Pittsburgh Asbestos And Mesothelioma Blog

What causes pleural mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer. It affects the cells in the body by altering their DNA. When the DNA is altered and damaged, it can cause the cells to grow out of control. That's what leads to cancer.

Asbestos is known as a primary cause of pleural mesothelioma. The patient must have breathed in the fibers of asbestos at some time, causing the fibers to pass into the lungs. They reach the pleura, and from there the fibers cause scarring and inflammation. Over time, this leads to damage being caused to the DNA and eventual uncontrolled cell growth.

Where is asbestos mostly found?

Many places in Pittsburgh are loaded with asbestos. The trouble is that you may not even know it's there. Since asbestos is a compilation of fibers so small you need a microscope to see them, it would be impossible to determine if you have ingested or breathed in asbestos.

If you worked in a Pennsylvania coal mine, factory or on a barge, you may be at great risk. There are several risks associated with asbestos, in fact. The more you know about these risks, the better. If you or your loved one becomes ill and a doctor says it's because of asbestos, it is critical that you understand the events that led to your illness and also that you know where to seek support.

End-stage mesothelioma: Know what to expect

Surviving mesothelioma is a challenge. It's a type of cancer that is fairly well understood but not able to be stopped easily. It's often discovered only after it has progressed significantly, hindering a patient's ability to get life-saving medical care.

In too many cases, patients receive the news that they're living with cancer and will be made comfortable, since it's all doctors can do for them. That's not what anyone wants to hear, but it's a reality for many people with mesothelioma.

Things to know regarding mesothelioma prognosis

If you get a cold or some other virus, the way your body reacts to it may not necessarily be the exact same as another person who comes down with the same illness. Therefore, if you contract a more serious illness, such as one related to asbestos exposure, your doctor will issue a prognosis that depends on numerous factors related to your individual case.  

Another patient may walk into his or her office with the same illness but walk away with a different prognosis. If you or your loved one have an asbestos-related disease, such as mesothelioma, it is critical that you understand the various factors that may affect your prognosis. Such situations often lead to litigation in Pennsylvania and other states, so in addition to understanding your own body's health, you'll also want to stay updated on asbestos litigation laws.  

Does your child's school have an asbestos management plan?

Pittsburgh contains many schools -- some public, others non-profit or parochial. The city itself and surrounding suburbs are beautiful and often include older buildings with intricate architecture that attracts artists and casual tourists who simply enjoy looking at old structures that have a lot of woodwork and complex designs.  

Sadly, however, if your child attends a Pennsylvania school, he or she may be at risk for asbestos exposure. Your school officials have hopefully executed a solid asbestos management plan. If you have no idea what that means, it's a good idea to learn more and also to know how to protect your rights and keep your child as healthy as possible, especially if a problem arises.  

6 kinds of asbestos can threaten your safety

When you hear someone talk about asbestos, you probably immediately think about the fibrous materials that are found in roofing materials or insulation. You may have learned about the dangers of asbestos in the past but not realized that you had actually been exposed. If you were exposed, you could develop mesothelioma or asbestosis, both of which can affect your health negatively and potentially become life-threatening.

Asbestos is not dangerous in every single product where it is found. Just because you see something with asbestos doesn't mean that you are at risk of developing mesothelioma. In fact, mesothelioma can only develop if you are exposed to asbestos fibers that you breathe into the lungs. The fibers burrow into the lining of the lungs and lead to scarring. The scarring makes it more difficult to breathe and eventually leads to cancer.

What is an extrapleural pneumonectomy?

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that spreads slowly over the years until it finally causes symptoms. Many victims do not know that they are ill until they are in the later stages of the disease.

While mesothelioma is fatal if left untreated, there are significant advances in medicine that can help stop the spread of the disease completely in some cases. One of those options is called an extrapleural pneumonectomy, or EPP.

When to suspect asbestos as a source of illness

When you suffer adverse health, it can be challenging to figure out what is causing your current condition. That's what doctors are for, right? However, even a doctor may have trouble forming a correct diagnosis if your symptoms include signs that intersect numerous types of possible illnesses. That's why it is important to be able to give your doctor a background, along with present-day symptoms.

For instance, if you show up at an ER with an all-over body rash, it would be quite helpful to attending physicians if you were to explain that you had been doing yard work earlier in the day or in your recent past and may have come in contact with poison ivy. The problem is that certain illnesses, especially those related to asbestos exposure, have symptoms that mimic other health conditions.

Asbestosis: Symptoms to look for

If you work in an industry where you may be exposed to asbestos, then you should be aware of the symptoms and signs of asbestosis. Asbestosis is a disease of the lungs that develops when fibrous asbestos scars the lungs.

Asbestosis generally originates from workplace exposure to asbestos. However, it can come from any exposure to asbestos in its fibrous form. The disease generally takes years to develop.

How vermiculite and asbestos are connected

Like many Pennsylvania residents, you may be familiar with the terms vermiculite and asbestos but not have a clear understanding of either. You may even have heard somewhere along the line that asbestos is a potentially dangerous material; however, that doesn't mean you are fully educated on the topic.  

There is a dangerous connection between vermiculite and asbestos. To protect your family's health, it's a good idea to research to learn more about the health hazards associated with these two products and to find out what types of resources are available to help you or your loved ones if you suffer an asbestos or vermiculite-related illness.  

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