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Information on Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure in which malignant (cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium.  Those that develop cancer of the mesothelium have cells in their mesothelium that become abnormal and begin to divide without control or order. These cells can then invade and damage nearby tissues and organs causing severe health problems and death. These cancer cells can also metastasize or spread from their original site to other parts of the body causing lung cancer and other forms of cancer.

If someone you know has mesothelioma or other form of cancer related to Asbestos exposure, it is important that they get the best medical care that they can find and that the source of their exposure is stopped.  It is also a good idea for their coworkers and families that also might have been exposed to asbestos exposure through primary or secondary exposure to be screened for asbestos diseases. If you have any questions on mesothelioma or asbestos exposure, feel free to send an e-mail.

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure

Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles.  Still others have been exposed to asbestos dust and fibers in other ways, such as by washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos, or by home renovation using asbestos cement products. Unlike lung cancer, there is no association between mesothelioma and smoking.  The science clearly shows that mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers.

Mesothelioma is a relatively rare form of cancer, but reported incidence rates have increased in the past 20 years. Incidence of malignant mesothelioma currently ranges from about 7 to 40 per 1,000,000 in industrialized Western nations, depending on the amount of asbestos products used in the society.  The incidence is expected to continue increase in many parts of the world as asbestos products become more commonly used. 

In the United States between 1939 and 1980, approximately 30 million people were occupationally exposed to asbestos in the United States. Between 1970 and 2000, there was a large increase in the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma in asbestos workers and their families. Though many asbestos exposure mesothelioma cases have accidentally been misdiagnosed and all mesothelioma case have not been identified, it is clear that the incidence of mesothelioma increases with use of asbestos products and is becoming more common.

In addition to mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung ailment), and other cancers, such as those of the larynx and kidney.  Most cases of mesothelioma begin in the pleura or peritoneum. The pleura is the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity.  Mesothelioma may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart), or the layer surrounding reproductive organs.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of mesothelioma can appear 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. These symptoms include shortness of breath, chronic cough, coughing up blood, night sweats, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma.  Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites (a buildup of fluid in the abdominal cavity). Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

Mesothelioma can affect several areas of the body and can cause the following symptoms:

  • chest wall pain

  • pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung

  • shortness of breath

  • fatigue or anemia

  • wheezing, hoarseness, or cough

  • blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up

  • abdominal pain

  • ascites, or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen

  • a mass in the abdomen

  • problems with bowel function

  • weight loss

  • blood clots in the veins, which may cause thrombophlebitis

  • disseminated intravascular coagulation, a disorder causing severe bleeding in many body organs

  • jaundice, or yellowing of the eyes and skin

  • low blood sugar level

  • pleural effusion

  • pulmonary emboli, or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs

  • severe ascites

Shortness of breath and pain in the chest from accumulation of fluid in the pleura are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen. Other symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may include bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. If the mesothelioma cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, symptoms may include pain, trouble swallowing, or swelling of the neck or face.

Many of the above symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions. It is important to see a doctor about any of these symptoms. Only a doctor can make a diagnosis.  Please read below for information on the diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Diagnosing mesothelioma begins with a review of the patient's medical history to determine if the patient has had exposure to asbestos. A physical examination also performed, followed by chest X-ray and often lung function tests. The X-ray is used to determine if there is any pleural thickening that is commonly seen after asbestos exposure.  If there is pleural thickening it increases suspicion of a diagnoses of mesothelioma.

A CAT scan or an MRI and cytology is then done to determine if a large amount of fluid and or abnormal cells are present.  To study the pleural fluid a pleural tap or chest drain is done, in ascites with an paracentesis or ascitic drain and in a pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. If cytology is positive or a plaque is regarded as suspicious, a biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

The biopsy is performed by a surgeon or a medical oncologist (a doctor who specializes in diagnosing and treating cancer).  This surgeon or oncologist removes a sample of tissue for examination under a microscope by a pathologist. A biopsy may be done in different ways, depending on where the abnormal area is located. If the cancer is in the chest, the doctor may perform a thoracoscopy. In this procedure, the doctor makes a small cut through the chest wall and puts a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Thoracoscopy allows the doctor to look inside the chest and obtain tissue samples. If the cancer is in the abdomen, the doctor may perform a peritoneoscopy. To obtain tissue for examination, the doctor makes a small opening in the abdomen and inserts a special instrument called a peritoneoscope into the abdominal cavity. If these procedures do not yield enough tissue, more extensive diagnostic surgery may be necessary.

