Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that effects the lining of the body organs. The most common site effected is the lung. Exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma. It usually takes twenty to fifty years from exposure to develop the illness.

Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can include:

  • A persistent dry cough
  • Coughing up blood
  • Chest pain.

These symptoms are due to the fluid accumulating in the pleural space. Signs of peritoneal mesothelioma may include abdominal swelling and bowel obstruction, due to fluid in the abdominal cavity. Signs may appear after twenty to fifty years, or longer.

Treatment and Outlook

The prognosis is often poor, as the illness is often diagnosed at a late stage. The average life expectancy after diagnosis is three years. It is recommended that those who have been exposed to asbestos seek screening, even if there have not been any symptoms.

In some cases, it is possible to claim compensation. There are lawyers who specialize in claims for illnesses developed due to asbestos exposure.

There are mesothelioma support groups that can be contacted for advice. They should be able to provide information on treatment, as well as finding a suitable law firm to make a claim. Some may find that joining a support group can reduce anxiety and depression. Supports groups normally involve activities such as exercises, group discussions and fundraising.

Websites are available that are dedicated to providing information and support for those effected by asbestos. They will provide information on all aspects, including the definition of the illness, as well as advice on finding specialist doctors or appointing an solicitor for filing a lawsuit. Information can also be found on the websites regarding joining a support group.

In short:
  • The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos
  • Mesothelioma is normally diagnosed many years after exposure
  • Dedicated websites and groups are available for support and advice