Not long ago, all kinds of industries used asbestos. This material was a staple of the construction, shipping, automotive, and mining industries. While federal law has changed regarding the amount of asbestos permitted in manufactured products, so that only minute amounts are acceptable, that does not help workers who were exposed decades ago.
Asbestos is a good fire retardant and provides superior insulation; but those qualities are not worth the deadly trade-off. Although a natural material, asbestos is extremely dangerous. Many of the thousands of workers exposed to asbestos through their jobs have developed an incurable form of cancer known as mesothelioma.
While many companies that have been deemed liable for the asbestos exposure of their workers have created trust funds for such victims, that is not true of every company. Some veterans of the U.S. armed forces, for example, were also exposed to asbestos during the time they served. Such veterans are eligible for compensation via the VA.
Patients develop mesothelioma primarily from inhaling asbestos particles. These microscopic particles collect in the lungs and may eventually cause malignancy. Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that develops in either the linings of the lungs or abdomen, known as the mesothelium. This tissue’s purpose is organ protection.
As mesothelioma progresses, victims may suffer from hoarseness, inability to swallow, weight loss, and more severe respiratory issues.
Symptoms may appear not long after initial exposure, or many years later. Unfortunately, early signs of mesothelioma may resemble a cold, for which most people do not visit a doctor immediately. Unfortunately, by the time an individual displays more ominous symptoms, the cancer has generally spread, or metastasized.
Mesothelioma treatment may include surgery followed by chemotherapy or radiation. Many patients succumb within several months of diagnosis, although there are a small percentage who have lived a decade or longer. There are new technologies and treatments that may prolong survival, but it is still a very tough fight.
Anyone who believes they experienced asbestos exposure should receive regular checkups. As with any cancer, the earlier the diagnosis – before metastasis – the better the prognosis.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you are under no obligation to tell anyone of your diagnosis other than your healthcare providers, although you should probably inform your loved ones. It is also wise to discuss your situation with an experienced mesothelioma attorney.
Many patients with mesothelioma appear perfectly normal until they become very sick. Chemotherapy and radiation, which can prolong life, are tough treatments; they might make a person appear to be terribly ill, but once they are completed, the patient may feel and look much better.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are suffering from malignant mesothelioma, you need the services of an experienced mesothelioma lawyer in Pennsylvania at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler. For a free consultation call 215-569-4000 today or contact us online. We help clients in Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania, as well as in New Jersey.