Mesothelioma still causes a lot of questions and guesses, even among scientists, because it hasn’t been fully studied yet. Common people are very misinformed, and even having some knowledge on this subject, still spread a lot of misconceptions. Not knowing true facts about malignant mesothelioma can play a low-down trick in the court, when a defendant will build his defense on wrong information about this disease. Not to get in that trap, if you faced the need to fight for compensation in the court, you should know the true information.
A very popular misconception used by attorneys and insurers is that smoking can cause mesothelioma. It is scientifically proved, that smokers and non-smokers have similar chances to get mesothelioma in the result of asbestos exposure. Here mesothelioma is often mixed up with lung cancer. These are not synonyms, and in case of lung cancer smoking increases the risk indeed due to weakening lungs.
Mesothelioma is not a synonym of lung cancer. It can develop in lungs, but it is a different disease. Pleural mesothelioma actually develops in the tissues that surround lungs, but not in lung tissue. Moreover, there are other types of malignant mesothelioma, such as peritoneal, pericard and testis mesothelioma.
In some period of the studies doctors considered mesothelioma as a contagious disease. But it was only a version that was disproved by the science. It is impossible to get malignant mesothelioma from some else. However, it is possible to become a victim of secondary asbestos exposure: a person is exposed to the asbestos that was brought around by someone else (on work clothes, hair, etc.).
Sometimes you can hear an idea that it must be a long-lasting exposure to let mesothelioma develop in lungs. There is no proof for this hypothesis, because scientists still haven’t defined safe and dangerous dosage of asbestos. Prolonged contact with asbestos often leads to mesothelioma development, but it can happen so that even a short irregular exposure can cause the same disease. Recent studies approve this fact.
Mesothelioma also do not select people of specific age, it is a myth that this is a disease of older people. Indeed, the latency period can last 30 years in average, and usually it is diagnosed in people near 60 years old. But this disease can develop at any age, including children. In case of children malignant mesothelioma is detected earlier, because the immune system of a child is not fully developed and gives signals earlier. As a rule, children are exposed to asbestos in secondary way (getting asbestos fibers from other people), sometimes school buildings can be the source of exposure.
According to statistics, it affects mostly men (about 75% of all mesothelioma cases are female patients). However, this is fully explained by the possible ways to be exposed to asbestos. The vast majority of exposure victims are workers from industrial plants, mines, shipyards, where women typically do not work. This forms such statistic information. However, women get mesothelioma as well.
Small survival rate and short life expectancy are typical for mesothelioma. However, it is not a 100% true prognosis. Today’s range of treatment and diagnostic methods helps to provide longer and more comfortable living with such diagnosis. There are cases of full recovery from mesothelioma, they are rare but they exist. Everything depends on the stage, efficiency of selected therapy system and psychological attitude to the illness.
Having maximally full information about malignant mesothelioma provides better understanding of the situation, when someone gets such diagnosis. It is highly important to be aware of the reasons, character and possible treatment options, as well as legal options for getting financial compensation for such difficult health problem.