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Mesothelioma Cancer: A Remorseless Killer

Mesothelioma is an extremely aggressive cancer. With astonishing speed, it attacks the protective linings that cover vital internal organs (this lining is called the mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is incurable, but treatable. However, treatment and the long-term follow-up care it requires usually prove to be exorbitantly expensive.

Types of Mesothelioma

When mesothelioma develops, it usually takes one of the following forms: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, and testicular mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs, while peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. Pericardial mesothelioma, meanwhile, attacks the lining of the heart. The sex organ’s lining is the target of testicular mesothelioma.

What Causes Mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure is the cause of mesothelioma cancer in the overwhelming majority of cases (exceptionally rare causes of mesothelioma include: radiation utilizing thorium dioxide; exposure to zeolite, a mineral chemically related to asbestos; and simian virus 40, also known as SV40).

Asbestos is a cheap, abundant mineral used in a wide array of everyday products. Although used less today than in the past, the reason asbestos is used at all is because of its durability, flexibility and exceptional ability to insulate against fire and extreme heat.

Scientists do not fully understand how asbestos causes mesothelioma. One theory holds that tiny dust particles of asbestos in the immediate vicinity of an asbestos product are taken into the lungs through normal breathing and become permanently trapped there; then, after many years, they somehow corrupt an important gene that has as its function the prevention of cancer. Another theory takes the view that the asbestos particles trapped in the lungs cause the body to manufacture a protein that encourages cancer cells to appear.

What scientists do know with certainty is that the time between asbestos exposure and the onset of mesothelioma can span decades. As such, it is not unusual for people who encountered asbestos in their twenties to develop mesothelioma in their sixties.

Asbestos Products That Can Cause Mesothelioma

Yes, products containing asbestos can lead to the development of malignant mesothelioma. But which products? On the list are: cement siding panels, vinyl tiles, drywall jointing materials, thermal spray, gaskets and brake pads. People who work with these products (mechanics, construction workers, electricians, sheet metal workers and boilermakers) are at risk of inhaling the asbestos particles and fibers released by cutting, hammering or in some other way physically disturbing such items. 

But that’s not all. Members of their households – spouses, children, parents, anyone – may also contract mesothelioma disease or one of the other asbestos cancers (such as any of six different smoker or non-smoker lung cancers) from asbestos particles and fibers unsuspectingly carried into the home on work clothes.

The one good piece of news in all this is that the risk of developing mesothelioma drops dramatically when protective breathing equipment – respirators, for example – are utilized around asbestos products.

However, it turns out that many companies in the asbestos industry knew all along that the mineral was dangerous yet chose not to provide protective breathing equipment to their own employees or even to warn product purchasers (and, by extension, the purchaser’s employees) about those health risks. Many of these companies intentionally hid the truth about asbestos in order to protect profits rather than people.

Mesothelioma Lawyers Can Help

Today, the law allows those with mesothelioma (and their families) to hold asbestos companies accountable for the harm, which each year claims the lives of approximately 3,000 people across the nation. Mesothelioma survivors often turn to the courts to compel the asbestos companies to pay for the ruinous cost of their mesothelioma treatment and to make up for all the wages lost as a result of being so sick that holding a job became impossible. Mesothelioma patients also use the law to force asbestos companies to provide financial security for the family members who remain behind after the disease runs its fatal full course. 

In taking such action, however, these patients succeeded in part because they acted promptly after receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis (there is only a certain amount of time available to them to sue before the law forces shut the window of opportunity).

Weitz & Luxenberg is home to many mesothelioma lawyers who have long represented people suffering from mesothelioma. During the more than quarter-century since the firm started bringing asbestos companies to justice, Weitz & Luxenberg mesothelioma attorneys have won significant amounts of money for men and women cut down in their prime by the scourge of mesothelioma.

Weitz & Luxenberg represents mesothelioma clients nationwide. For a free case review from a top asbestos lawyer, simply complete the form on this page or call 1-800-476-6070.

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos

You are a great help to me and my brother firemen.

- Seymour S. , Middle Island , NY

W&L Facts

  • We helped clients from all 50 states. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $75 million verdict for clients who were exposed to asbestos at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in the 1940s and 1950s. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We worked with almost 4,400 clients with lung cancer. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $53 million from asbestos product manufacturers.

    Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • More than 4,000 carpenters have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $110 million from the automotive industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $518 million from the chemical industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $665 million from the companies in the iron and steel industries. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We’ve been helping clients for more than 25 years. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got almost $135 million from the military industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Our Asbestos Exposure Team has more than 50 lawyers. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • Almost 5,500 Navy Vets have used us as their legal advisors. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped Brooklyn Navy Yard workers get $104 million in a class-action case against Johns-Manville. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped almost 1,600 clients from New Jersey. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We obtained a $190 million verdict in a mesothelioma case. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got more than $2 billion from the power plant industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won $11.6 million for the widow of a sheet metal worker who died of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We helped more than 19,000 clients from New York. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We got $1.8 million from the aviation industry. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
  • We won a $190 million verdict for 5 clients who were exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma and Asbestos
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