Pleural mesothelioma is a deadly form of lung cancer that’s most commonly caused by inhaling asbestos particles. This chemical was commonly used for insulation materials in older buildings. Since Pennsylvania has long had a strong construction industry, many local residents are aware of mesothelioma. In fact, 1.3 million workers in the general industry and construction fields are still at risk for job-related asbestos exposure, according to recent studies.
Asbestos is not the only cause of mesothelioma
Most people who have been exposed to asbestos, even large amounts of it, do not contract mesothelioma. However, asbestos exposure is the reason for nearly eight in 10 people who have the disease. It is also believed that radiation treatment for other cancers may be linked to mesothelioma since radiation can cause damage to the cells’ DNA, which causes uncontrollable cell growth.
Mesothelioma is difficult to treat
Since mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, few physicians are experienced in treating it. Oftentimes, patients have to locate specialists at major medical centers where large amounts of mesothelioma patients are treated. Also, completely removing the cancer can be difficult since it does not develop as a single tumor mass. Instead, it often spreads to blood vessels, nerves and nearby surfaces. Some patients may be advised to take non-surgical procedures to treat the disease.
Prior to 1978 when asbestos was banned in the United States, it was a common bi-product used in the construction of buildings. It was also found in a number of household items, such as textured paints, pipe and stove insulation, roofing shingles, and vinyl floor tiles.
Getting compensation to cover medical costs
If you were chronically exposed to asbestos, you may show mesothelioma symptoms such as respiratory complications, chest pain and shortness of breath. It’s important to speak with a workplace injury attorney about your circumstances. Depending on the details, a lawyer could hold your employer liable for negligence.