“What are the risk factors for malignant mesothelioma?”
An aggressive and malignant form of mesothelioma is one of the diseases most likely to result from chronic asbestos exposure, along with asbestosis and other pleural abnormalities such as lung cancer.
Malignant mesothelioma is a relatively rare cancerous tumour which forms in the lining of the lung and chest cavity (pleura) or in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). If this has happened to you as a result of exposure to asbestos in the past and your employers did not forewarn or protect you about this, you may well be entitled to compensation and should contact a lawyer for mesothelioma about this.
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As mentioned above, the overwhelming risk factor for contracting malignant mesothelioma is prolonged exposure to asbestos. Those who worked with it on a day-to-day basis between the 1950s and the early-mid 1980s are the ones most likely to be at risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma now. Although it’s often pointed out that many asbestos workers also smoked, it is generally believed – critically, by experts – that smoking alone is not the cause of the condition under discussion.
Although all asbestos (blue, brown and white) was finally banned in the UK in 1999, it still poses a risk if you are a construction or maintenance worker. The issue of asbestos exposure is now most pertinent in cases where the material – or asbestos-containing materials – become airborne, which can happen owing to wear of tear of a building containing it, potentially putting its inhabitants at risk. The other group most at risk are those disturbing it, usually when working in demolition.
As manual workers – plus maintenance and janitorial workers who may also have had long-term exposure to asbestos – tend to be men, malignant mesothelioma affects more men than women, and has up to three decades of incubation time. The average age for men diagnosed with the condition is 60.
Symptoms include abdominal pain; abdominal bloating; chest pain; cough; fatigue; short breath and weight loss.
Unfortunately, malignant mesothelioma is extremely problematic to treat. There is, in effect, no cure, unless the condition is caught in its early stages, in which case the tumour can be removed in its entirety.
The problem is, however, that by the time the condition is diagnosed in most people, it is far too advanced to be operated on. Chemotherapy or radiation treatments can both be employed to reduce symptoms and therefore pain. Likewise a combination of the aforementioned chemo and certain medications may also help alleviate symptoms – but not cure them.
Untreated, the average malignant mesothelioma patient will survive for an average of 9 months.