Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that was once commonly used in construction materials, insulation, and textiles due to its fire-retardant and soundproofing properties.
However, asbestos can be hazardous to human health when it is disturbed, releasing tiny fibers into the air that can be inhaled and cause serious illnesses. In Chicago homes, asbestos can be found in insulation, textiles, and even decorative materials such as wall coverings and ceiling tiles.
Asbestos Exposure In Chicago Homes
Asbestos can be released into the air in Chicago homes through activities like renovations, demolition, or repairs. When these activities disturb asbestos-containing materials, fibers are released into the air and can be inhaled by anyone in the home.
Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to serious illnesses such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis. These diseases can develop anywhere from 10 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos, making it especially difficult to diagnose.
It is important to take steps to limit exposure to asbestos in the home. Homeowners should be aware of where asbestos-containing materials may be located in the home and avoid disturbing them.
If asbestos-containing materials must be removed, it is best to hire a certified contractor to do the job. By doing so, the risks associated with asbestos exposure can be minimized and occupants of the home can remain safe.
What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the thin membrane that covers many of the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. It’s aggressive cancer that is difficult to diagnose and treat, and typically has a poor prognosis.
Symptoms of mesothelioma can include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a persistent cough. Diagnosis is typically made with imaging tests and biopsies.
Treatment typically consists of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation, although the effectiveness of treatments varies depending on the stage and type of mesothelioma.
Common symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, shortness of breath, and a persistent cough. Lesser-known symptoms can include fatigue, difficulty swallowing, abdominal swelling, and weight loss.
Other signs and symptoms that may be experienced with mesothelioma include fever, night sweats, and a general feeling of malaise. In some cases, individuals may experience a lump or swelling in the chest or abdomen.
Mesothelioma can also cause fluid to accumulate in the chest or abdomen, known as pleural or peritoneal effusions. These symptoms may be indicative of other conditions, so it is important to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Legal Options Available
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma you may be eligible for compensation from the company that manufactured your asbestos-containing products.
In the unfortunate event that the mesothelioma proves fatal for yourself or a loved one, you or your family can hire a Chicago wrongful death attorney and begin the process of filing an official claim.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options
Mesothelioma is a complex and aggressive cancer, and treatment options vary depending on the individual and the stage of the cancer. Surgery is a common treatment option for mesothelioma and can involve removing the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue.
Radiation therapy is another option and involves using high-energy beams to target and destroy cancer cells. Chemotherapy is also used to treat mesothelioma and involves using drugs to kill cancer cells.
Immunotherapy is a newer treatment option that involves stimulating the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. Clinical trials are ongoing to test novel new treatments for mesothelioma such as targeted therapy, gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Surgical options for mesothelioma include pleurectomy and decortication (P/D), extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), and cytoreductive surgery with hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC).
P/D involves removing the tumor and some surrounding tissue, while EPP involves removing the cancerous lung and part of the lining of the chest wall. Cytoreductive surgery with HIPEC is a newer treatment option that involves removing tumors, followed by heated chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells.
Radiation therapy is sometimes used to treat mesothelioma, either before or after surgery. This type of therapy uses high-energy beams to target and kill cancer cells. It can be used to shrink tumors or to help relieve pain and other symptoms associated with mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy is a commonly used treatment for mesothelioma and involves using drugs to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy drugs can be taken orally or injected directly into the bloodstream. Common chemotherapy drugs used to treat mesothelioma include pemetrexed, cisplatin, and gemcitabine.
Immunotherapy is a newer treatment option for mesothelioma that involves stimulating the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. This type of therapy is still being studied and is not widely available yet.
Clinical trials are ongoing to test novel new treatments for mesothelioma such as targeted therapy, gene therapy, and photodynamic therapy.
Targeted therapy involves using drugs to target specific proteins or genes that are involved in cancer growth and spread. Gene therapy is a type of therapy that involves using genes to help fight cancer by introducing new genes into cancer cells.
Asbestos exposure is a major problem in the United States that continues to rise as more people are diagnosed with mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure in their homes.
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma you should seek out a doctor who specializes in treating mesothelioma with minimally invasive treatments. If you believe you are entitled to compensation, be sure to speak with an experienced Chicago wrongful death attorney.