Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Over time, many people have been unwittingly exposed to the deadly fibres as a result of their work, or by living alongside someone who works in an environment which contains asbestos.
Once the fibres are inhaled, or ingested, they can lodge themselves in internal body tissue where they cause damage and may lead to asbestos-related diseases. Mesothelioma is possibly the most severe form of disease associated with asbestos.
It can take a long time for mesothelioma to develop – at least ten to fifteen years and sometimes even as many as forty years.
Types of mesothelioma
There are three different types of Mesothelioma: Pleural Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Pericardial Mesothelioma.
Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common type and is caused by inhaling asbestos fibres into the lungs. A tumour then forms on the lining (pleura) of the lungs, which makes breathing difficult and painful. It accounts for 70-90% of mesothelioma cases. Symptoms can be quite mild to begin with – which, unfortunately, makes it a difficult condition to diagnose early on – but worsen at the disease's later stages.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is less common and is caused by inhaled fibres which are coughed up out of the lungs and then swallowed down into the stomach. A tumour then develops on the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum) which prevents it from working properly to lubricate the organs inside the abdomen. This type of mesothelioma accounts for roughly 1-30% of cases. When someone is suffering from peritoneal mesothelioma, they will often experience severe abdominal pain. Available treatments include hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy.
Pericardial Mesothelioma is the least common form of the disease. Patients suffering from this type of mesothelioma develop a tumour on the membranes lining the heart and this prevents the heart from working properly to pump blood around the body. Pericardial mesothelioma only accounts for less than 1% of cases. The symptoms are very similar to that of a heart attack: shortness of breath, heart palpitations, and chest pain.
Can I make a claim?
For a while, employers were not aware of the dangers of asbestos, but it quickly became apparent that workers needed protecting. If an employer failed to provide adequate training or protection for their employees they can be held liable for compensation if a worker suffers an industrial disease such as mesothelioma.
If you would like more information about mesothelioma symptoms or any other aspect of the disease, including making a compensation claim, please call our lawyers FREE on 0800 0891331.
Thompsons Solicitors in Scotland has an excellent track record in tracing the liable parties, and their insurers, even if the firm has ceased trading. Contact us today using our online claim forms, or simply leave your details and we will call you back.