Unfortunately, there are many misconceptions about malignant mesothelioma. Whether you’ve been diagnosed with this tragic disease or are simply curious, it’s important to learn as much as you can, and to get the facts.
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What’s the problem?
When a cancer is relatively rare and unknown by many, misconceptions and myths may develop that many come to believe are factual. What follows is a list of common mesothelioma misconceptions and factual explanations to address the myths:
Myth – Asbestos Is Banned, So No One Uses It Anymore
Contrary to what many people believe, this is simply not true. Asbestos regulations in the United States have gotten more stringent, but there remain over 3,000 consumer goods that contain asbestos. Many of these products can be found in your local hardware or home-improvement store. Caulking, joint compound, roofing shingles, drywall and gaskets are just a few of these products that may still have asbestos within them—although it might not be listed as “asbestos,” but instead be labeled by the manufacturer as “Canadian fiber” or “chrysotile,” which is simply one of the forms of asbestos.
Myth – Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer
Though mesothelioma commonly affects the pleural lining of the lung, the cancer is not a lung cancer. Mesothelioma develops in the mesothelium, a membrane that lines many body organs and cavities, including the lungs, the abdominal cavity and the heart sac.
Myth – Chrysotile is a safe form of asbestos
Researches have shown that all forms of asbestos including the largely used Chrysotile are effective in causing mesothelioma, lung cancer, asbestosis etc.
Myth – Mesothelioma only develops in men
Mesothelioma occurs in both men and women. According to the American Cancer Society, mesothelioma affects men five times more often than women. This may be because asbestos use was prevalent during a time when women in the workforce were less common. Since asbestos exposure often occurred on the job, men were likely exposed to the mineral more often, increasing the incidence of mesothelioma in men. However, once World War II began, more and more women began to enter the workplace in occupational settings where asbestos exposure was common, leading to an increase in the development of mesothelioma in women nationwide.
Myth – Smoking causes mesothelioma
With so much mesothelioma information available, you might think this false conception would already be exposed. Smoking does not cause mesothelioma. Smoking can weaken the lungs and immune system, and when a person has asbestos exposure, the development of mesothelioma lung cancer can occur. Smoking can cause lung cancer, but not asbestos lung cancer.
Myth – Malignant mesothelioma is not treatable
Mesothelioma lung cancer is treatable and several options are available. Common avenues of treatment include mesothelioma chemotherapy, radiation, and even surgery. With new research and developments coming out all the time, patients can take advantage of experimental treatments. Massage therapy and acupuncture offers alternative ways to treat asbestos symptoms. Malignant mesothelioma is treatable and options are available to provide you with comfortable care and possibilities of surviving this disease.
Myth – You have to work with asbestos for years to be affected
This myth may be another one which stems from asbestos diseases’ long latency periods. Since so many mesothelioma sufferers are only diagnosed when they are at or nearing retirement age, it may seem as though it takes years of occupational exposure to cause the cancer. Yet this is a fallacy, since there are also many cases in which the sufferer experienced only temporary or limited exposure. No matter the amount of asbestos particulate the patient has inhaled or ingested, the disease takes a similar amount of time to manifest. Of course, the sheer amount of asbestos inhaled over a lifetime of working around it, compared to occasional exposure, can increase the chances of contracting mesothelioma. But one instance of exposure can be enough to spur the onset of this devastating disease, although it may not become evident until decades later.
Do I have a Mesothelioma Lawsuit?
The Toxic Tort Litigation Group at our law firm is an experienced team of trial lawyers that focus exclusively on the representation of plaintiffs in asbestos-related mesothelioma lawsuits. We are handling individual litigation nationwide and currently accepting new cases in all 50 states.