Mesothelioma has taken more lives in California than in any other state. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is essential that you have all of the facts up front so you know how to move forward.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium (a membrane that lines the inside of body cavities). Most cases of mesothelioma start in the mesothelium of the chest cavity. In mesothelioma patients, malignant cancer cells infect and damage nearby tissues and organs and can metastasize into other forms of cancer throughout the body.
Unfortunately, since mesothelioma is often not detected until it is significantly advanced, there is a relatively low rate of survival (between 5-10% on average).
The vast majority of mesothelioma cases are caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos, a mineral material that was widely used as insulation in various industries for many years.
Working with asbestos releases tiny fibers of the mineral into the air, which are then inhaled or swallowed. Because the fibers never decompose, they cause irritation continuously over years, which can lead to cellular mutations and cancer. This long process of irritation is why mesothelioma is often only diagnosed many years—often as long as 40 years—after exposure to asbestos.