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A recent study found that genetics may play a role in causing mesothelioma, though exposure to asbestos is still thought to be the main reason people get the fatal and incurable form of cancer, according to most respected studies.
Florida Mesothelioma Lawyers have seen how exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma in New York and nationwide, though researchers know relatively little about this fatal illness.
What experts do know is that the median life expectancy after diagnosis is about 12 months. There is no cure. After being exposed to asbestos, the microscopic flakes can linger for years and sometimes decades before causing the symptoms that lead to a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The recent study, conducted by the Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, was published online, but not in a medical journal. The researchers studied two families where mesothelioma was common. Researchers determined that eleven people had a gene called BAP1, Philly.com reports.
The researchers believe that the finding could lead to new drugs and earlier detection, which can increase survival rates. The disease is fatal and incurable and late detection leads to death. Researchers, though, have found that earlier detection, before a tumor has spread, can extend survival as long as five years.
The study also found that in 26 mesothelioma patients who didn’t have any hereditary link to the cancer, some had a rare form of eye cancer. In the families studied, other forms of cancer, including breast cancer and kidney cancer, were present.
What should be considered is that researchers are still learning about this awful form of cancer. What they do know is that there is a clear link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma. What they don’t know for sure is why some people get mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos and some people don’t.
But what is undeniable is that many companies used asbestos in insulation and other common products, such as brake pads, ceiling and floor tiles and heavy boiler room equipment for years because it was fire-retardant and inexpensive. But as workers began getting sick, research showed that exposure to asbestos was the cause.
Yet, many corporations were slow to remove the asbestos from their products and old buildings and factories, leaving their employees exposed because it was a cost-saver. Even the U.S. Military was a large importer of asbestos for use in Navy shipyards and on ships.
The asbestos flakes are ingested and can linger for years and sometimes as long as three to four decades before a person can begin to experience the common symptoms of mesothelioma. They include chest pain, coughing, fluid in the lungs and other symptoms.
And because a late diagnosis is fatal within 12 months, on average, the disease can be heart-breaking for a family. And the quick death was likely no fault of their own, but happened because they were exposed to asbestos on the job.
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Frequently Asked Questions: Mesothelioma & Asbestos
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a carcinogenic, naturally occurring fibrous mineral. Known for its heat resistance and durability, asbestos has historically been used in insulation, construction materials, automotive parts, and shipbuilding materials.
Why is asbestos dangerous?
Asbestos is made up of small shard-like fibers that can easily become airborne when disturbed. If inhaled or ingested, these fibers can embed within the lining of the lungs, heart, stomach, or testes where they can cause cancer to form years or decades later.
What are asbestos-related diseases?
Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer.
What causes mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and incurable form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma may not appear until decades after exposure.
What are the different types of mesothelioma?
Three of the most common types of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
What are common mesothelioma symptoms?
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include difficulty breathing and chest pains. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects the stomach, may cause abdominal swelling, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and nausea.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a preventable form of cancer most commonly caused by asbestos exposure. If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the U.S. military or while working in construction, mechanics, or a similar field, you may be eligible for compensation. Contact The Ferraro Law Firm for a free legal consultation.
What is the life expectancy for someone with mesothelioma?
There is no cure for mesothelioma. However, patients can receive treatments for mesothelioma that may extend their initial prognosis with proper treatment. Those diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma usually have a life expectancy that is greater than three years, though a large part of this depends on the stage the patient is diagnosed. The earlier the diagnosis, the longer the life expectancy and chance of long-term survival.
Do I qualify for compensation if I have mesothelioma?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should immediately seek long-term medical treatment. After that, you should contact our firm to examine your legal rights. Since 1985, The Ferraro Law Firm has represented individuals with asbestos-related diseases and pursued fair compensation on their behalf. Our firm is one of the top five law firms in the U.S. handling mesothelioma and asbestos cases.