If you have lived in or worked in Pittsburgh or surrounding regions for an extended length of time, you may have, at some point, engaged in discussion about asbestos, either with family members, co-workers or others. Pennsylvania, and this city in particular, are rich in industrial history; in fact, you may have parents or grandparents who worked in steel mills, shipyards or coal mines.
If you're aware of asbestos and the potential hazards it can cause to your health, you may also be familiar with terms such as mesothelioma and asbestosis, two incurable illnesses associated with asbestos injury. However, do you know that there are numerous other types of cancer that link to asbestos poisoning, as well?
Facts you should know
Just because you didn't work in a Pittsburgh coal mine doesn't necessarily mean you will never suffer an asbestos-related illness. If your parent or grandparent worked in such areas, as mentioned at the start of this post, you may have had exposure to asbestos in your youth, perhaps when your family members would come home from work wearing contaminated clothing. The following list shows various types of cancer that asbestos might cause:
- Ovarian cancer is a disease that affects women. Some people believe they contracted ovarian cancer after using certain hygiene products that may have contained asbestos.
- Most people associate esophageal cancer with heavy smoking or alcohol consumption. However, recent data shows workers exposed to asbestos are at much greater risk for esophageal cancer than those who did not experience similar occupational hazards.
- Researchers now claim there appears to be a link between asbestos exposure and breast cancer, as well.
- Asbestos may also be related to the development of other cancers, such as those that afflict the colorectal, stomach, kidney and prostate regions of the body.
There is still much that is not known about asbestos and its related potential health afflictions. If you believe you are experiencing adverse health symptoms that you think may have something to do with asbestos exposure, the sooner you seek medical attention, the better. While numerous asbestos-related illnesses are terminal, you deserve to obtain any and all treatment available to maintain as high a quality of life as possible.
Who can help?
If your doctor diagnoses you with cancer or some other asbestos-caused illness, you will reach a point where you need specialized care. Beyond your closest relatives and friends, you may also want to seek licensed counseling or talk to someone experienced in asbestos litigation, so that you can gain support as you learn to cope with your condition and also to determine if you have grounds to seek restitution for the injuries you suffered.