If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, the doctor will want to learn the stage (or extent) of the disease. Staging involves more tests in a careful attempt to find out whether the cancer has spread and, if so, to which parts of the body. Knowing the stage of the disease helps the doctor plan treatment.

Mesothelioma is described as localized if the cancer is found only on the membrane surface where it originated. It is classified as advanced if it has spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.

Mesothelioma Treatment

Treatment for mesothelioma vary depending on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and general health. Some of the more common treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and drainage of fluid.

Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The doctor may remove abnormal or cancerous tissue and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. Chemotherapy is the use of drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. 

To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. It is common to use surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and fluid drainage to relieve symptoms and treat mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Lawyers

If someone you know has mesothelioma or other form of cancer related to Asbestos exposure it is important that they get the best medical care that they can find and that the source of their exposure is stopped. If you have any questions on Asbestos Exposure or Mesothelioma feel free to send an e-mail.

As a Texas Mesothelioma Lawyer, Houston Mesothelioma Lawyer, Austin Mesothelioma Attorney, and San Antonio Mesothelioma Lawyer, Jason Coomer has worked on a wide variety of cases and has had the opportunity to work with and against some excellent mesothelioma lawyers throughout the nation including Alabama Mesothelioma Lawyers, Gulf Coast Mesothelioma Lawyers, Dallas Mesothelioma Lawyers, Houston Mesothelioma Lawyers, San Antonio Mesothelioma Lawyers, and Austin Mesothelioma Lawyers.  Assembling litigation teams of Mesothelioma Lawyers for the larger cases and building multimedia presentations for large trials, mediations, arbitrations, and hearings can be time consuming, but when you are dealing with a serious mesothelioma claim and the devastation that can be caused by asbestos exposure, the effort is worth it.  Individualized attention to a Mesothelioma Claim is extremely important.  Make sure that you have a Mesothelioma Attorney that knows your name and is familiar with your asbestos death claim or asbestos personal injury claim as well as your wants and needs.

If you have questions about asbestos exposure or a recent diagnosis of Mesothelioma, feel free to send an e-mail.

Asbestos Product Dumping

In addition to domestic exposure, some companies have taken asbestos products that cannot be sold in the United States and have sold the product in other countries.  This product dumping of dangerous asbestos insulation, asbestos block, and other asbestos products can cause serious problems including mesothelioma, lung cancer, and other health problems.  Texas companies that dump dangerous products in other countries and cause significant harm can sometimes be brought into the Texas courts to answer for their wrongful dumping and be made to pay money compensation for their wrongful acts.

Asbestos Products & Product Dumping

Asbestos fibers are strong, durable, and resist heat, acids, and friction. As such these extremely durable fibers have useful physical properties that have made them popular to be used in thousands of refinery, pipeline, shipping, chemical, commercial building, residential building, and industrial products. Below are just some types of asbestos products:

  • Asbestos Industrial Insulation - Asbestos product are used in chemical processing including refineries types of asbestos products including pipe insulation, boiler insulation and block, block insulation; sprayed in insulation; blown in insulation; thermal paper products; and electrical wiring insulation.  Typically these products are most dangerous when they are being cut, torn apart, or applied.  This is because asbestos fibers can be kicked into the air.

  • Asbestos Cement, Spackling, Patching & Taping Compounds - several different types of asbestos compounds have also been made including asbestos cement, asbestos caulking, asbestos putties, asbestos joint compounds, asbestos adhesives, asbestos tapes, asbestos thermal taping compounds.  These products are useful for thermal protection and help seal in heat.  The products are most dangerous when mixing them or when tearing them apart.

