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Why Are There Rising Cases of Mesothelioma in Women?

Legally Reviewed by Joseph P. Williams on September 18, 2021

Recently, there has been an alarming rise in mesothelioma cases among the female population. While the majority of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are still men, the rate of women with mesothelioma has steadily increased year after year. Researchers have linked this trend to an increase in secondary or indirect exposure from female patients’ male spouses or relatives.

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a terminal type of cancer caused mainly by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral with carcinogenic properties, meaning that it is cancerous to humans. Unfortunately, asbestos is found in millions of buildings, building materials and consumer products in the U.S. today due to manufacturers being unaware of the danger of asbestos until the late 1900s. Asbestos exposure remains a risk to many people.

Mesothelioma currently has no known cure. Someone who is diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma may have a few months to more than 10 years to live after the date of diagnosis, depending on the type of mesothelioma, the stage at the time of diagnosis and the patient’s reaction to treatments. Mesothelioma can be found in the tissues that line the lungs, heart, abdomen and testicles. Exposure to asbestos can also cause other diseases, including asbestosis, lung cancer and ovarian cancer.

Why Do Men Get Exposed to Asbestos More Than Women?

Mesothelioma is diagnosed in men much more often than in women. Statistics show that about 80 percent of mesothelioma diagnoses are men. Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma than women. This is because men are exposed to asbestos more often than women, especially in the workplace. Occupations that come with the risk of exposure include construction, heating and air, electricity, automotive, and shipbuilding.

Why is Asbestos Exposure Increasing in Women?

Lately, however, there has been a steady increase in the number of women who are diagnosed with mesothelioma. The numbers are rising due to an increase in secondary exposure to asbestos. 

Women are also slightly more likely to get exposed in the workplace, as they are more likely to take on physical labor positions than used to be the case. While secondary exposure is more common, this is an aspect we should not ignore. No one is safer from asbestos exposure simply because of their gender.

How Does Asbestos Spread and Make it to the Home?

Asbestos fibers or dust can cling to the clothing, backpacks, tools, skin or hair of male workers in high-risk occupations. Then, they are carried into a vehicle or home, putting others in the home at risk. In this way, women who are married or living with men who work in industries that expose them to asbestos are also at risk of developing mesothelioma through secondhand or indirect exposure.

Steps to Protect Yourself From Asbestos and Mesothelioma

The first step in preventing mesothelioma is being aware of this disease and its common causes. The more you know about mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, the better you will be able to protect yourself and your family. 

The second step is identifying if you are an at-risk person. Ask yourself if someone in your life, such as your spouse or adult child, works in an industry that may put him or her at risk of asbestos exposure.

Your loved one may be able to decrease their own risk of exposure by communicating with their employer about asbestos safety protocols in the workplace. Employers in the U.S. must obey state and federal safety laws for protecting their employees from asbestos and reducing the risk of mesothelioma. Improving the safety of your family member’s workplace will in turn help you avoid secondhand asbestos exposure at home.

If you are at risk, protect yourself by making your spouse or loved one take certain steps before entering the home, such as using coveralls and special shoes at work and removing them outside before entering the house. You can also hire a professional to inspect your home or vehicle for traces of asbestos, as well as to remove any asbestos in your environment in a safe and lawful manner.

How Can an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer Help You?

If you have been exposed to asbestos, you don’t have to worry about managing your legal issues alone. We recommend that anyone involved in legal proceedings works with a qualified lawyer, including in cases of asbestos exposure. An asbestos exposure attorney from The Williams Law Firm can speak on your behalf, complete and file paperwork, communicate with insurance companies, and level the playing field against other parties and legal representatives.

We strongly recommend you refrain from representing yourself during asbestos-related litigation, as there is a significant risk for you to lose compensation. Self-representation can easily lead to mistakes and unintentional adverse effects, but retaining a lawyer with sufficient experience can help ensure you receive fair representation. This is also a fantastic way to receive fair compensation for your losses and other damages.

Please speak with The Williams Law Firm at your earliest convenience to improve your odds of success. Giving your attorney sufficient time to dedicate to your case will help ensure you are represented as effectively as possible. This will also allow them enough time to collect evidence and documents, build arguments in your favor, and assess how to prioritize your personal needs.

Get Fair Compensation When You Work With an Asbestos Exposure Lawyer From The Williams Law Firm

If you have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma in New York, contact an attorney to discuss your legal options. You may be eligible for financial compensation.

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