Asbestos Exposure Illnesses

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Asbestos exposure causes a wide variety of illnesses, some considered fatal. There are, however, two more common diseases that are caused by asbestos exposure, mesothelioma, and asbestosis. Either inhaled or ingested, asbestos wrecks havoc on the tissue surrounding the body's internal organs, and on the lungs. The body can not breakdown the fibers, therefore the can become lodged in the tissue which causes cellular damage and scarring. Then, the damaged cells begin to uncontrollably divide, thus creating tumors. In addition, fluid builds up and membranes thicken which causes complications for nearby organs. Asbestos is the only known cause of both asbestosis and mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is the most fatal of the diseases that are caused by exposure to asbestos. It is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelium, which provides liquids so that the organs can move smoothly. Approximately 2,000-3,000 Americans each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma, of which 80 percent were exposed to asbestos in the work place. The symptoms for this disease often mask the illness, therefore, once diagnosed most patients are already in the late stages of cancer.

Warning signs can include a shortness of breath, or difficulty breathing, chest pain, dry coughs, painful coughing or coughing up blood. Fevers, loss of appetite, and weight loss are also some known signals. It is estimated that the average patient is 65 years of age, mainly due to ignored or latent warning signs. Sadly, the life expectancy for mesothelioma patients tend to be one year after diagnoses, with only 10 percent reaching five years. Many treatments are available and can range from traditional, experimental, to holistic options. Typically, physicians suggest a combination of two or more therapies, however it is a personal choice depending on how you would like to spend your time with loved ones.

Asbestosis is another common ailment associated with exposure to asbestos. Although it is usually not as serious as mesothelioma, it can be fatal if it is left untreated. This disease is characterized by shortness of breath to the point of making breathing difficult. For similar reasons, asbestosis is not typically diagnosed quickly. The symptoms can be compared to other, less serious illnesses, and many people do not report them to their doctors. If possible, early detection of this disease is crucial. Unfortunately, if left untreated lung damage, lung cancer, high blood pressure in the lung, and heart condition may result. Asbestosis is usually found in people who have worked in asbestos for an extended period of time.

In both cases, the risks of disease are three times more likely in men than in women. Also, people who smoke have a higher chance of developing both mesothelioma or asbestosis, than those who have been exposed to asbestos and don\'t smoke. Currently there is no cure for either disease, however the medical profession is attempting to make advancements every day at both palliative and curative treatments.

If you have worked with asbestos, you should consult with your doctor on a regular basis. If you are a victim of one of the many conditions that are caused by exposure to asbestos, then you should consult a lawyer immediately. There are many law firms that deal solely with tort cases. Thousands have already received compensation from former employers and the asbestos manufacturers for their wrongdoings. It has been proven in past lawsuits that much of the danger associated with asbestos was in fact known by administrators and manufacturers, and covered up to continue work. All diseases rack up medical bills, periods of lost wages, and levels of pain and suffering. During this time, patients should concentrate on getting and feeling healthier, and let the lawyers fight for the damages you deserve, and need.


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