelioma- 10-20% of all cases are peritoneal, which affects the abdominal cavity
Pericardial mesothelioma- the most rare type of mesothelioma; it starts in the heart cavity

Mesothelioma is very hard to diagnose because it imitates other types of cancer, or sometimes may manifest as symptoms of pneumonia or bronchitis. It is also hard to diagnose mesothelioma because there are no external symptoms that may alert someone that something is wrong. For these reasons, mesothelioma is usually not found until it is in the advanced stages. When a doctor does suspect mesothelioma, he or she will do different tests to make sure they are correct. This may include blood work, an MRI or CT scan, an x-ray, or a bronchoscopy. The medical field is looking for advanced testing procedures and better treatments to detect mesothelioma sooner, and to increase a patient's chance of survival after being diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Asbestos related mesothelioma could have been prevented if asbestos products were more rigorously tested for health and safety before it was put into buildings and exposing millions of people to its harmful effects. If you or a loved one came into contact with asbestos as an occupational hazard and developed mesothelioma as a result, please call an experienced Washington DC lawyer or attorney to help you begin your fight.

A lawyer can discuss your rights with you and tell you if you are owed any monetary compensation for the pain, suffering, and expenses you have endured. Your Washington DC mesothelioma lawyer/attorney should advise upon the best course of action. Pursuing legal action with the help of an attorney will help you better enforce your rights, punish the parties responsible for the asbestos poisoning and provide financial security to you and your family. Contact a local Washington DC Mesothelioma lawyer/attorney today.


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