Facts & Information

What You Need to Know About Asbestos Cancer

If you or a loved one was recently diagnosed with mesothelioma, you likely have a lot of questions. The dedicated mesothelioma lawyers at BPB have provided an overview of helpful information about this type of cancer, common causes, statistics, and treatment options.

Who Is at Risk?

Thousands have been diagnosed with mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. Many of these individuals were exposed at the workplace, in the military, or due to secondary (indirect) exposure. You may be at risk if, at any point during the past 50 years or so, you served in the military (particularly the Navy); worked at a manufacturing plant, for a railroad, in construction, as a mechanic; or were living with or consistently exposed to someone who worked in one of those jobs. Asbestos was used in so many capacities during the last century, this is not an exhaustive list.

What Is Asbestos / Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral mined and used in a variety of capacities during the 20th century. It is strong, affordable, heat resistant, and has the ability to insulate. Asbestos is a known carcinogen, meaning that exposure to or inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that most commonly affects the lining of the lungs, but can also affect the lining of the heart or abdominal cavity.

When Was Asbestos Used?

Although scientists and manufacturers knew of the risks associated with asbestos at least as far back as the 1930s, companies continued to use the substance until the 1970s and some into the 1980s.

Where Was Asbestos Used?

  • Asbestos was used many different places, including:
    • Naval shipyards
    • Insulation of buildings
    • Brake pads
    • Railroads
    • Wide variety of products

Asbestos was affordable, so many corporations used it to make a profit even though they had been warned the substance was carcinogenic.

Mesothelioma Statistics

  • On average, people do not begin to experience symptoms of mesothelioma until 20 to 50 years after initial asbestos exposure.
  • Men are nearly 5 times more likely than women to be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
  • There are a few different types of mesothelioma, but the most common (70-90%) is pleural mesothelioma.
  • The survival rate after diagnosis is 1 year for 40% of patients, 2 years for 20% of patients, and 3 years for 10% of patients.
  • In the last year for which we have statistics, more than 2,000 people died from mesothelioma (2013).

Mesothelioma Treatment

Treatment options vary depending on the type of mesothelioma, the stage of cancer, and the health of the patient.

  • Some of the most common treatment options for patients with mesothelioma are:
    • Surgery to remove the cancerous tissue
    • Immunotherapy
    • Chemotherapy
    • Radiation

There are also a number of alternative and experimental therapies that many mesothelioma practitioners have been testing on patients who enroll in clinical trials. Please consult a qualified physician if you are interested in learning more about these therapies.

If you were recently diagnosed with mesothelioma and would like to speak with an attorney about your legal options, contact BPB today to schedule a free case review.

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