Alton Mesothelioma Lawyers
Skilled legal help for asbestos injuries and harm in Illinois
Twenty-five years ago, we established our firm on helping injured people and workers. Over the years, many workers across the country were exposed to asbestos products. Asbestos was originally mined and used commercially for fireproofing, insulation, and sound absorption. Asbestos was popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century because of its resistance to heat and electrical and chemical damage. Workers would inhale and ingest asbestos fibers that would remain in the lungs and cause serious disease, including mesothelioma.
Even though the asbestos industry knew asbestos was dangerous as early as the 1930s, they actively engaged in a campaign to hide this information from workers and the general public. Because mesothelioma can take so long to take hold in the body – often up to two or three decades – employees and even their families still suffer the effects of this banned substance today. If you or our loved one has suffered because of exposure to asbestos or developed mesothelioma, we can help you find the help you need.
What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring minerals, resistant to heat and corrosion. Because of this, it was used in the past primarily in products like insulation for pipes, floor tiles, building materials, and vehicle parts. OSHA notes it also includes the mineral fibers “chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, actinolite and any of these materials that have been chemically treated or altered.”
There is no "safe" level of asbestos exposure for any type of asbestos fiber. Asbestos exposures as short in duration as a few days have caused mesothelioma in humans. Every occupational exposure to asbestos can cause injury of disease; every occupational exposure to asbestos contributes to the risk of getting an asbestos related disease.
These fibers are too small to be seen with the naked eye, but breathing them in can cause a buildup of scar tissue in the lungs, called asbestosis, resulting in lung cancer. Asbestos exposure can also cause other diseases, like mesothelioma.
What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is toxic, and the inhalation of asbestos fibers can cause serious illnesses, including mesothelioma. The Mayo Clinic gets into more detail:
Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).
Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.
Mesothelioma is also an aggressive form of cancer. Although there are treatments, there is no cure.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
The most insidious thing about mesothelioma is that symptoms don’t arise until nearly 15 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Unexplained weight loss
- Chest wall pain
- Abdominal pain
- Persistent raspy or dry cough
- Coughing up blood
- Appearance of lumps under the skin or on the chest
The Mayo Clinic advises seeing a physician as soon as you or a loved one notice a symptom that worries you.
Is there a treatment for mesothelioma?
Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, there are several treatments, depending on the type and the severity.
- Surgery, to decrease fluid buildup, remove cancerous tissue, or remove a cancerous lung.
- Chemotherapy, which uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Chemotherapy can be used on its own or post-surgery to help ensure the cancer doesn’t return.
- Radiation, a therapy which uses X-rays and protons to kill cancer cells.
- Immunotherapy, which uses your body’s own immune system to fight the cancer.
Other treatments may be available depending on the type of mesothelioma and the specific patient. The Mayo Clinic notes, “Clinical trials are currently investigating a number of new approaches to mesothelioma treatment, including new targeted therapy drugs and new approaches to immunotherapy.”
Who is liable for my mesothelioma claim?
With these types of claims, multiple parties can be liable. These claims can be difficult to litigate, as many people who develop mesothelioma do not get sick until decades after exposure. Liable parties can include:
- Asbestos processing companies and manufacturers
- Employers who used asbestos in their products
- Mining companies
- Raw asbestos manufacturers
- Asbestos shippers
Do you have a mesothelioma lawyer near me?
Glisson Law maintains an office at 111 East Fourth Street, Suite 400, in Alton, IL. You can find plenty of parking across the street and a bus stop right outside our office. Glisson Law conducts phone and video conferences when applicable, and makes home and hospital visits if you cannot travel to us.
Compassionate Alton injury attorneys
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. Glisson Law can help you access the resources you need. To schedule a free consultation, call our offices or fill out our contact form today. We proudly serve Belleville, Edwardsville, St. Clair and Madison County, and all of Southwestern Illinois.