Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from the protective lining that covers many of the body’s internal organs: the mesothelium. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.
Most people who develop the disease in Chicago or elsewhere in Illinois have worked on jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles, or they have been exposed to the dust and fiber in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos was used commercially in the late 19th Century. Its greatest use was incurred during World War II. Since the 1940’s, American workers have been exposed to asbestos dust and later mesothelioma was found among ship yard workers and people who worked in asbestos mines or with products that produced asbestos.
Before we knew asbestos caused this cancer, many buildings and other projects were constructed using this material. In the early stages, the workers did not know of the danger and wore no protective gear to protect them from inhaling this carcinogenic product. This type of cancer is normally unrelated to tobacco smoking, yet the combination can be fatal.
Pursuant to the U.S. Occupational and Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), state that a permissible exposure of limits, even very low levels of exposures can cause this cancer. Accordingly, asbestos should be eradicated completely. There are many different times of exposure that can cause mesothelioma, but it has been documented that even exposures of 1-3 months put people at risk.
The symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, weight loss, cough, chest pain, fluid in the pleural space, weight loss, cachexia, stomach swelling, trouble swallowing, bowel obstructions, blood clotting, anemia and fever. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest x-rays and CT scans, but a biopsy is the most common way to determine and discover a person with this cancer. The treatment includes but is not limited to chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.
The prognosis of someone with this cancer is not good. There is some improvement done by various treatments and the early stages of the prognosis, but cures are rare. Even surgery does not seem to be a viable alternative, and radiation is also used but is not very helpful.
Chemotherapy is the one treatment that has proven a survival rate. Nevertheless, and fortunately, mesothelioma is a relatively new cancer.
If you suspect you have been exposed it is imperative you seek an attorney immediately. There may be trusts set for these types of injuries. File a claim quickly in that money in these Trusts can run out and many companies have filed for bankruptcy, which could restrain you from securing any money. Specific professions where asbestos exposure is significant and sometimes not noticed include but are not limited to the following:
- Asbestos manufacturers;
- Factory workers;
- Automobile mechanics;
- Pipe fitters;
- Dry Wallers; and
- Construction workers;
- Ship yard workers;
- Navy Veterans; and
- Refinery workers.