  • Asbestos Fireproofing Texture Products - several different asbestos cloths and textured products have also been developed including asbestos acoustical plaster, asbestos decorative plaster, asbestos textured paint, asbestos textured coatings, asbestos fire blankets, asbestos fire curtains, fire doors)

  • Asbestos Textiles and Asbestos Cloth Products (includes blankets, protective cloth coverings, garments, asbestos gloves, threads, cords, yarns, braids)

  • Asbestos Gaskets and Packing (includes high temperature gaskets, packings for industrial products, high pressure packing, asbestos packing reinforced with steel or copper wire)

  • Asbestos Tiles, Asbestos Wallboard, Asbestos Siding and Asbestos Roofing (includes roofing shingles, roofing felt, base flashing, cement wallboard, cement siding, ceiling tiles and lay–in panels, asphalt floor tile, vinyl floor tile, vinyl sheet flooring, flooring backing, vinyl wall coverings)

Asbestos may also be found in Cement Pipes, Elevator Brake Shoes, Cement Wallboard, HVAC Duct Insulation, Cement Siding Boiler Insulation, Asphalt Floor Tile, Breaching Insulation, Vinyl Floor Tile, Ductwork, Flexible Fabric Connections, Vinyl Sheet Flooring, Cooling Towers, Flooring Backing, Pipe Insulation (corrugated air-cell, block, etc.), Construction Mastics (floor tile, carpet, ceiling tile, etc.), Heating and Electrical Ducts, Acoustical Plaster Electrical Panel Partitions, Decorative Plaster, Electrical Cloth, Textured Paints/Coatings, Electric Wiring Insulation, Ceiling Tiles and Lay-in Panels, Chalkboards, Spray-Applied Insulation, Roofing Shingles, Blown-in Insulation, Roofing Felt Fireproofing, Materials Base, Flashing Taping Compounds (thermal), Thermal Paper Products, Packing Materials (for wall/floor penetrations), Fire Doors High Temperature Gaskets, Caulking/Putties, Laboratory Hoods/Table Tops, Adhesives, Laboratory Gloves, Wallboard, Fire Blankets, Joint Compounds, Fire Curtains, Vinyl Wall Coverings, Elevator Equipment, Panels Spackling Compounds, Automotive Parts, Elevator Equipment Panels, Ductwork, Electrical Panel Partitions, Electrical Cloth, Cooling towers, and Chalkboards.

Today despite OSHA regulations it is  estimated that 1.3 million United States employees in construction and general industry face significant asbestos exposure on the job. Heaviest exposures occur in the construction industry, particularly during the removal of asbestos during renovation or demolition. Employees are also likely to be exposed during the manufacture of asbestos products (such as textiles, friction products, insulation, and other building materials) and during automotive brake and clutch repair work.

If someone you know has mesothelioma or other form of cancer related to Asbestos exposure it is important that they get the best medical care that they can find and that the source of their exposure is stopped. If you have any questions feel free to send an e-mail to

     The and websites provide information on dangerous medications, bad drugs, dangerous products, toxic substances, and defective products that can cause serious toxic exposures, toxic deaths, serious diseases including mesothelioma & cancer, or toxic exposures.

       It is well established that many large corporations have profited from selling toxic products or products that cause toxic exposure without regard to the health consequences of the products.  Some of the most well known toxic products are asbestos products and bad drugs.  The asbestos products have been found to cause mesothelioma and several forms of cancer and other asbestos diseases, while dangerous drugs have been linked to death, serious heart problems, drug interactions, and suicide.  Other dangerous products that have been linked to serious disease include silica, chemical pollutants, lead, radon, EMFs, welding rodstoxic mold infestations and other environmental toxins have caused death and serious harm to millions.  In the work environment alone undisclosed and known toxins including asbestos, silica, and welding rods have caused occupational diseases and fatalities including mesothelioma, numerous forms of cancer, and Parkinson's disease.

     This web site was created by Texas Toxic Tort Lawyer Jason Coomer and is intended only as general information on some of the most dangerous products and toxic products that have been sold by drug manufacturers, medical device manufacturers, and asbestos manufacturers, or are in use by large companies attempting to profit and make money from the sale of dangerous products that can cause serious toxic exposures.  For more information on a dangerous product or toxic exposure follow the links found above, e-mail  an inquiry to, or submit an inquiry.

This website provides basic information on some well established toxins and some potential toxins that are best to avoid.  Overall, and recommend using the precautionary principle by minimizing exposure to potential toxins until they can be proven nontoxic.

            For more information on the or information center, follow the links on this website, submit an inquiry, email us at or call us at (512) 474-5577.


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