North Carolina Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer; it is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new patients each year. This type of cancer starts in the mesothelium, which is made up of cells that make a protective lining around most internal organs in the body, particularly those found in the chest and the abdomen. In addition, the mesothelium creates a protective lubricating fluid around the organs. This enables organs to slide easily against each other and other internal structures, such as when the heart beats or the lungs expand and contract. In different parts of the body the mesothelium has different names. The mesothelium of the chest is called the pleura; of the abdomen it is the peritoneum; and of the heart it is called the pericardium.

Mesothelioma can begin in any part of the mesothelium, although most cases start in the pleura or the peritoneum. When mesothelioma occurs, the cells of the mesothelium develop abnormally and will divide without control or order. In addition, they may invade nearby tissues and organs, causing damage to them. As the cancer develops, there is the potential for it to spread to other regions of the body.

The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that has been used in manufacturing and construction. The reason asbestos was a popular material is that it is heat resistant and is a fire retardant. Because it was discovered that asbestos is linked to cancer, its use has significantly diminished and governmental regulations have been put in place regarding the use of asbestos. However, it can still be found in materials that were manufactured earlier, as well as in building materials that utilized asbestos. Examples of materials in which asbestos was used include:

roof coatings
asbestos-cement pipes
brake blocks
disk brake pads
clutch facings

People who work or have worked in industries that utilize or manufacture asbestos products are at the greatest risk of asbestos exposure. It is estimated that 1.3 million employees in industry and construction face a high possibility of being exposed to asbestos on the job. Industries and occupations in which people face asbestos exposure may include, but are not limited to, car manufacturing, automotive repair shops, shipyards, the construction industry, mining of asbestos, boiler repair or building, furnace repair or building.

Symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath, nausea, fever, hoarse voice, fatigue, sweating, cough, pain in the lower back or side of the chest, abdominal swelling, pain in the abdomen, weight loss, and vomiting. These symptoms are common to a number of illnesses. Because of this, there are occasions when people will ignore the symptoms for an extended period before seeking treatment.

To diagnose mesothelioma, physicians will take a complete medical history, assess risk factors for mesothelioma, and take blood work. They may also use imaging tests and other procedures to look for the cancer. Mesothelioma may be treated using surgery to remove the tumors, radiation, and chemotherapy. Some patients may also look into alternative medicine and therapy or clinical trials.

There have been a number of asbestos related cases that have come to fruition in North Carolina in recent history. If you or someone you love have been diagnosed with with mesothelioma and you believe it may be linked to asbestos exposure from a job, it is recommended you speak with an attorney. An attorney based in North Carolina will be familiar with the state's statute of limitations for presenting a case, as well as with North Carolina's procedures for personal injury.

If you have or had mesothelioma, speak with an attorney who can help you seek compensation for medical expenses associated with your illness and the peace of mind you might be looking for.


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