Monday, August 30, 2010

Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient's Guide

Remember me blogging about my primary school friend from Singapore visiting us last weekend? Since she was only here for about two and a half days, we had to do a 'speed tour' of the city and I was actually pretty surprised that we managed to cover quite a bit of the more popular NYC tourist attractions in those two days. Among some of the places that we visited was the World Trade Center Memorial and Preview site. While walking through the exhibits, I overheard a lady talking to her husband about the firemen and the other people involved in the rescue effort. She mentioned something about wondering if all that exposure to the debris and other stuff would have an effect on their health in the future. Her husband said something about that being possible, and maybe that might increase their risk in getting mesothelioma or some other types of cancers. Hmm, mesothelioma. I have heard of that before but I am not really sure what it is really all about. So, I decided to look it up after I got home.

I found out that Mesothelioma or to be more precise, Malignant Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the protective sac (known as the mesothelium) which covers many of the bodys internal organs. It is commonly found in the pleura, which is the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall but it can sometimes occur in the peritoneum (lining of the abdomen) or the pericardium (sac surrounding the heart) too. Some of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma that effects the pleura is chest pains, fatigue, shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing up of blood.

So what are the causes of mesothelioma? Here in the United States, exposure to asbestos is the only accepted cause associated with the development of mesothelioma. Before actually knowing the dangers of asbestos, it could be found in thousands of different products back in the day. Many people are also exposed to it at their workplace. We do not really know how long it takes for exposure to asbestos to be actually harmful but studies show that exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. It sometimes only takes as little as 1-3 months of exposure!

While reading up on mesothelioma, I also found out that if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you could file for a claim and receive compensation. The best way to go about that is to hire a Mesothelioma Lawyer. Many people don't, thinking that it will be an easy process and that they can 'save some money' and do it themselves. However, it is not exactly as straightforward as it seems. Many don't know that they are only given a limited amount of time to file for a claim and the clock starts ticking the day you are diagnose with this disease. Also, it would really help and speed up the process if you hired someone who has done this before and knows all the in and outs of filing for a claim. With that said, I also do not think it's wise to just simply pick any Mesothelioma Attorney that you see. Take some time to search for somebody that you can trust and somebody who posses an excellent track record. After all, they are the ones that will be your closest partners in filling for that lawsuit.

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