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Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer affecting the mesothelial cells in the lining of our organs. It is more precisely known as malignant Mesothelioma, and the most common cause is through exposure to asbestos and improper handling of the material. There are three types of Mesothelioma – Pleural affecting the lining of the lungs, Peritoneal affecting the lining of the abdomen and Pericardial attacking the protective layer of the heart. All three types of Mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos with Pleural being the most common and Pericardial being the rarest form. To take a look at mesothelioma in a little more depth, we’ve teamed up with Asbestos Advice Helpline, specialist mesothelioma compensation claim solicitors.
Around 2000 patients a year in the UK are diagnosed with Mesothelioma, and for many patients there is no cure for this type of Cancer. As it is an aggressive form of Cancer, doctors usually work on improving quality of life for the patient to ensure they suffer as little as possible. The majority of people affecting by this type of Cancer work or have worked in jobs such as mining or building, or even family members of people who have been working with asbestos as the tiny fibres can travel on the clothes. Exposure to asbestos doesn’t have to be for a long period of time for a person to be affected by Mesothelioma. It is an extremely dangerous material to work with, and inhalation of the tiny fibres causes this type of Cancer. Due to the small scale of the fibres, once breathed in they can’t escape causing the disease to develop so training on proper handling is crucial if you find yourself having to work with asbestos.
There are different signs and symptoms for all three types of Mesothelioma and it can be a hard type of Cancer to diagnose. It can take up to 30 years for patients to show symptoms of Mesothelioma when they have been exposed to asbestos, however common symptoms include shortness of breath, pains in the area, lumps, unexplained weight loss and sickness. For Pleural Mesothelioma other symptoms can include exhaustion, discomfort in the chest, painful coughing and lower back pain, and for Peritoneal Mesothelioma swelling in the abdomen and nausea. Pericardial Mesothelioma is extremely rare, however symptoms of this can include low blood pressure, fluid retention, heart palpitations, fatigue and chest pains. Although symptoms can take years to show, they can be unpleasant once they do therefore doctors spend time improving symptoms and discomfort ensuring patients suffering is minimal.
The affects of asbestos and cause of Mesothelioma were unknown when the material was discovered, and although it is no longer used today it can still be found in certain places such as older buildings. If you suspect there is asbestos in your house or building that you live, extra care should be taken if any work is done. It is crucial you hire a professional to do the job for you to avoid contact and exposure and as i mentioned earlier, working with asbestos requires proper training. If you have symptoms of Mesothelioma it is highly important to get them checked out, and if you are diagnosed and have previously worked with asbestos you may be entitled to compensation for exposure to the harmful material. It is important people know about the causes of Mesothelioma and the risks of working with asbestos, and although there isn’t currently a cure for this type of cancer, new treatments are being researched and developed all the time.