Phoenix Mesothelioma Lawyers
Mesothelioma is a disease of the respiratory system caused by asbestos particles that lodge in the lungs and stomach. These particles cause cellular changes that lead to disease. Symptoms of the disease may not be evident until years after exposure. Mesothelioma can cause severe respiratory problems and disability.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Many different occupations may involve being exposed to asbestos particles, including those involved in asbestos mining, shipbuilders, heating and cooling workers and other construction trades. The asbestos particles may be inhaled into the lungs or ingested into the stomach and abdomen while working. These workers may develop symptoms 20 to 30 years after working in an environment that contained asbestos particles. Even a short period of exposure to asbestos particles can trigger the cellular changes that cause the disease.
The tissue changes in the lungs cause a buildup of fluid between layers that causes shortness of breath. Coughing, wheezing and hoarseness when speaking may occur. The person may suffer from chronic fatigue and may become anemic. The person may cough up blood or have blood in the sputum. They may experience pain in the chest wall. If the asbestos has been ingested into the stomach, causing abdominal pain, a mass in the abdomen, bowel function problems and weight loss. As the disease progresses, the person may show signs of jaundice, blood clots in the lungs and bleeding from body organs.
Diagnosis and Treatment
To diagnose mesothelioma, the physician must take a full medical history and do a general physical examination. Standard tests such as x-rays and lung function analysis then indicate whether tissue changes have occurred. Endoscopic examination of the tissues may also be done. A biopsy can find the genetic changes that asbestos exposure causes. Chemotherapy and radiation are standard treatments for mesothelioma cases. Though surgery to remove affected tissues is also done, results are often not beneficial to the patient. New treatments are under development to help patients with mesothelioma.
What To Do If You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos
Because mesothelioma may develop years after exposure, people may not make the connection between their current illness and past employment. Phoenix residents who have been exposed to asbestos during their employment and believe it may have contributed to their current health problems should contact the law office of Zinda Law Group to discuss their legal options.