If you have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma within the last 3 years and it is associated with Asbestos Exposure from your past or present employment then contact LPS today.
LPS has dedicated Industrial Disease solicitors that have helped thousands of people successfully claim compensation. We aim to the maximum amount of compensation available for your claim using our No Win No Fee claims process.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer of the Mesothelium (the mesothelium covers the outer surface of most of our internal organs). Most malignant mesothelioma cases occur in the tissues covering the Lungs (pleura) and Abdomen. Mesothelioma is a rare tumor and is highly associated with Asbestos exposure. However benign Mesothelioma is not associated with Asbestos.
Exposure to Asbestos is the only known cause of Malignant Mesothelioma and symptoms may not appear for many years (20-50 years) after the initial Asbestos exposure.
A link between Asbestos exposure and Mesothelioma has been known since the early 18th Century. Almost as many as 8 out of 10 people diagnosed with Mesothelioma report exposure to Asbestos.
Who does it effect?
Mesothelioma can occur in anyone in a position or work environment where breathing in of asbestos fibres could have occurred. This includes those who worked extensively with asbestos for example repairing boilers, demolishing buildings, and asbestos removal workers.
Onset of Mesothelioma is slow and the exposure to asbestos will have occurred many years prior to illness.
Signs & Symptoms
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall), chest wall pain and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected based on chest X-ray and CT scan findings, but must be confirmed either by examining serous effusion cytology or with a biopsy (removing a sample of the suspicious tissue).
A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to acquire biopsy material, and allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (a procedure called pleurodesis), preventing more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, mesothelioma carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.
Symptoms or signs of mesothelioma may not appear until 20 to 50 years (or more) after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space (pleural effusion) are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.
Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a build-up of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anaemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.
Mesothelioma that affects the pleura can cause these signs and symptoms:
- Chest wall pain
- Pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung
- Shortness of breath
- Fatigue or anaemia
- Wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
- Blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up (haemoptysis)
In severe cases, the person may have many tumour masses. The individual may develop a pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread to other parts of the body.
Tumours that affect the abdominal cavity often do not cause symptoms until they are at a late stage. Symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Ascites, or an abnormal build-up of fluid in the abdomen
- A mass in the abdomen
- Problems with bowel function
- Weight loss
In severe cases of the disease, the following signs and symptoms may be present:
- Blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis
- Disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs
- Jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Low blood sugar level
- Pleural effusion
- Pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
- Severe ascites
A mesothelioma does not usually spread to the bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumours are usually found only on one side of the lungs.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. In the UK, asbestos is the major cause of malignant mesotheliomaand has been considered “indisputably” associated with the development of mesothelioma. Indeed, the relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is so strong that many consider mesothelioma a “signal” or “sentinel” tumour.
The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states formally that any threshold for exposure to asbestos must be at a very low level and it is widely agreed that if any such threshold does exist at all, then it cannot currently be quantified. For practical purposes, therefore, HSE assumes that no such “safe” threshold exists. Others have noted as well that there is no evidence of a threshold level below which there is no risk of mesothelioma. There appears to be a linear, dose-response relationship, with increasing dose producing increasing disease. Nevertheless, mesothelioma may be related to brief, low level or indirect exposures to asbestos. The dose necessary for effect appears to be lower for asbestos-induced mesothelioma than for pulmonary asbestosis or lung cancer. Again, there is no known safe level of exposure to asbestos as it relates to increased risk of mesothelioma.
The duration of exposure to asbestos causing mesothelioma can be short. For example, cases of mesothelioma have been documented with only 1–3 months of exposure. People who work with asbestos wear personal protective equipment to lower their risk of exposure.
Time limits for Asbestos claims
The time limit for mesothelioma compensation claims is either three years from the condition being diagnosed by a medical professional or three years from the death of the victim. This means it’s still possible to claim even if exposure occurred many years ago.
Who can I bring an Asbestos claim against?
It is possible to bring a claim for compensation against employers or their insurers for asbestos related conditions, even where employment has ended or the employer is no longer in existence. We are often able to trace the relevant employer’s liability insurer and pursue them directly.
Making your claim for Mesothelioma
If you believe you are suffering from Mesothelioma or have been diagnosed with it you may able to claim compensation. Contact LPS we work on a No Win No Fee basis so call our Industrial Disease solicitors today on 0800 996 1807, text 4myclaim to 88802, chat to us online or complete our short form now.