Throughout North Carolina and South Carolina, there are many people who have unknowingly contracted a terminal illness. In fact, they might be sick for years before they develop symptoms or receive a diagnosis. One illness that often fits this description is mesothelioma, which stems from exposure to asbestos. If you have worked in a factory, old school building or shipyard, or have renovated an old house or worked on a railroad, naval base or in an automotive shop, you are at risk for this disease.
Asbestos, which is a term that refers to a group of naturally occurring microscopic fibers, often exists in high volumes in such locations. However, this invisible and often deadly substance is in other places, too. It’s important to know how to recognize symptoms of mesothelioma and to make sure any physician you see knows that you have worked or lived in a place where there might have been asbestos.
If you experience one or more of the following symptoms, it’s best to seek medical attention to rule out (or diagnose) mesothelioma:
There are several types of mesothelioma that can affect the lungs, heart or peritoneal area of the body. Especially if you experience more than one of the symptoms at the same time, it is best to seek medical examination.
Sadly, there is no cure for mesothelioma. Any care or treatment provided is palliative, meaning that it alleviates pain and discomfort rather than eradicates the disease. This disease, like many other types of aggressive cancer, typically progresses through stages, until, in its final stage, death becomes imminent.
There are support resources available for families who are facing a terminal illness diagnosis. It’s often helpful to talk to other patients and their families. It is also a good idea to learn more about asbestos laws, particularly those that explain an employer’s obligation to inform workers of known hazards in the workplace, as well as to provide them with proper training and safety equipment to reduce the risk for injuries on the job.
There are currently many class action lawsuits on court dockets throughout the country where mesothelioma victims are seeking restitution for damages because of asbestos-related injuries. Defendants in these cases often include companies who manufacture or use asbestos-containing products.
If a company was aware of a risk and failed to inform employees, liability may exist if those employees contract mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses. In the meantime, support is available to help families provide loving care to their sick loved ones as they cope with terminal illness.