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What is Mesothelioma? Hiring a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Mesothelioma Cancer Lawsuit Information

Mesothelioma (malignant-lung cancer) is caused by breathing loose asbestos particles or dust, which can then cause scarring of the mesothelium and ultimately cause cancer. Malignant-lung cancer (mesothelioma) is a disease where the cells of the mesothelium become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues and organs. The malignant-lung cancer cells can also spread from their original site to other parts of the body. Most Mesothelioma cancer can affect the lungs, heart, or abdominal cavity.

The mesothelium is a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. It is composed of two layers of cells: One layer immediately surrounds the organ and the other layer forms a sac around it. The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that is released between these layers allowing moving organs (such as the beating heart and the expanding and contracting lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures.

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The mesothelium goes by different names depending on its location in the body:

  • Peritoneum is the mesothelial tissue that covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity.
  • Pleura is the membrane surrounding the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity.
  • Pericardium covers and protects the heart.
  • Tunica vaginalis testis is the mesothelial tissue surrounding the male internal reproductive organs
  • Tunica serosa uteri covers the internal reproductive organs in women.

Most cases of mesothelioma (malignant-lung cancer) begin in the pleura or peritoneum. Because of the long latency period, a person may not realize that he or she has the disease because it takes 30 years or more to manifest symptoms. Even if there are some signs like a cold, cough, and chest pain the symptoms are so similar to pneumonia that they are often misdiagnosed. Once the symptoms have manifested, the lifespan can be as short as a few months.

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