Though the use of asbestos has been curbed here in the U.S., Illinois residents may be living or working where there are old building materials containing this mineral. Auto mechanics can be exposed to it, too, since it is still used in brake pads and lining, among other things. Other times, one may risk exposure through the use of asbestos-laced talc products.

Mesothelioma and its different types

Asbestos fibers, once they go airborne, can enter the lungs and lead to the development of a rare, aggressive cancer called mesothelioma. There are four types:

• Pleural mesothelioma
• Pericardial mesothelioma
• Peritoneal mesothelioma
• Testicular mesothelioma

The first affects the pleura, or the lining of the lungs, and the second affects the heart. The third is connected to the peritoneum, the lining of the abdominal cavity, and the fourth with the membrane that goes across the testicles. Doctors may make further distinctions based on the cell type that mutates: epithelial, sarcomatoid or biphasic.

Symptoms can often be delayed

Victims may not experience symptoms until 10 to 40 years after exposure to asbestos, and by that time, their cancer may have reached an advanced stage. Though symptoms vary based on the type and severity of mesothelioma, they usually include chest pain, shortness of breath and nausea. Victims may also lose weight, sweat excessively and feel tired all the time.

Filing an asbestos-related claim

Whether you were exposed at work or through a household product, you may be one of the many victims who can file asbestos illness claims and seek compensation for their condition. Filing such a claim can be hard, especially if you’re dealing with an advanced stage of mesothelioma, so it may be wise to bring a lawyer into the picture. Check out our page on asbestos claims for more information.