We Know Mesothelioma

How fast does mesothelioma spread?

On Behalf of | May 28, 2024 | Mesothelioma |

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer. It starts in the lining around organs in the human body and then begins to spread to other tissues. Often, it develops in the lining around the lungs (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum), but it can also begin near the heart or even the genitals in some cases.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is linked to asbestos exposure. It has a long latency period, meaning that it does not develop until decades after the person is exposed. At this time, mesothelioma is not known to have any cure. But there are treatments you can try to try to increase your quality of life after diagnosis.

Mesothelioma has a long latency period

One of the reasons that mesothelioma is so difficult to treat is that it takes so long to develop. Workers exposed to mesothelioma on the job and family members with secondary exposure could go decades without any symptoms.

It is common for mesothelioma to begin presenting symptoms at least 20 or 30 years after someone handled or came into contact with asbestos dust. Common first symptoms include shortness of breath, coughing, and feeling like your energy is zapped. While it often takes decades for someone to have diagnosable mesothelioma symptoms, they may go from initial diagnosis to fatally ill in a very short time period.

Workers with a history of asbestos exposure need to be aware of their risks and limit any potential other exposures. The same is true for their family members or roommates. Anyone who may have had workplace or secondhand asbestos exposure needs to ensure that their doctor is aware of that risk factor if they start feeling symptoms described above.

They also need to be proactive when they have symptoms that might otherwise seem minor, like a persistent cough that doesn’t go away. An earlier diagnosis may give someone an opportunity to undergo less aggressive treatment than a diagnosis that occurs after the cancer has spread or metastasized.

Understanding that mesothelioma develops slowly but may spread rapidly after that can help people at risk of this asbestos-related disease to make more informed choices. Those diagnosed with mesothelioma should take steps to pursue a lawsuit to hold the companies that knowingly exposed them to a very dangerous material accountable. The worst part of mesothelioma is that it is a preventable disease. If companies had taken precautions to prevent workers and their families from being exposed to the deadly dust, mesothelioma would not occur. The compensation you receive can help you and your family find some comfort and peace after receiving such a grave diagnosis.