Tennessee Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer that only approximately 2,000 people are diagnosed with each year in the United States. More specifically, it affects the mesothelium, which is tissue that surrounds the body's vital organs, such as the heart, chest cavity, and abdominal cavity. While mesothelioma can occur in each of these areas, the most common, pleural mesothelioma, is in the chest cavity directly affecting the lungs.

Many Americans are at risk of developing mesothelioma, especially if you have been chronically exposed or surrounded by large amounts of asbestos. While asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, smoking has also been noted to increase one's chances of this dangerous form of cancer. For the majority of those suffering from mesothelioma, it tends to be from an occupational hazard. During the 20th century, thousands of buildings used asbestos as an inexpensive insulator, because it is resistant to heat, fire, and can not conduct electricity. The people who are notably at risk for mesothelioma are shipyard workers, people who worked in asbestos mines and mills, producers of asbestos products, and workers in the construction and heating industries. However, in the mid-1970s, asbestos was regulated from further use because of the dangers that it posed to all exposed to it. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States has set limits on acceptable levels of asbestos exposure and enforces a policy that people who work with asbestos must wear protective equipment to lower their exposure and risk for mesothelioma.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma has a latency period of approximately 15 to 40 years, which can make the disease difficult to diagnose. Some common warning signs are shortness of breath, painful coughing, chest pain, dry coughing, unexplained weight loss, and a difficulty breathing. Most of these symptoms are common to other flu-like signs, therefore it is often looked over. Many patients suffering from mesothelioma die from related complications, because of the pressure the cancer places on structures in the given cavity. For example, one may pass away from heart failure, lung failure, or a stoke.

However, if you believe that you were exposed to asbestos, and you suffer from one or more of these warning signs, it is in your best benefit to get checked out by a doctor. In this case, your physician may order a chest x-ray, or a computerized tomography (CT) scan to check out your chest, or abdomen, as well as do a physical exam searching for any lumps. All too often, mesothelioma goes undiagnosed until it is in the latest stages of cancer.

This may explain the poor survival rate for mesothelioma patients. Sadly, the average life expectancy after diagnoses is on average one year. Only 10 percent of patients live five or more years after. While the chances of survival are increasing due to cancer research, many patients rely on treatments. The most common treatments are drug therapies, surgery to remove a tumor and/or a portion of the lung, chemotherapy, alternative therapies (acupuncture), and combination therapy (more than one of the previously mentioned). Overall, the age and the physical shape of the patient determines which treatments should work best.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you will soon find out that the medical bills can add up, not to mention the stress, pain, and suffering that everyone will endure. Occupational asbestos hazards were prevalent years ago, and if you were exposed to asbestos and have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should contact a Tennessee mesothelioma lawyer to discuss your case and its viability in the court system. When you contact a Tennessee mesothelioma lawyer, they will ask you to have documentation of the dates and places where you were exposed to asbestos and the conditions of your exposure. It may be in your best interest to fight for the compensation that you deserve.


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