Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to the mineral asbestos. It was used frequently for decades because it was inexpensive and had fire-resistant and insulating properties. Asbestos, while possessing many useful properties, can also cause lung diseases like mesothelioma.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact a South Carolina mesothelioma lawyer with Shelly Leeke Law Firm as soon as possible. We can evaluate your case and help you determine the best course of action when pursuing the damages you are entitled to.
Records to Gather
Mesothelioma can be inhaled, but its results can take 20 to 30 years to show up. Asbestos exposure, while immediate, does not have immediate signs or symptoms. There are some records that will be helpful to your mesothelioma lawyer in South Carolina.
This can be tricky since inhaling the mineral could have happened decades earlier. However, you will need to gather all of your medical histories, which could be helpful anyway. Collect your medical records from the time you were diagnosed, as well as older records.
The older medical records could contain some clues that mesothelioma was going to become a problem in the future. Sometimes, mesothelioma presents itself similarly to other illnesses. Meaning that the disease could have been a problem before the condition was even diagnosed.
To confirm that you have mesothelioma, you must secure a proper diagnosis. There are times when a chest x-ray and blood work are administered. If abnormal growths or fluids around the lungs are detected, your doctor will likely move on to the following diagnostic tests:
- Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) which produces detailed images of the inside of the body
- Positron emission tomography (PET) provides 3D imaging inside the body.
- Computed Tomography Scan, which also provides detailed imaging
If mesothelioma is suspected, a biopsy is in order. Your doctor will remove a sample of tissue and determine whether malignant mesothelioma cells are present. The pathologist report will provide information about these cells.
The biopsy is looking for biphasic cells, which are a combination of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells. 30% to 40% of mesothelioma is accounted for with these cells. Epithelioid cells account for 70% of mesothelioma cases and respond best to treatment. Sarcomatoid cells are the worst-case scenario as they result in shorter life expectancies. However, they are only found in around 10% of cases.
It is critical to have detailed diagnosis records for the claim you are filing.
Following a mesothelioma diagnosis, a review of your employment records could provide much-needed information about where the exposure took place. If you worked in an area where you were regularly exposed to asbestos, demonstrating this can be helpful to your case.
As a rule, companies maintain employment records. If this is not the case, paystubs or employment contracts can prove you were employed there. If these are not available, perhaps a tax return would help.
Co-worker testimony could also be helpful. They could testify that you worked there and what job you performed. This can also be helpful since they can testify to the presence of asbestos. You should have the dates you worked at each place and the job you did there if you are aware of when or how you could have been exposed to asbestos, note that as well.
Mesothelioma and Its Symptoms
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The aggressive disease develops within the tissue lining of the abdomen or lungs. There are two types of mesothelioma that we see most often listed below:
There are other types and like pericardial and testicular mesothelioma. But, these are far less common in the already rare form of cancer.
The Mineral that Causes Mesothelioma
The mineral that, when inhaled, has the potential to lodge itself into internal organs that can cause tumors to grow later is called asbestos. If you worked with asbestos, your chance of inhaling its fibers and suffering from mesothelioma later is much greater.
Treatment can increase the chances of survival and can have a hand in improving quality of life. Chemotherapy and immunotherapy are common treatment methods. Treatments may be used in congress with one another, which is referred to as multimodal plans.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma certainly does not happen overnight. It can take between ten and 50 years after asbestos exposure for the disease to manifest. If you have flu-like symptoms, intestinal distress, or pneumonia, it could be mesothelioma, just misdiagnosed.
If you know that you or your loved one has been exposed to asbestos, it is best to disclose that early so that the doctor will perform the correct diagnostic tests so that it is caught earlier and the treatment plan may be more effective. As with most cancers, early detection can improve the chances of survival.
Asbestos Exposure in a Home
If you were exposed to asbestos in your home or in a home you were working in, you would require proof of where you were exposed. This might include original building records listing the materials in the home. If you remodeled, proof of this and an explanation of how the asbestos was disturbed is crucial to your case.
In some cases, asbestos may have been professionally removed, in which case, the company who performed the removal may have their company’s records which could be available to you.
Record of Funeral or Burial Expenses
If someone you loved fatally succumbed to mesothelioma, you might receive compensation for their funeral and burial expenses. Maintain good records of the expenses associated with your loved one’s funeral. Be sure to include burial and cremation information.
An astonishing number of mesothelioma victims were exposed while performing military service. All of your military records could be important. They should include the following:
- Time you served
- Location of service
- Description of the work you did
- Medical attention received through the Department of Veterans Affairs
Contact Us if You or a Loved One Has Been Diagnosed with Mesothelioma
Aside from speaking to your medical team, a call to a mesothelioma lawyer in South Carolina at Shelley Leeke Law Firm may be the most important conversation you have. We will help you to investigate your case and will work hard to secure the maximum compensation that you may be entitled to receive. Reach out today for a free consultation.