This coming Sunday marks the annual celebration of National Cancer Survivor’s Day, and mesothelioma patients and their loved ones are marking the event with mixed emotions. The celebration’s name suggests that it is specifically meant for those who have beaten cancer, and though event coordinators contradict this and say that it is an all-inclusive term, it still brings home the difficult fact that mesothelioma patients face a grim prognosis and a cruelly shortened life expectancy. Even with aggressive treatment, most mesothelioma patients live less than two years from the time that they’re diagnosed.
Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease is extremely rare, and is only diagnosed in about 3,500 patients per year. In most cases the patients’ disease is advanced: this is in part because the disease has an extremely long latency period – mesothelioma only begins to show symptoms decades after exposure to the carcinogenic material. Most mesothelioma patients’ exposure to asbestos occurred in their work environments, though in some cases people have been sickened in other environments or as a result of second-hand exposure from the clothing worn by loved ones who worked near asbestos.
The emotional impact of a mesothelioma diagnosis is often just as devastating as the physical impact. While patients are facing the disease’s painful and debilitating symptoms and undergoing invasive treatment protocols, they are also forced to come to terms with the fact that their disease was entirely preventable: had their employer or the suppliers that provided their employers with asbestos-contaminated products acted more responsibly, they could be enjoying the long life that they have been cheated of. Many are bitter and angry: others are more resolute, but still realistic enough to know that they need to take action to protect their families against mounting medical bills and an uncertain economic future.
Mesothelioma victims do have options and resources available to help them seek compensation and justice for the wrongs that have been done to them. These options include filing a mesothelioma lawsuit against the manufacturers who exposed them to asbestos, and filing claims with asbestos bankruptcy trusts against others. For more information on how you can get the help you need in exploring these options, call us at 1-800-966-2244. We are here to help.