If you live or have worked in Pittsburgh or surrounding Pennsylvania regions, there’s a chance you may, at some time, have had exposure to asbestos. As for the workplace, your employer has an obligation to provide proper training, safety equipment and information to help you stay as safe as possible on the job. As for home life, if your house’s age is before 1978, it is highly likely that it contains asbestos.

The presence of asbestos doesn’t necessarily mean you will suffer exposure and subsequent injury, such as mesothelioma cancer. However, there is no safe amount of asbestos exposure, which is one of many reasons it pays to be able to recognize the symptoms of possible asbestos-related illness. This type of cancer is a terminal disease, meaning there is no cure, and symptoms typically worsen as the disease progresses.

When is a cough more than a cough?

The thing about mesothelioma and other asbestos-caused disease is that symptoms often do not surface until years after an initial exposure. This means the job you had 10 or even 20 years ago might have placed you at risk, but your symptoms are only now occurring. One of the most common issues that people suffering from mesothelioma experience is a lingering cough.

While every time you cough in life is not reason to rush to the doctor, if you have a recurring cough or one that won’t go away at all, it’s always a good idea to seek medical attention. It’s also important to tell your doctor that you may have had exposure to asbestos, if you believe that to be the case.

Additional symptoms associated with mesothelioma

If you ingest or inhale microscopic asbestos fibers, you may later experience abdominal pain or lung discomfort. Are you having trouble breathing? Do you feel exceptionally fatigued or have pain in your stomach or chest? These are common symptoms that might suggest an underlying asbestos-related illness.

Perhaps, you’ve recently lost weight without trying or have lost your appetite for food. These are also common symptoms of terminal illness. If you experience night sweats, fever, muscle weakness or fluid retention, it’s best to go to a hospital or your primary care physician to rule out mesothelioma or other asbestos injuries.

Beyond a diagnosis

Maybe you’re reading this from a past perspective, meaning you already had these symptoms and a doctor diagnosed you with an incurable disease that may have a connection to asbestos exposure in the workplace, school or elsewhere. Relieving symptoms and living as high quality a life as possible under the circumstances are no doubt your top priorities.

It’s also helpful to connect with others who have experienced similar asbestos injuries. In fact, many mesothelioma victims join forces to seek restitution for damages when they believe employer or manufacturer negligence was a causal factor to their injuries.