Pittsburgh Asbestos And Mesothelioma Blog

Mesothelioma: Identify it early for your best chance of survival

Mesothelioma is a difficult diagnosis to live with. Depending on the stage you've been diagnosed with, the goal might be to begin chemotherapy or to help you cope with the symptoms and make you more comfortable.

Mesothelioma is not typically considered to be a curable form of cancer, though catching it early may give you the chance of having it surgically removed. If not caught early, mesothelioma is aggressive and can attack the lining of the heart, lungs and abdomen.

Asbestos regulations that help keep you and your loved ones safe

Many Pittsburgh families, as well as those in surrounding Pennsylvania regions, are part of long lines of workers who have spent years of employment in steel mills, shipyards, on the railroad or in coal mines. The city is also rich with old buildings and beautiful architecture that often houses school children, churchgoers and various types of businesses. There are many amenities here that attract tourists and full-time residents as well.

Unfortunately, Pittsburgh also has hidden dangers. Especially if you or a close relative have worked in the industries or locations mentioned earlier, your family may be at risk for adverse health conditions related to asbestos.

Know what to do if you're exposed to asbestos

Asbestos is a dangerous mineral, but it is naturally occurring in the environment. Although it can be dangerous under certain circumstances, it can also have many benefits in industry. That's why it's not completely illegal to possess or use asbestos in America today.

The problem with asbestos is that it is dangerous when breathed in. Fibers can be carried into almost any environment after exposure by riding on the person's clothing or hair. Workers could technically expose their family members to asbestos, even if they didn't mean to do so.

Who is at risk for second-hand asbestos exposure?

When you go to work in a Pennsylvania factory, shipyard or railroad, you may be at risk for certain on-the-job injuries. In fact, most jobs include some type of personal injury risk; it's just that some are more dangerous than others. One of the greatest dangers in the industries mentioned here occurs when workers face exposure to asbestos. However, you don't have to actually be the one working in such fields to be at risk.

Non-occupational asbestos exposure is just as dangerous as exposure to asbestos fibers in the workplace. You can suffer injury if you live with someone who is exposed to asbestos at work, especially if he or she works around asbestos on a regular basis. If you have children in your household, they're also at risk.

What is the prognosis for mesothelioma patients?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer linked to asbestos exposure. The cancer affects the mesothelium, which is the lining of the chest wall, abdomen and lungs.

If you are exposed to asbestos or were exposed in the past, then it is very important that you know the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Catching this disease early can help you beat it. It's difficult to cure, but remission is often possible if it's caught in the early stages.

Asbestos exposure can cause illness in just a few days

Asbestos is a mineral that is used for many purposes around the world. In the United States, it has been used in products like insulation and floor tiles.

When asbestos breaks into fibers, it can be breathed in. This makes it dangerous because those fibers can scar the lungs, esophagus and other areas of the body. If that happens, a person might suffer from mesothelioma, lung cancer or other serious complications.

Hospice care: When is the right time to call?

Caring for a terminally ill loved one can be an emotionally challenging experience. You know that the time you have left with the person you love is quite limited, but you want to help him or her enjoy as high quality a life as possible in the time he or she has left. Part of caring for someone who has an incurable disease is learning to recognize when he or she needs added support, especially as the disease progresses and symptoms worsen.

Many Pennsylvania family members struggle with knowing when they can handle a situation and when it might be time to tap into some support resources. If you've been thinking about hospice care and are wanting to learn more about the services hospice programs can provide, then this post is for you.

Are clinical trials a good way to treat mesothelioma?

Although mesothelioma is considered a terminal illness, there are some options that you can try to treat it. One of the things that patients can look into is the potential for treatment through clinical trials. Clinical trials are wonderful options because these new medications need to be tested and could be the right medication to reduce the impact of mesothelioma in a patient.

Every trial is different, and it's important that patients take the time to educate themselves on the types of clinical trials they may be interested in. For instance, you may want to try a phase III or IV trial, since they are generally the safest and have been through tests previously. For people with little to lose due to advanced stages of the disease, a phase II trial may be better suited to their needs. Typically, phase I trials are only performed on healthy individuals.

Is your Pennsylvania job high-risk for asbestos exposure?

Where you work and how long you have been with a particular company may have a significant impact on your health -- especially if your job is physically demanding or dangerous, or is high-risk for hazards, such as exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is microscopic, but its effects on the human body can be deadly. There is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, so if you think you or a loved one may have dealt with exposure, it's a good idea to seek medical attention and keep track of your health.

There are certain types of employment that pose a much greater asbestos risk than others. The more you know about such issues, the better able you are to be proactive in keeping yourself as safe as possible on the job, as well as at home. In many cases where asbestos causes serious injury, it prompts litigation because employers are often liable for their workers' injuries.

Asbestos exposure: Exploring your risk of cancer

Asbestos can cause some serious and life-threatening conditions. While this is a natural mineral and has applicable uses in everyday life, it's also the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Asbestos can cause diseases other than mesothelioma, though. Asbestos also has the potential to cause:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Nonmalignant pleural and lung disorders
  • Pleural plaques
  • Benign pleural effusions
  • Pleural thickening
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