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Mesothelioma is a malignant and rare form of cancer that occupies the tissue lining of the chest or lungs (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), or in the rarest of cases, the sac that surrounds the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
Patients commonly diagnosed with mesothelioma have inhaled fibers from asbestos-containing materials in the workplace or at home. Some examples include working in environments that are associated with construction, shipbuilding, mining, milling, textiles, automotive, or other industries that tend to use asbestos materials. Cases of mesothelioma have also been related to home environments where high-levels of asbestos have been present.
Mesothelioma caused through asbestos exposure can take a long period of time to develop or "present" in the individual. Many cases presently being diagnosed go back to initial exposure of the material that began in the 1940's through the 1970's, due to the disease's long latency period. It was not until the 1980's that restrictions on asbestos use were instituted by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).
Asbestosis is a condition that results from a build up of scar tissue in the lungs. This leads to difficulty breathing due to limited expansion and contraction of a patient's lungs. Asbestosis is considered a serious lung disease; however, it is not a form of cancer. Mesothelioma develops from cancerous cells that are present in the lining of the lungs/chest, abdomen, or heart, and thus is considered a form a cancer.
If you or a loved one has an illness related to exposure to asbestos, please contact LawyerNetwork.org to get an experienced asbestos litigation attorney to fight for you.