Due to the historical prevalence of Ohio jobs in industries utilizing asbestos, residents of the state are, unfortunately, likely familiar with the illness known as mesothelioma. Some may be wondering, though, exactly what it is. The good news is that malignant mesothelioma is very rare; the bad news is that this type of cancer is very difficult to treat and still affects approximately 3,000 people every year.
Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer, generally caused by exposure to asbestos, that affects the linings of the lungs, the “pleura.” Less frequently, the cancer may develop in the lining of the abdomen or around the heart or testicles. Chest symptoms are usually the first sign of the disease, with coughing, shortness of breath and pain in the pleural lining.
The disease is far more common in males, with a whopping 80 percent of cases occurring in men. This is due to the fact that male workers suffered asbestos exposure in their occupations; jobs like construction and factory work used asbestos on a large scale for decades, with some employers continuing its use even after the dangers and associated hazards to employees became apparent. Workers who were exposed have a likelihood of developing malignant mesothelioma of up to 10 percent.
While male workers were the most at-risk demographic, they are unfortunately not the only ones; family members or anyone who lived with someone who was exposed are also at an increased risk, as workers sometimes carried the carcinogenic fibers home on their clothing. The most tragic part is that, compared to other types of cancer, mesothelioma is almost impossible to cure and is nearly always fatal. Additionally, the necessary medical treatments are costly. Anyone in Ohio who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure through an employer’s negligence has ever right to discuss their options for legal recourse with an asbestos litigation lawyer, who can help them pursue claims for compensation for monetary damages like medical costs and pain and suffering.
Source: U.S. News & World Report, “What to Know About Malignant Mesothelioma”, Kathleen Hall, June 27, 2017