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Mesothelioma Cancer and Claiming Compensation

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer. It is most commonly a result of exposure to asbestos but sometimes individuals who have had no contact with this toxic substance develop the disease. Why some individuals exposed to asbestos develop the disease whilst others do not is still subject to question. It seems likely that although asbestos exposure might be the initial ‘trigger’ a whole host of other factors such as genetics and nutrition come into play.


Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which principally affects the lining of the lungs (pleura) and lower digestive tract (peritoneum). It can take up to sixty years to develop and once diagnosed is extremely difficult to treat. Sadly most of those diagnosed with the disease die within 18 months. People diagnosed with asbestosis should be regularly screened for mesothelioma, as there is evidence of some link between the two.

There are three types of asbestos; blue, brown and white. Blue and brown asbestos have been linked to mesothelioma and their use has been banned since the 1980s. Whilst this is good news for today’s workers it is of little consolation to those of past generations. Many of the current mesothelioma cases result from exposure dating back thirty years or more and whilst asbestos is no longer used in industry and construction the legacy of decades of its use are still to play out. If you have been diagnosed with the disease you may well be able to claim compensation and there are a number of solicitors that specialize in this area.

The main thing you’ll need to prove is exposure to asbestos in the workplace so verifiable records of employment will be crucial. A recent ruling by the Court of Appeal allowed former employers to sue more than one company that they believed negligently exposed them to asbestos and caused mesothelioma and this has allowed claimants greater chances of success with their cases.

Unlike asbestosis, mesothelioma can result from light exposure to the substance and some people are believed to have developed the illness after breathing in a single fibre.