If you’re one of hundreds of people in Pittsburgh and surrounding Pennsylvania regions who have recently learned they have mesothelioma, you likely have experienced a wide range of emotions regarding not only your present condition but your future, your family and more. You may have suspected that something was wrong for quite a while before your doctors diagnosed your condition; perhaps, you had a lingering cough or chest discomfort that was dragging you down.

Mesothelioma is an incurable disease and many people who have had similar experiences in the past felt frustrated and angry when they learned that it is often preventable and that employer negligence was the reason they were placed at risk. No matter where you are along your journey, there are support resources available to help you better understand your disease and also to know how to achieve the highest quality of life possible.

Second opinions and treatment options

You don’t have to take one doctor’s word for it if you think some other underlying health condition is causing your symptoms. You can ask for a second opinion from a physician who specializes in diagnosing and caring for mesothelioma patients.

Since there is no known cure for mesothelioma, the treatments most people receive are palliative, meaning they are meant to alleviate pain and provide comfort so that patients can feel as well as possible for as long as possible.

Stages of disease

Mesothelioma typically follows four stages of progression. When your doctor diagnosed your condition, you may have been in any one of these four phases of illness. The first stage occurs when a cancerous tumor is isolated to a single region of your body. If cancer spreads to a nearby lymph node or area, your disease reaches stage two. In the final stages of illness, mesothelioma cancer spreads throughout various parts of the body and ultimately affects your lymphatic system and major organs.

Setting goals

In addition to seeking medical guidance, you may also want to talk to other mesothelioma patients regarding any legal support they have sought in light of their circumstances. Personal goals are also high priorities, such as talking to your loved ones about your needs and hopes for the future and creating a plan that will help you obtain high quality care and enjoy life as you are able.

Asbestos exposure that led to your disease likely occurred many years ago. By speaking with someone well-versed in Pennsylvania asbestos-related injury law, you can glean insight as to how to compile evidence that will help substantiate your claim if one of your goals is to seek justice against those who were negligent.