Your Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Whats Next?

By: johnsonlawgroup
In order to cope with a diagnosis of mesothelioma, it is crucial to know three important facts about this disease. First, one needs to know what mesothelioma is. Second, it is imperative to know what causes this deadly cancer. Lastly, one must know as much as possible about the three forms of mesothelioma. They are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is attributed to repeated exposure to asbestos. Individuals most susceptible for developing mesothelioma are those who work in shipyards, asbestos mines, manufacture asbestos products, and those employed in the heating and construction trades. Mesothelioma does not usually become evident until 20 to 60 years after exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma gets its name from the word mesothelium. The mesothelium is the protective lining that covers and helps to protect most of the body's internal organs. This form of cancer invades the mesothelium. pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma are aggressive forms of cancer that attack the protective lining of the lungs, abdomen and heart, respectively.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most prevalent form of mesothelioma. It presents itself in the pleura, or lining of the inside of the chest that house the lungs. When asbestos is mined, manufactured or disturbed, asbestos particles escape into the air. These particles are easily inhaled or swallowed. Over an extended period of time, these inhaled and ingested asbestos particles may eventually cause normal cells in the pleura to become abnormal, causing pleural mesothelioma.

Peritoneal mesothelioma is a more rare form of mesothelioma. This type of cancer originates in the peritoneum or the membranous lining of the abdomen that encloses the stomach, intestines, liver, spleen, and pancreas. peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for less than a quarter of all mesothelioma cases.

Pericardial mesothelioma is a cancer invades the pericardium, or the membrane that surrounds the heart. This condition causes severe heart problems, and most people who contract this asbestos-related cancer eventually die from heart failure.

The pleura is thought to be most susceptible to mesothelioma. Due to this membrane surrounding the lungs it is in direct contact with asbestos fibers when inhaled. This would explain why pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this deadly cancer.

It has been suggested that when asbestos-containing fibers are ingested or inhaled they can be picked up by the lymph nodes and spread to other parts of the body. This may account for cases of peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.

Chronic exposure to asbestos, after a latency period of approximately 20 to 60 years, can cause mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma it is imperative to know what it is, what causes it and its three major forms; pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. Once you know what form of this asbestos related cancer you are up against it will aid you in seeking appropriate treatment options.

In addition to seeking aggressive medical treatment, you need to find out the cause of your asbestos-related cancer. Since all three forms are caused by contact with asbestos, think back on all the jobs you've had, and where you were exposed to asbestos. Next, seek the advice of an attorney who is familiar with litigating mesothelioma lawsuits. Your attorney will help you in documenting your exposure to asbestos even if it occurred many years ago, and also documenting the physical and emotional damage that your diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma, pritoneal mesothelioma or pericardial mesothelioma has caused for you.
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