Asbestos and mesothelioma: Everything you need to know

While asbestos can be found naturally, it’s still a harmful mineral used in consumer products. It can lead to different kind of cancers, including mesothelioma, a cancer of the lining of internal organs. So how do you know if you’re at risk of exposure? What conditions might you develop if you’re exposed often? What should you do if you have mesothelioma?

Here’s everything you should know.

Risks of asbestos

According to the National Cancer Institute, everyone is exposed to asbestos as some point in their lives. Fortunately, most people don’t get sick from their exposure to it. People who do get sick are usually exposed to asbestos at their jobs in industries such as manufacturing, construction and mining, among others. According to the Cleveland Clinic, people who were at the scene of the 9/11 terror attacks in clean up, rescue and recovery, are even more at risk of asbestos related diseases. The NCI notes that one of the risks of exposure is when small particles of asbestos are breathed in — over time, they start to cause breathing problems as they scar the lungs and cause inflammation.

Health conditions you should know about

The Cleveland Clinic identifies the symptoms of exposure to asbestos as: cough, shortness of breath, blood in the fluid you cough up, chest or abdomen pain, trouble swallowing, hoarseness, weight loss, swelling in the face or neck, loss of appetite and fatigue. Additionally, symptoms can show up years after being exposed.

Asbestos exposure can lead to diseases such as lung cancer, Asbestosis (swelling and inflammation in the lungs), mesothelioma, cancers in the GI tract, kidney and throat, and fluid in the lungs.

What to do if you have mesothelioma

Upon diagnosis with mesothelioma, people face a daunting road ahead. Treatment can include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. But one thing that can help alleviate some of the concern that comes with a serious diagnosis is to make sure your affairs are in order. If you have a mesothelioma diagnosis it may be time to contact a mesothelioma lawyer, who can walk you through your options. Mesothelioma lawyers are well-versed in the way companies try to get out being held accountable for exposing employees to asbestos and may help put some of your worries aside in making sure you get what you deserve. A lawyer is the first step to seeking justice to a disease that rears its head long after people have put in years of high-risk work, and potentially lead to a settlement.

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