A rare but very serious cancer called mesothelioma most often strikes people with a history of asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral that was used throughout the 20th century to make fire-resistant materials for industry and construction. Workers handling asbestos materials or people occupying buildings containing asbestos have the greatest risk of developing mesothelioma in Ohio. Despite the association, medical researchers cannot definitely say that exposure is the sole source of the cancer because only a fraction of asbestos-exposed people end up with mesothelioma. Family history, lifestyle and medical radiation treatment also appear to contribute to the disease.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
Throughout the human body, mesothelial cells form membranes around internal organs. Genetic mutations within these cells form cancer most often in the pleura around the lungs, which explains why mesothelioma symptoms largely affect the chest and breathing.
Common symptoms of pleura mesothelioma are:
- Shortness of breath
- Chronic cough
- Chest masses
- Chest pain
- Lumps on chest skin
The cancer may also form in the membranes around the digestive system or heart. Stomach symptoms include abnormal weight loss, pain, nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mesothelioma around the heart causes chest pain, breathing problems, fatigue and night sweats.
Known mesothelioma risk factors
Mesothelioma usually does not emerge until decades after exposure to asbestos. This exposure typically occurs on the job. Over the years, personal injury attorneys have represented numerous victims in their pursuit of compensation from the responsible parties.
Research about this disease indicates that the greatest risk comes from:
- Workplace asbestos exposure
- Living with a worker exposed to asbestos
- Family history of the disease
- Radiation therapy to the chest
Due to the length of time between exposure and the onset of the disease, proving who bears liability for your illness may be difficult. A lawyer experienced in mesothelioma litigation could determine how to approach your case.