When years of factory work lead to stages of terminal illness

Factories were integral components of Pittsburgh's business landscape throughout the industrial age. Most families in the immediate region had at least one or several members who worked in a steel mill or other type of factory. Now, decades later, many of those workers are sick. You or one of your loved ones may be among them. From asbestosis to mesothelioma and other pleural diseases, in and beyond this city, there are hundreds of Pennsylvania workers who receive terminal diagnoses. 

Mesothelioma devastates lives. You might have a lot of chest pain, a lingering cough and severe lack of appetite, which leads to weight loss. If your illness relates to the work you've done in the past, you may want to talk about that with someone well-versed in asbestos litigation laws. 

Four stages of illness 

As with many types of cancer and disease, mesothelioma typically passes through four stages: 

  1. In the first stage of mesothelioma, you may learn that you have a tumor in one part of your body.
  2. As your illness progresses, the tumor may reach your lymph nodes. This is the second stage.
  3. Once the cancer spreads beyond your lymph nodes, you are in stage three.
  4. The final stage comes when mesothelioma has spread throughout your organs and entire body. 

In the beginning stages, doctors may recommend that you receive certain therapies or surgery to help treat your illness. In stages three or four, however, your care will likely be palliative, meaning to help alleviate symptoms and provide as much comfort as possible. If you need assisted living care, a spouse or other family member may want to learn more about how to provide for your needs; you can also look into outside assistance.

There is no cure for mesothelioma at this time. Many Pennsylvania families are currently dealing with the ravages of this and other asbestos-related diseases. There are support networks on standby to guide you through the litigation process if necessary. 

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