Asbestos causes cancer of the mesothelium and the lungs
“When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer from asbestos exposure, I was shocked and so was my wife. It’s not every day you hear something like that, you know, it’s not good news. I don’t know……you just gotta take it as it comes. I’m scared what’s gonna happen… when I am gone, I guess, that’d be the biggest thing. We don’t have any family here, it’s just the two of us, really. We don’t have anyone to fall back on. My wife, she’s scared, more scared than I am… but there’s nothing much you can do about it, really.”
Asbestos causes cancer of the mesothelium and the lungs
Asbestos fibers have been linked to two malignant diseases: mesothelioma and asbestos lung cancer. Asbestos, a mineral that was classified as a carcinogen years ago, has a history of use in a number of industries in the United States. Asbestos poses grave risks when inhaled or ingested by humans. When its fibers attach themselves to body tissues, they cause serious illness and slow, agonizing death.
How does asbestos cause mesothelioma?
Asbestos fibers cause mesothelioma by breaking down lung tissue over a period of years and when immune system cells attempt to destroy the asbestos fibers, they become severely damaged and die. The immune system is responsible for locating and killing foreign, disease causing, agents such as asbestos fibers, and if it is unable to perform effectively (even with the assistance of medical treatments such as chemotherapy), it lessens the patient’s chances of survival.
At present, the “fine details regarding the exact mechanisms by which a normal mesothelial cell is converted to a malignant cell by asbestos fibers are largely unknown.” (Medicine World) Additionally, “it is not very clear whether asbestos fibers can induce mesothelioma by direct interaction with the mesothelial cells, or if they act indirectly via generation of toxic materials that may finally induce cancer.” (Medicine World) It has been suggested that the “generation of reactive oxygen species may be intimately connected with the process of mesothelioma development.” (Medicine World)
“During their manufacturing, installation and use, microscopic asbestos fibers can break off and become airborne. When they are inhaled, the fibers become lodged in the lungs. Over time, this exposure can cause serious health problems. In fact, asbestos is so dangerous, it is estimated that up to half of the people who work around asbestos, will develop some kind of asbestos related disease.” (Meso Video Library)
Mesothelioma: A Deadly Cancer
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer, which “strikes fewer than 3000 Americans per year,” (Mesothelioma Web) but for those unfortunate enough to have it, the effects are devastating.
Of all known cancers, mesothelioma is the most difficult to treat, owing to the long latency periods of the asbestos fibers which cause it. The symptoms of mesothelioma typically arise 20-50 years after your first exposure to asbestos, which could have occurred at work, at school, at home, or in another location.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis as a result of asbestos exposure, you may be entitled to compensation. This page details the most common environments of asbestos which may have contributed to your mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis diagnosis. Weitz & Luxenberg is available to help answer any legal inquiries regarding asbestos or any of the diseases caused by the carcinogen.
Asbestos caused him an unjust, agonizingly slow death
When John first inhaled asbestos as an engineer in the 1940s, the fibers became lodged in his delicate lung tissues, where oxygen was absorbed into his blood. Over time, the asbestos fibers caused John’s lung tissue to become irritated and inflamed and while trying to dissolve the asbestos fibers, his immune system cells became severely damaged, and eventually died. As John grew older, the asbestos fibers caused scar tissue to develop, which impaired his ability to breathe properly. By the time he sought medical help, the mesothelioma cells had already metastasized, rendering most medical treatments ineffective. ..
How does asbestos cause lung cancer?
In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos can also lead to lung cancer. Both mesothelioma and lung cancer involve the lungs, but there are two primary differences. Lung cancer occurs when asbestos fibers are embedded within the lungs themselves, rather than the pleura, the outer lining of the lungs. In some cases, lung cancer can precede mesothelioma, especially if it is left untreated. Asbestos is the second leading cause of all lung cancers, after smoking.
Like all cancers, lung cancer “takes place when normal cells undergo a transformation that causes them to grow and multiply without control.” Dangerous tumors form, which take away oxygen, nutrients and space from healthy cells.” The tumors “also reduce or destroy the ability of normal tissues to function” and metastasize to the bloodstream and surrounding organs.” (E Medicine Health)
Asbestos exposure and smoking increases the chances of lung cancer
On Friday, May 11th, 2007, Weitz & Luxenberg secured a $37 million verdict for the families of two smokers who had died of asbestos lung cancer. The jury rejected the claim that smoking was the sole cause of their deaths and that exposure to asbestos played a more significant role.
If you have been exposed to asbestos and you smoke, you dramatically increase your chances of developing lung cancer. A single cigarette contains “more than 4,000 chemicals, including over 60 known to cause cancer.” (American Cancer Society) According to statistics, smoking is the leading cause of lung cancer.
Two asbestos employees: One who smoked and one who did not
In the 1950s, two men worked at an asbestos company. Edward, who did not smoke, spent most of his time performing administrative duties for the company. Only rarely did he leave his office to observe what the other employees were doing at the asbestos mine. His brother James, who smoked heavily, personally handled asbestos products.
The chances of James who was exposed to asbestos and smoked is “sixteen times higher” (Medicine Net) than Edward’s.
- Even though Edward was a non-smoker, there is still a chance of him developing lung cancer because of the time he spent at the asbestos mine. “In non-smokers who are exposed to asbestos (even if it is just once) the risk of lung cancer is five times that of unexposed workers.” (Medicine Net)
Weitz & Luxenberg: We Can Get Justice For You
Weitz & Luxenberg has been a leader in asbestos related litigation for over two decades. We have achieved more favorable verdicts and settlements for people just like you who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer or asbestosis following exposure to asbestos. Our attorneys have the qualifications and experience necessary to get you the justice and compensation you deserve.
If you would like a free legal review of your mesothelioma case, please fill out the form on this page. All communication will be strictly confidential, and there is no fee unless we secure a monetary verdict or settlement for you.
E Medicine Health: http://www.emedicinehealth.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=5511
American Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.org