Pittsburgh Asbestos And Mesothelioma Blog

Asbestos injury: Symptoms that warrant concern

If you live or have worked in Pittsburgh or surrounding Pennsylvania regions, there's a chance you may, at some time, have had exposure to asbestos. As for the workplace, your employer has an obligation to provide proper training, safety equipment and information to help you stay as safe as possible on the job. As for home life, if your house's age is before 1978, it is highly likely that it contains asbestos.

The presence of asbestos doesn't necessarily mean you will suffer exposure and subsequent injury, such as mesothelioma cancer. However, there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, which is one of many reasons it pays to be able to recognize the symptoms of possible asbestos-related illness. This type of cancer is a terminal disease, meaning there is no cure, and symptoms typically worsen as the disease progresses.

Mesothelioma: Things to know about end-of-life care

If you're one of many Pittsburgh residents who are currently taking care of a loved one who is terminally ill, you no doubt have days when you feel fatigued, sad or completely overwhelmed. It's important to stay closely connected to others in Pennsylvania or beyond who can relate to your experiences and provide encouragement and support, as needed. The thing about Mesothelioma and other terminal illnesses is that treatment is palliative in nature, meaning it is meant to help keep the patient comfortable but doesn't provide a cure.

That's because there is no cure for Mesothelioma, asbestosis or other cancers related to asbestos exposure. As a caretaker of someone who is dying, it's important to be able to recognize symptoms that suggest the end of life is near. Such days or hours are an intensely personal and intimate time for patients and their families.

What to do and not do if you encounter asbestos in Pittsburgh

Many Pennsylvania residents are in the final stages of mesothelioma and other types of cancer, with loved ones and care providers doing their best to help them achieve as high quality a life as possible in the time they have left. Have you or a loved one worked in a Pittsburgh factory, steel mill, shipyard, old school building or other location that is a high risk for asbestos exposure?

Perhaps, you live in one of many beautiful, old homes in the city or surrounding Pennsylvania regions. Are you aware that there may be significant asbestos dangers lurking there? If you believe there is even a remote chance that you or your family might suffer asbestos exposure, it's critical that you know what to do, as well as what not to do, if you discover asbestos in your home or workplace.

Beware of possible asbestos in your Pittsburgh home

Pittsburgh is a treasure trove of beautiful architecture, from its famous bridges and stairs throughout the city to thousands of old, brick homes built many decades ago. If you are fortunate enough to own one of these homes, it is likely a delight to your family and friends, especially those who have a special interest in home design and construction.

Sadly, there is often a hidden danger in these homes and others in nearby Pennsylvania regions. That's why it's important that you learn as much as you can about the danger of asbestos as well as where it is  most likely to exist in your dwelling place.

Remembering September 11th: Victims and asbestos exposure

Of those who have faced struggles with asbestos in recent years, some include the workers who fought to save lives on 9/11. The attack, which happened 18 years ago, affected many of these first responders, causing them to suffer from serious medical conditions. Many suffer from chronic diseases and cancers, some of which are a result of asbestos exposure.

The World Trade Center Health Program cares for over 76,000 rescue and recovery workers who were at the scene among others. Over 50% of the people who are cared for have chronic medical conditions, with cancer being a major concern among them. Cancers of longer latency, like mesothelioma, are of current concern.

What is secondary asbestos exposure?

You've likely heard the dangers of second-hand cigarette smoke? If you're a baby boomer or older, you can probably recall a time when not many people knew smoking cigarettes was bad for their health. A few decades ago, that news hit the headlines after scientists and health experts confirmed that smoking cigarettes can cause lung cancer and other illnesses. In fact, you don't even have to be the one who smokes the cigarettes because the specialists also determined that secondary smoke is dangerous, too.

In Pittsburgh and other Pennsylvania regions, there's another silent killer that is dangerous to those exposed to it on a secondary basis: asbestos. You might wonder how one would even come to have an exposure to asbestos second-hand, especially if you've heard that most people who receive asbestos injuries suffer them in the workplace. It is well-known now that secondary exposure is possible, which is why it's critical to know where to turn for support if you or your loved one falls ill.

Are the number of mesothelioma cases dropping?

As someone who is now dealing with mesothelioma, one question may be on your mind: Are the number of cases dropping since asbestos is used less often? It's long been said that after those who were exposed in the past were diagnosed, the number of cases would decline.

It was claimed that pleural mesothelioma cases would peak between 2000 and 2005, since the majority of workers who were exposed would have symptoms by this point. The trouble is that the peak that was described did not happen.

Mesothelioma patients typically experience 3 stages

If you worked in a Pennsylvania coalmine, factory or shipyard, you might have been exposed to asbestos at some point in your career. Living in a home or going to a school that was built in the 1970s or earlier also poses a risk for asbestos exposure. Contracting an asbestos-related illness such as mesothelioma is not typically immediately apparent.

This is because it usually takes years for symptoms to develop. Once a doctor diagnoses your illness, it is likely to pass through certain stages. The more the disease progresses, the more specialized care and assistance you are bound to need. This is why it's good to know ahead of time what type of medical, financial, health care and legal resources are available.

Despite warnings decades ago, asbestos is still used in the U.S.

There are many important things to know about asbestos, including how significantly asbestos has affected people who have been exposed to it. Did you know that the U.S. is the only western industrial nation that has not banned asbestos? That's despite the fact that the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that asbestos is a carcinogen over 40 years ago.

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that one in three deaths that result from occupational cancers are believed to be caused by asbestos exposure at work. With asbestos still being used in the U.S., it's no surprise that many people are still affected by the diseases and illnesses that asbestos can cause.

Patients with mesothelioma may benefit from high-calorie diet

Mesothelioma is a serious form of cancer that develops as a result of asbestos exposure in the majority of patients with this condition. While there are a number of therapies that can be used to help address the pain and issues associated with the spread of this cancer, the majority of treatments are focused on improving a patient's quality of life and not on curing the condition. As of 2019, there is no cure for mesothelioma.

In a recent article from Cancer Updates, Research & Education, an important discussion about the impact of diet and nutrition on patients with mesothelioma was released. Having good muscle mass and a nutritious diet, it's believed, could help patients with this condition recover from the impact of treatment.

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