Mesothelioma is the general term used for any type of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium, which is the tissue that surrounds one’s vital organs. While all forms of mesothelioma are a result of exposure to asbestos, a toxic chemical found in many locations, there is more than one type of this form of cancer.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of long-lasting and even fatal disorders such as pleural plaques, asbestos warts, and lung cancer. Additionally, a specific type of cancer, called mesothelioma is almost always caused by asbestos. This deadly cancer comes in different forms that attacks the membranes of the body.

lung xray

Asbestos is popularly used among industries which require heavy insulation as asbestos is a material which is fire retardant. Similarly, asbestos is used in some of the clothes of firemen as the material does not easily burn. However, the use of asbestos in industries has lead to many concerns as asbestos is known to cause benign mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. This is characterized by the development of tumors in the mesothelium, the lining which covers the body’s internal organs. It usually occurs in the pleura, or the outer lining of the lungs. Mesothelioma is hard to diagnose as there are other conditions which also exhibit similar symptoms. Apart from this, symptoms does not appear until about 20 to 50 years exposure to asbestos, thus diagnosis poses some difficulties.

mesothelioma patientA majority of mesothelioma cases are malignant, however benign mesothelioma can occur in some cases—although very rarely as they only account for less than 10 percent of cases of mesothelioma. Benign mesothelioma is not cancerous. Although, cancerous forms can develop from it from time to time. Common symptoms of benign mesothelioma are: chest pains, shortness of breath and chronic cough. There is no glaring difference between a malignant mesothelioma and a benign mesothelioma. The only way to determine is to subject the patient to surgical procedures or extensive testing.

Asbestos exposure still exists in our environment today. The US Environmental Protection Agency estimates 700,000 buildings, including schools, in the United States contain asbestos insulation.

A jury in Baltimore recently awarded a mesothelioma victim $1.178 million in compensation. The Plaintiff was exposed to asbestos during the 1960s and ’70s.

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could seek legal advice.