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The importance of identifying the symptoms of mesothelioma

The tragic truth about asbestos-related diseases is that they often lie dormant for decades before victims begin to notice symptoms. By the time many people are diagnosed with mesothelioma and other cancers caused by asbestos, it is simply too late to begin effective treatment. All too often, a person dies from their illness before they can take the appropriate legal action against the party responsible for his or her asbestos exposure. In many cases, however, family members can pursue a sense of justice by filing a wrongful death lawsuit against the negligent parties for their loss.

Before any of this is actually necessary, victims of asbestos exposure may want to figure out if they have developed a deadly disease before it is too late. Understanding the symptoms of mesothelioma, which is caused by exposure to asbestos can help people identify health issues sooner rather than later.

There are about 3,000 people in this country who are diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma every year. In general, each person typically experiences the same, unassuming symptoms: coughing, difficulty breathing and some chest pain. By the time a person is experiencing these seemingly minor symptoms, though, the disease may already be at stage IV.

It is common that people initially receive a misdiagnosis of pneumonia when they first visit a doctor. After the initial symptoms have been identified, other complications like spitting up blood, fatigue and weight loss emerge, which can confirm that a person has mesothelioma.

If a person is able to get a diagnosis soon enough, it is possible to receive treatment that can remove a tumor or help patients manage symptoms. Without effective medical treatment, victims can experience such severe symptoms that it affects their daily lives and may become debilitating.

This is why it can be so important for patients with mesothelioma to pursue compensation from the party that is responsible for the asbestos exposure that led to the disease. Medical treatment and care can be expensive, and victims should not have to be burdened with the financial responsibility of treating a disease that someone else is responsible for causing. And besides being able to start treatments sooner, identifying symptoms of mesothelioma in the early stages makes it more likely that a person can see the legal process of pursing compensation to the end.

Source: East County Magazine, "Pleural mesothelioma symptoms: Early diagnosis is key," Faith Franz, Nov. 22, 2012

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