Mesothelioma is a cancer unique to asbestos exposure that manifests in the mesothelium, a two-layer membrane that surrounds and protects the body’s internal organs. Scientists theorize that asbestos fibers lodge in the mesothelium, irritating cells and causing them to become cancerous. Pleural mesothelioma, affects the lining of the chest wall and cavity and is the most common form. Mesothelioma may also develop in the pericardium (lining of the heart), peritoneum (lining of the stomach and abdomen) and testes. Symptoms of mesothelioma, which may not show up for decades after exposure, include breathing difficulties, back pain, fever, persistent cough, weight loss, nausea, fatigue, and chest pain. Treatment options exist, so it is critical that people who have been exposed to asbestos be checked by their physician, even if they are not exhibiting any symptoms.
Exposure to asbestos can cause lung cancer in addition to mesothelioma. Asbestos fibers once inhaled cannot be eliminated by the body, and thus remain in the lungs. Smokers who have been exposed to asbestos are believed to be up to 90 times more likely to develop lung cancer than nonsmokers who were not exposed to asbestos. Asbestos lung cancer generally begins in the main bronchial tubes, but can also start in the trachea, bronchioles, and alveoli. As with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer victims may not have any symptoms until years or decades after their exposure. In addition to the same symptoms of mesothelioma, people diagnosed with lung cancer may experience hemoptysis (coughing up blood). If you know that you have been exposed to asbestos, you should see your physician immediately.
Asbestos exposure can also cause colon cancer, stomach cancer, laryngeal and esophageal cancer.
If you have been exposed to asbestos, the asbestos attorneys at Shein Law, Ltd. will fight aggressively to help you obtain the compensation you need and deserve. Contact Shein Law online or call 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) to discuss your legal options with an experienced New Jersey asbestos lawyer.