If you had exposure to microscopic fibers that categorized as “asbestos,” your health is at risk. Asbestos-related illnesses are often slow to develop in the human body, however, so many years might pass before you realize that you are ill. If you receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma, treatment will be palliative (designed to alleviate pain and discomfort) because there is no cure for this disease.
In fact, there are several types of mesothelioma. It’s classified by the location in your body where the disease has settled. Symptoms may vary, depending on which part of your body is being most affected. Mesothelioma typically progresses through several stages with symptoms worsening with each phase of the disease, until the final stage when death is imminent.
Mesothelioma usually affects the lungs, the abdomen or the heart
The following list provides a basic overview of each type of mesothelioma, including its location in the body, along with some additional facts:
- Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs when the disease settles in the lining of a person’s abdomen. Abdominal swelling, nausea, fever, bowel problems and weight loss are common symptoms, which don’t usually surface until the disease is much progressed.
- If mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, it is “pleural mesothelioma.” Doctors diagnose this type most often. If you experience symptoms, they might include a lingering cough, hoarse-sounding voice, swelling of face and arms, back or chest pain and difficulty swallowing.
- When a person contracts pericardial mesothelioma, it means it has affected the lining of the heart. Symptoms include irregular heartbeat, palpitations, breathing problems and chest pain.
If you’re not feeling well and are experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s best to seek a medical examination, especially if you have ever worked or lived in a place where asbestos exposure was possible, such as a shipyard, factory, old school building, a home built before 1978, an auto mechanics shop or on a railway.
Mesothelioma doesn’t always respond to treatment
Some forms of mesothelioma, especially those that include a cellular subtype known as “sarcomatoid,” are quite aggressive and often non-responsive to treatments. Preserving as much quality of life as possible often becomes a central focus for those diagnosed with this form of the disease.
Should someone be accountable for your asbestos injuries?
Many patients in North Carolina and throughout the country who are suffering from mesothelioma have sought accountability against those whose negligence resulted in asbestos exposure. Patients file thousands of claims each year and have received millions of dollars in settlements.