Do you know one out of six deaths is because of cancer? According to the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 10 million people died because of this deadly disease in 2020. Thus, cancer is one of the leading causes of death globally. Learning about this disease and possible ways to protect from cancer is essential for every individual.
In simpler terms, cancer refers to a common health problem in which abnormal cells start to grow and multiply in the human body. Unfortunately, these abnormal cells grow rapidly and uncontrollably, affecting other body organs. There are different common cancer types, including lungs, breast, skin, bladder, brain, colorectal, etc. However, one of the rarest yet most devastating types of cancer is mesothelioma.
The human body consists of a thin membrane, namely mesothelium, responsible for covering internal organs such as the heart, chest, and abdomen. The primary function of this membrane is to help these major organs perform well. For example, this membrane ensures the chest wall moves for easy breathing in the lungs. Unfortunately, mesothelioma occurs when abnormal cancer cells develop rapidly on this thin membrane, stopping it from functioning properly.
The prominent cause of this deadly cancer is asbestos exposure. However, it is relevant to note that patients that suffer from mesothelioma due to asbestos don’t show symptoms right after exposure. Instead, it usually takes an extended period, around 20 to 50 years.
Types Of Mesothelioma
The types of malignant mesothelioma depend on where the cancerous cells develop in the human body. Yet below are some common types:
- Pleural mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma accounts for about 70% to 75 % of the cases. In this type, the cancerous cells develop and affect the linings of the lungs, commonly known as pleura. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, unexpected weight loss, and fatigue. An X-ray or CT scan can help medical practitioners learn the signs of asbestos exposure.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma
The thin membrane that shields the abdominal cavity is the peritoneum. So when cancer cells proliferate this membrane, peritoneal mesothelioma develops. This type of mesothelioma accounts for 15% to 20% of cases. Symptoms include abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss, bowel changes, loss of appetite, nausea, and vomiting. Treatment for this type can consist of chemo or surgery, and the patient’s life expectancy is much better than in other types.
- Pericardial mesothelioma
Pericardium refers to a tissue that surrounds the heart. Patients diagnosed with this type have cancer cells developed in the pericardium. It is a rare form of mesothelioma and accounts for just 1% or 25 of the total cases. The symptoms are irregular heartbeat, chest pain, constant cough, trouble breathing, and low blood pressure.
- Testicular mesothelioma
Another extremely rare type of mesothelioma is testicular mesothelioma. In this type, the abnormal cells attack the lining surrounding the testicles. It accounts for less than 1% of mesothelioma cases. Since it is a rare form, the symptoms are quite unknown. Common symptoms include swelling or lump in the scrotum, spermatocele, and inguinal hernia.
It is to note that most symptoms of mesothelioma are similar to other minor illnesses. For this reason, healthcare professionals find it challenging to diagnose cancer in its early stages.
Types Of Mesothelioma Claims
The patient and the related family members are likely to experience pain after learning about the mesothelioma diagnosis. However, the silver lining here is that you can file a claim against the responsible parties and get the compensation you and your family deserve. Settlement of mesothelioma claims allows you to cover expenses such as travel, medication/surgeries, lost wages, etc. The type of mesothelioma claims depends on specific circumstances; the most common ones are:
- Personal injury claims
In this type of claim, the person directly exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma can file the case. However, if that is not possible, the family may pursue the case on behalf of the patient or deceased person. In addition, the person may sue the employer who was aware of asbestos exposure but did not provide protective equipment or notify the workers beforehand.
- Wrongful death claims
Suppose a person dies because of asbestos exposure. In that case, the family is eligible to file a mesothelioma claim and receive financial compensation. In other words, the patient’s spouse, children (legal or adopted), parent, and the legal trustee can file the mesothelioma wrongful death claim. Getting compensation with this type of claim helps families pay the funeral cost and remaining medical bills and recover other emotional damages.
- Trust fund claims
Since many asbestos-related firms could not handle the number of lawsuits filed against them, they declared bankruptcy. They have set up a trust fund to compensate the victims and their families. A patient exposed to asbestos and developed mesothelioma can file a claim against the company through another option, called trust funds.
While we wish no individual becomes a victim of this malignant disease, learning about it can help you significantly. Unfortunately, the symptoms of mesothelioma take years until they show up. Yet, having frequent medical check-ups might help in early diagnosis.
Moreover, surely, receiving the devastating news that your loved one has developed dangerous cancer must be enough to cause the chills to run down your spine. However, filing a lawsuit can help you get the rightful compensation you and your loved one deserve. Although you might feel hurt by this unpleasant discovery, don’t forget to give emotional support to your loved one in these challenging times.