As is the case in most states, exposure to asbestos threatens the health of thousands of South Carolina residents who live, work, or otherwise inhabit environments contaminated with asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring material that has been appropriated by myriad industries, who have used asbestos to make their products flame, fire, or heat resistant, sound proof, more durable, or better insulated. Unfortunately, this material poses serious threats to human health.
What risks are posed by asbestos exposure?
When materials containing this asbestos fibers are somehow compromised, they can send millions of tiny particles of asbestos into the air where they can be inhaled or ingested by people who are working or dwelling in the vicinity. When cancer linked to asbestos exposure enters the body it acts as an irritant and a carcinogen. Exposure to asbestos in high quantities or for prolonged durations can result in asbestosis, a potentially fatal lung disease, and mesothelioma, an aggressive type of cancer that is nearly always fatal.
Where is asbestos in South Carolina?
Two major South Carolina industries are known to use asbestos in their operations: shipbuilding facilities and power generation plants. People who work on or around ships may be exposed to asbestos on the job. Furthermore, this risk extends to their household members, who may be inadvertently exposed to asbestos fibers carried home from the shipyard. Workers and family members of those employed in power plants face similar risks.
South Carolina and Asbestos Disease
Unfortunately, people die every year from asbestos related diseases in South Carolina. In a recent 20-year people, for example, over 600 people died because of asbestos disease. Of these victims, mesothelioma accounted for of one-half of these fatalities.
Those who have been exposed to asbestos are advised to seek routine medical screenings to ensure health, because asbestos disease can take decades to develop following exposure to asbestos. The best place to get care for mesothelioma is with a cancer center where professionals have experience caring for those who have developed asbestos disease.
Individuals diagnosed with asbestos cancer may also wish to learn about the legal rights of mesothelioma patients and find out if they qualify for compensation for their injuries.
South Carolina Mesothelioma Cancer Hospitals
MUSC Hollings Cancer Center
Thoracic Cancer Program
86 Jonathan Lucas Street
Charleston, South Carolina 29425
The Thoracic Oncology Program at Hollings Cancer Center is made up of a diverse, expert team of thoracic surgeons, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, pulmonologists, radiologists, nurse, dieticians and social workers. All of them are dedicated to offering cancer patients the most cutting edge and innovative treatment options for all types of thoracic cancers, which include:
- Lung cancer
- Chest wall tumors
- Esophageal cancer
- Tracheal cancer
- Mediastinum tumors
The multidisciplinary approach at this comprehensive cancer center streamlines all phases of your care: diagnosis, planning and treatment. In one day, most cancer patients can receive personal attention from several cancer specialists and may be able to finish their diagnostic procedures that same day. Then as they work together with their cancer team, the staff will review all of the data and come up with the best and most innovative treatment options.
Some of the best treatment options are:
- Innovative radiation oncology, which can include stereotactic radiosurgery with the TrueBeam STx; or possibly a PET-CT scan fusion process will be used for more accurate planning for radiation therapy.
- Medical oncology, which uses advanced chemotherapy drugs after surgery to treat lung cancer.
- Minimally invasive thoracic surgery.
- Laser bronchoscopy, which uses a bronchoscope and laser to destroy cancer cells.
- Brachytherapy, using a bronchoscope to place radioactive seeds in tumors.
Department of Radiation Oncology
Medical University of South Carolina
169 Ashley Avenue
Charleston, SC 29425
The MUSC Radiation Oncology Department is the only NCI-designated cancer center in the state, which is part of the Hollings Cancer Center above.
Patients often are faced with tough decisions regarding how to treat their lung cancer or mesothelioma: surgery, chemotherapy or radiation. This center uses a multidisciplinary approach that will determine which is the best option for you and deliver it in the best way possible.
This innovative cancer center treats many types of cancer and tumors, including lung cancer and mesothelioma. For these types of cancers, the Thoracic Oncology program offers state of the art radiation oncology expertise, which includes PET/CT scan fusion.
Another option is the TrueBeam STx as mentioned above, which is an advanced technology that can provide greatly enhanced imaging abilities and many types of external beam radiation therapy which are very useful for many types of tumors. TruBeam is a highly accurate and effective noninvasive treatment for many tumors. It is a very important treatment option for many lung cancers because some of these tumors are too complex to treat with surgery. The precision of radiotherapy with this device is measured in increments of under a millimenter.
Some of the options with this device include image guided radiation therapy and intensity modulated radiation therapy. These technologies allow doctors to zero in on your tumor and shape the radiation beams to match the exact size and shape of the tumor. This type of accuracy and precision will allow your doctor to tailor your treatment plan so that you have better results and fewer side effects.
Legal Help South Carolina
If you have suffered exposure or cancer due to asbestos in South Carolina, contact for South Carolina Asbestos lawsuit information to learn more about your legal rights.