As you may know, Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which affects the lining of the internal organs of the body. Unfortunately, there are myths floating around about this disease, so at times it can be hard to separate fact from fiction.
In order to get the facts straight, here we will dispel 10 popular myths regarding Mesothelioma.
Myth #1 Mesothelioma Only Affects the Lungs
The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs. But this is not the only form of the disease. It is possible to develop these other forms as well:
- Peritoneal mesothelioma, the second most common form, affects the abdomen.
- Pericardial mesothelioma affects the sac surrounding the heart and is more rare than the previous two.
- Rarer still is are the two types which target the sexes: papillary mesothelioma in women and testicular mesothelioma in men.
Myth #2 It’s Only Caused By Extended Exposure to Asbestos
Despite the fact that it is possible to come in contact with asbestos and not contract mesothelioma, the EPA and other medical and scientific professionals have made it clear that there is no safe exposure level.
Because mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose and because it has a long latency period, it is possible for the general public to be misinformed about the actual dangers of any amount of exposure to asbestos.
The most effective safeguard is to minimize ANY exposure to asbestos.
Myth #3 Lawyers Exaggerate the Dangers of Asbestos
Because there have been such a great number of asbestos-related court cases recently, it may seem as though lawyers are inflating the truth a bit when it comes to the dangers of asbestos exposure.
The dangers are real, sadly. Mesothelioma seems to have no other cause except exposure to asbestos, so there is no reason to risk your health!
Myth #4 Only the Elderly Are At Risk
Because the latency period for mesothelioma can be in upwards of 20 years or more, it’s true that most individuals diagnosed are well into their 50s.
However, it is certainly possible for younger people to be exposed to asbestos and begin showing symptoms of mesothelioma much earlier.
The youngest person to be diagnosed with the disease was only 13 at the time, and the youngest person to die of the disease was a mere 28.
Myth #5 Only One Kind of Asbestos Exists
Although asbestos is used frequently without any further specification, there are actually 6 different types of silicate minerals within the asbestos family.
These minerals had been sought after for many years due to their versatility as they are resistant to flames, heat, chemical damage and electrical currents. They can be used in many ways, such as in fabrics or mixed with plastics or cement.
Myth #6 No One Uses Asbestos Anymore
Regulations have been put in place to limit the use of asbestos but it has not been banned completely. In fact, over 3,000 consumer products are said to still contain asbestos in some form.
Furthermore, buildings that were constructed before the regulations were enacted are allowed to remain intact and therefore may contain much higher amounts of asbestos than more modern structures.
Myth #7 Mesothelioma is Contagious
Because mesothelioma is a form of cancer, it is not contagious.
There have been cases of secondary exposure where a family member or loved one may have carried asbestos fibers home on their clothing, thus exposing anyone they came in contact with; confusion on this point may have contributed to this misunderstanding.
Myth #8 Asbestos Should Be Removed ASAP When Found
While mesothelioma can be a devastating disease & exposure to asbestos should therefore be avoided, if asbestos is found in a home or other building and is in good condition, it is actually best to leave it untouched.
The real danger comes when the asbestos fibers have begun to break down and form a dust which can be inhaled. This is when a professional is needed for safe removal.
Myth #9 A Mask Can Protect You From Asbestos
Most paper masks are ineffective against asbestos, so this one is partially true. There are masks specially designed for those who work with asbestos, though these are not as widely available.
Myth #10 Mesothelioma is Untreatable
There are many different forms of treatment to help manage the symptoms of the disease.
While surgery to remove cancerous tissue is typically best, depending on the level of exposure & progression of the disease, other, less invasive, treatments may work to give back quality of life for mesothelioma patients.
If you or your loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, or may have been exposed to asbestos, it is best to act now to ensure the best care is taken of your health.
We’re a Louisiana law firm that is dedicated to representing clients is this situation. We handle both state and federal cases, as well as other types of hazardous material cases, with the respect and diligence you deserve. Get in touch with us today to have your questions answered!