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Lingering symptoms may be signs of a more serious problem

Various Louisiana shipyards employ tens of thousands of workers. In fact, some of those companies are among the top employers in the state. If you've worked in a shipyard, you might have been exposed to some form of asbestos. Actually, asbestos is a general term given to various naturally occurring mineral fibers. For decades, manufacturers used asbestos as a component in fire retardants, ceiling and wall insulation, roofing materials, pipes, and other things. The problem is that many people who have worked with such products have later developed cancer.

Whether you've already moved on to another type of job, have retired or are still currently employed at a shipyard, you might have heard stories about cancer survivors who determined their illnesses were asbestos-related. Mesothelioma is the medical name of one type of asbestos-related cancer that can affect different organs in the body.

Are there symptoms, and if so, what are they?

It can be very difficult to detect cancer in the human body. However, there are several types of symptoms that might alert you to a problem. Some of these symptoms are also often present in minor illnesses, which is why not everyone goes rushing to the doctor every time they feel sick. If one or more of the following appear to be lingering, it is typically a good idea to see a doctor:

  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Trouble swallowing

This list is not extensive but does name some of the most common symptoms associated with different types of Mesothelioma. Often, such symptoms do not present until the disease has progressed to a later stage. It can be very frightening to know you are not feeling well yet be unsure of what the problem is, especially if you've worked in a shipyard and have heard about others suffering illness.

Support available

If a doctor diagnoses you with cancer, you will likely face many challenges as you battle the disease. Treatments often cause adverse side effects, and your road to recovery may be long. There are many resources available for cancer patients and their families. Others who have trod the path before you have found solace and support by connecting with those listed below:

  • A priest, minister or other community faith leader in your Louisiana region
  • A trusted friend who is also a cancer survivor
  • A licensed counselor experienced in dealing with serious chronic health issues
  • A licensed life coach who can help you define your goals and work toward them
  • A holistic nutritionist and/or doctor who can help you explore alternative treatments
  • A skilled personal injury attorney who can clarify legal issues should you decide to file a claim

It's impossible to presume a particular outcome when it comes to fighting cancer. Medical care and living assistance associated with the disease is very expensive. Depending on your condition (which might fluctuate), you might not be able to work. Compensation can often be obtained through successful litigation that seeks monetary judgment against any parties deemed liable for a particular situation.

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