The reality of asbestos exposure through talcum powder has gained increased attention recently in the court system. Civil suits resulted in notable case losses for company Johnson & Johnson, including one this April with an award of 37 million dollars.

Mesothelioma, a currently incurable form of cancer, can form due to exposure to asbestos over a number of years. When tiny particles of the substance get into the lungs and stomach through breathing and swallowing them, an initial irritation occurs that may turn into cancer later on. Many times it takes decades after exposure for symptoms to appear.

Asbestos exposure can be a result of:

• Using contaminated talcum powder

• Working in a mine

• Coming into contact with asbestos used in construction

Also, a household member of someone who brought home asbestos particles from work on their clothes has an opportunity to breathe in the fibers and also become exposed.

Disease Types and Symptoms

Mesothelioma can occur in tissue around your lungs, stomach, and more rarely heart or genitals. Initial symptoms may be pain and swelling in the chest or stomach areas. Coughing and shortness of breath are two other common symptoms. Tissue lumps under the skin and unusual weight loss can be two other signs of the disease.

Treatments

Since the disease is rarely curable, most treatments center around the extension of life for as long as possible. Options include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, biological therapy and gene therapy.

Since the loss of quality of life and increased mortality are two results of mesothelioma, it makes sense for someone diagnosed with this condition to explore receiving compensation from the entities that were responsible for the asbestos exposure.