In Illinois and across the U.S., mesothelioma is a serious medical issue. Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that happens in the thin layer of tissue covering most internal organs. This layer is known as the mesothelium.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly type of cancer, and while there is no cure for it, various treatments are available. The more common types of mesothelioma include pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissues around the lungs, and peritoneal mesothelioma, which affects tissues in the abdomen. Rare forms of mesothelioma include pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affect the tissues of the heart and testicles, respectively.

Symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on the location of the cancer. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma might include chest pain, shortness of breath, painful coughing, unexplained weight loss and unusual lumps under the chest skin. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, nausea and abdominal swelling.

The primary risk factor for developing mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a mineral that is found naturally in the ground, and asbestos fibers are durable and resistant to heat. This quality made asbestos useful when products such as insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and other items were manufactured in the past. However, those who worked with asbestos-related materials, including their family members who were exposed indirectly to these materials, are now at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a serious form of cancer that can take the lives of those who worked with asbestos-related materials and their loved ones. Employers do not always provide their workers with adequate safety equipment, and this can lead to the development of mesothelioma. When an individual has developed mesothelioma caused by lack of protective equipment at work, a lawyer may be able to help them get compensation to ease the financial burdens associated with this cancer.