Our Mesothelioma Attorneys Provide Helpful Insight
A specific factor that makes mesothelioma lawsuits so complex is the fact that a patient may not experience symptoms for decades after exposure to asbestos. This form of cancer may take anywhere from 15 to 50 years to develop in the body, and a patient will not experience symptoms until the cancer is already present. Another issue relates to the symptoms themselves. They may mimic symptoms of other, less serious health conditions. These two factors may contribute to a patient’s failure to seek immediate medical attention, failure to consider that his or her condition may be related to asbestos exposure, or a combination of the two.
If you or a loved one worked with asbestos and you have noticed symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma or another serious health problem, it is important to seek immediate medical attention. We also recommend talking to an attorney about your legal options. Though it may not be at the forefront of your concerns at the moment, filing an asbestos exposure lawsuit may provide you with the means to recover monetary damages that will cover your medical care, which will most likely be very expensive. Mesothelioma treatment and treatment for asbestosis, pleural disorders and other asbestos-related conditions should involve specialists in the field. Some treatment may not be covered by standard health insurance, and the last thing you need is to be left financially destitute. Talk to a mesothelioma lawyer at Napoli Shkolnik PLLC to find out more about filing suit and seeking compensation – your initial case review is free and completely confidential.
The symptoms that a person with mesothelioma will experience will vary depending on the type of cancer. There are three main forms of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal and pericardial.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is by far the most common type of mesothelioma. It affects the lining of the lungs and most of a patient’s symptoms will be related to the respiratory system. Chest pain, shortness of breath, dry cough, reduced chest expansion and wheezing are all symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. In a study conducted in 2011 of 221 pleural mesothelioma patients, the following percentages were noted:
- 79% of patients reported shortness of breath
- 64% of patients experienced chest pain
- 36% of patients had a chronic cough
- 30% of patients experienced weight loss
90% of patients also presented with pleural effusions. Though these are not a symptom that a patient would complain about, pleural effusions may be discovered by imaging tests. A pleural effusion occurs when excess fluid builds up in the pleura, the fluid-filled space that lines the lungs and chest cavity, allowing the lungs to contract and expand with ease. When too much fluid collects in the pleura, this may cause shortness of breath, chest pain, chronic cough and other respiratory problems.
Symptoms of Peritoneal and Pericardial Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second-most common type of mesothelioma, affecting approximately 10-20% of patients. This condition affects the lining of the abdominal cavity and organs. Symptoms may include abdominal pain and swelling, nausea, vomiting, changes in bowel habits, night sweats, fever, fatigue and anemia.
Pericardial mesothelioma is extremely rare and affects the lining of the heart. Symptoms may include: irregular heartbeat, chest pain, heart murmurs, cough, difficulty breathing and fatigue.
When will a patient experience these symptoms?
Most patients notice the first signs of mesothelioma approximately 30 to 50 years after exposure, though this latency period may vary depending on the type of mesothelioma and the severity of the condition. Various studies have placed the average latency period at anywhere from 32 to over 50 years. When the symptoms do appear, they are often mild and may go unnoticed as serious and therefore untreated for a time. A late diagnosis may mean that a patient will have a much shorter life expectancy.
If you have noticed any of the symptoms listed above and you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure, it is important to move quickly and seek medical help. Your doctor may need to perform additional tests to determine whether you are suffering from mesothelioma or perhaps a different asbestos-related condition. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chance you have at survival.
Review Your Options in Filing a Mesothelioma Lawsuit
At Napoli Shkolnik PLLC, we are dedicated to protecting the interests of people across the U.S. who are suffering the ill-effects of asbestos exposure. After seeking medical care, we highly recommend that you contact our office to schedule a confidential, free consultation with one of our professionals.