Hello and welcome to this comprehensive guide on mesothelioma in Houston. Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, Houston has a high incidence rate of mesothelioma due to its history of heavy industry and construction. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about mesothelioma in Houston, including its causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, legal options, and more.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that covers most of our internal organs. There are three main types of mesothelioma based on where it develops in the body: pleural mesothelioma (in the chest), peritoneal mesothelioma (in the abdomen), and pericardial mesothelioma (in the heart). Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type, accounting for about 75% of all cases.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a group of naturally occurring minerals that were widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries until the 1980s. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or swallowed, they can become lodged in the mesothelium and cause inflammation and scarring over time, eventually leading to cancer. Smoking and other factors may also increase the risk of developing mesothelioma.
What are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of mesothelioma can be vague and similar to those of other diseases, which can make it difficult to diagnose. Common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and weight loss. Peritoneal mesothelioma may cause abdominal pain, swelling, nausea, and bowel changes. Pericardial mesothelioma may cause chest pain, palpitations, and difficulty breathing.
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed?
To diagnose mesothelioma, a doctor will typically start with a physical exam and medical history, followed by imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. A biopsy, which involves removing a small sample of tissue for examination under a microscope, is usually necessary to confirm the diagnosis. Additional tests may be needed to determine the stage of the cancer and whether it has spread to other parts of the body.
Treatment Options for Mesothelioma
The treatment for mesothelioma depends on the type and stage of the cancer, as well as the patient’s overall health. Options may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and palliative care. In some cases, a combination of treatments may be used. The goal of treatment is to shrink or remove the tumors, slow the progression of the disease, and improve quality of life.
Legal Options for Mesothelioma Patients in Houston
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Houston, you may be entitled to compensation from the companies responsible for your exposure to asbestos. Many mesothelioma patients and their families have received settlements or verdicts in asbestos-related lawsuits. An experienced mesothelioma lawyer can help you navigate the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve.
1. How long does it take for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure?
It can take 20 to 50 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure, which is why many cases are not diagnosed until decades later.
2. How do I know if I have been exposed to asbestos?
If you worked in an industry or occupation that used asbestos or lived in a building that contained asbestos, you may have been exposed. However, it is not always easy to know if you have been exposed, as asbestos fibers are invisible and can remain in the air for long periods.
3. Can mesothelioma be cured?
There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatment can help manage the symptoms and prolong survival.
4. How much compensation can I receive in a mesothelioma lawsuit?
The amount of compensation you can receive in a mesothelioma lawsuit depends on various factors, such as the severity of your illness, the extent of your financial losses, and the degree of negligence on the part of the companies responsible for your exposure.
5. How do I find a mesothelioma lawyer in Houston?
You can find a mesothelioma lawyer in Houston by researching online, asking for referrals from other mesothelioma patients or support groups, or contacting your state bar association for a referral.
Mesothelioma is a serious and often deadly disease that can have devastating effects on patients and their families. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma in Houston, it is important to seek medical and legal help as soon as possible. By understanding the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, treatment, and legal options for mesothelioma, you can take steps to protect your health and your rights.