Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelial cells, which make up the membrane surrounding many of the body’s major organs. Typically, the illness manifests in the lungs, although it can also appear in the stomach lining.
In 2014, 575 people in the country were diagnosed with mesothelioma, according to the Australian Mesothelioma Registry. A further 218 individuals had succumbed to the disease by May 31 last year.
A high majority of cases are linked with a hazardous substance called asbestos, exposure to which mainly occurs through an occupation such as construction or via building materials installed in properties.
Incidents of mesothelioma are particularly high in Australia due to the strength of the country’s mining industry, resulting in many workers being exposed to asbestos in the 20th century.
If you have developed mesothelioma, you and your family may be entitled to compensation. Unfortunately, the often-fatal disease has a short life expectancy following diagnosis, so it’s important to make a claim as quickly as possible.
What are the symptoms?
Pleural mesothelioma, the type that affects the lungs, has a number of symptoms that could indicate an individual has the disease. These include:
- Shortness of breath
- A persistent cough
- Weight loss
- Pain in the chest or lower back
- A high temperature or fever
On the other hand, peritoneal mesothelioma – which is a cancer of the stomach lining’s cells – more commonly has these symptoms:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain or swelling in the stomach
- Weight loss
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Appetite loss
However, mesothelioma is usually diagnosed once it is already at an advanced stage, which means the prognosis is fairly poor. The disease can be difficult to identify and may be confused with other illnesses, such as lung cancer.
Making a compensation claim
If you feel you are entitled to compensation after developing mesothelioma, you should contact a legal firm that specialises in asbestos-related diseases.
Time is often a crucial factor in mesothelioma cases, particularly as claims must have commenced while the sufferer is still alive in order to receive the maximum possible compensation.
With the best legal representation, you can ensure your loved ones are financially supported while you undergo treatment or in the event of your death.
While this is often a difficult time for families, a dedicated law firm will help to make the compensation process as painless as possible, giving you peace of mind that your case is in the right hands.