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Mesothelioma is a rare cancer usually caused by asbestos exposure. The majority of people who develop mesothelioma have worked in asbestos mills, facilities that make products containing asbestos or related industries such as heating and construction. Family members or other people living with those who are exposed to asbestos may also be at risk, since the fibers can stick to clothing and hair. There is no relationship to this disease and smoking.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can include shortness of breath, chest pain, swelling, abdominal pain, weight loss – may not appear until 20 to 50 years after exposure. Standard treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. However, because diagnosis usually occurs so long after exposure, mesothelioma is often fatal within a short time after symptoms appear.

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult because the symptoms are similar to many other diseases. Diagnosis usually takes place with x-rays and a review of medical history. If exposure to asbestos is suspected then a CT Scan or MRI would be done as a follow up. Usually after that a biopsy would be performed to make a final diagnosis. Unfortunately there is no reliable screening test.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma and are interested in filing a lawsuit against your employer or other business responsible for your exposure, we recommend that you contact an attorney as soon as possible. There are time limits on filing these suits – usually two years from the date of diagnosis – and if you miss the deadline you won’t get a second chance.

If you want to file a lawsuit on behalf of someone who has died as a result of mesothelioma, the same time limits usually apply. If your exposure to asbestos was the result of being around someone who may have had the fibers on their clothes you could have a case too and the same time limits would be in effect.

Unlike other personal injury or potential wrongful death lawsuits, there are only a handful of Illinois law firms with substantial experience and success in pursuing mesothelioma lawsuits. All of these law firms charge on a contingency basis which means that there is no fee unless they are successful. In other words, you are best served by hiring one of these firms because they give you the best chance of success and it won’t cost you more money. If you are looking for a lawyer specializing in mesothelioma lawsuits in Illinois, please contact us at (312) 346-5320.