What is mesothelioma?

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibres. It is rare, but aggressive, and often leaves sufferers with only months to live. The cancer is most likely to be caused by continuous exposure to asbestos, which is most commonly experienced at work, however even just one fibre is enough to cause it to develop.

The cancer affects the protective lining around all internal organs, which is called the mesothelium. Most commonly mesothelioma causes damage to the lining of the lungs, which can make breathing difficult for those who are suffering from it. In some rare cases, mesothelioma can also cause damage to a person’s abdominal cavity, which is where the stomach, small intestine, colon, rectum, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, spleen, kidneys and bladder are located.

Mesothelioma is a very serious illness that can unfortunately cut a person’s life much shorter than expected. It is traumatic for sufferers of the disease, as well as their close friends and family, to go through. The experience is often made even more upsetting by the fact that many mesothelioma patients had been exposed to asbestos fibres at work, which means that what they did for a living has actually led to them becoming seriously ill.

Can family members in the UK get compensation if a loved one dies from mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma compensation for family members in the UK does exist for those who have sadly lost a loved one to the disease. Obviously, no amount of money is able to take away the grief of losing a family member. However, for most family’s compensation can help towards unexpected costs when the person has died suddenly.

Mesothelioma compensation is always calculated very carefully, taking into account the pain, suffering and financial losses that the loved one suffered, and that the family suffered too. The amount awarded could cover funeral costs, legal fees surrounding the person’s will and estate, grief counselling, and wages lost to look after or visit the patient and to take time off to grieve, to name but a few.

Pursuing a claim against their ex-employers after a loved one’s death may seem strange, but it can actually help families along in their healing process. It can help people to achieve closure by getting answers, but also can alert close friends and/or family of the risks of past exposure to asbestos so they needn’t go through what their loved one did.

What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

Because mesothelioma can be so devastating, it is important to know what the signs and symptoms of the cancer are. The symptoms are almost identical to a less severe condition called asbestosis, so sadly a lot of people often don’t realise that they are suffering from something so serious. The main symptoms to watch out for include:

  • Dry coughing
  • Wheezing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty taking deep breaths
  • A fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue and tiredness
  • Persistent hiccups

Anyone suffering from a range of these symptoms should consult a doctor as soon as possible in order to get a diagnosis. Even if you don’t think you have ever been exposed to asbestos fibres, you could well have been without even realising, so it’s in your best interests to seek medical attention urgently.