Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but very serious type of cancer. Mesothelial cells line your lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs and create a layer of lining called the mesothelium. A tumor of that tissue is called mesothelioma, which can be benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). While genetic factors and environmental factors can lead to malignant mesothelioma, the leading cause of it is asbestos inhalation. Asbestos is a name given to a number of naturally occurring minerals that are resistant to heat and corrosion. Because of these properties, asbestos has been used in a number of products including building materials and car brakes. The problem with asbestos, as noted above, is that when workers are exposed to asbestos fibers, it can lead to a number of health problems including malignant mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is particularly problematic for residents of West Virginia because we have so many industries where workers are exposed to asbestos. As a general rule, if your job requires fire or chemicals, or you are involved in construction, asbestos is probably somewhere nearby and you may have been exposed to it. The fibers are microscopic so you may not know that you have been exposed, and the disease takes a long time to develop so it may be years before you develop symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma, it is important that you act quickly. Most sufferers of this type of cancer live only from 12 to 18 months. Do not assume that it was due to smoking or genetic factors. A competent West Virginia chemical disease attorney will help you investigate the true origin of your condition and help you take appropriate steps. Please call one of the experienced attorneys at Calwell Luce diTrapano PLLC at 304-400-6558 or contact us online to schedule your appointment.