Over the years millions of Americans have been exposed to asbestos at work, in their homes, and through secondhand exposure from household members who work with the mineral. Even though asbestos regulations have been in place since the 1970’s, thousands of people continue to be diagnosed with asbestos-related conditions every year. This is because these diseases often develop slowly, often taking decades to become symptomatic.
Asbestos has been linked to more illnesses than many people realize. Asbestosis and the cancer mesothelioma are not the only health problems that asbestos exposure can cause. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with one of the illnesses listed on this page, you may want to talk to your doctor about a possible connection to asbestos exposure. Please contact an asbestos lawyer of Williams Kherkher by calling 800-781-3955 to discuss your options today.
Common Asbestos-Related Conditions
Until fairly recently in our nation’s history, many people worked with asbestos and lived in homes containing it without realizing the dangers they were facing. Unfortunately, a number of life-threatening conditions have been almost exclusively linked to asbestos exposure. The most common illnesses associated with asbestos include:
Mesothelioma: This is a rare but aggressive form of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers the lungs, heart, and other internal organs. So far no cause for mesothelioma has been found except for exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, mesothelioma does not usually show symptoms in its early stages. By the time it is diagnosed, it may be too late for treatment to be fully effective.
This is not a reason for people with this diagnosis to give up hope, however. Every case is different, and some people with this diagnosis have lived for years or decades longer. More information about mesothelioma diagnoses and treatments can be found here.
Asbestos Cancer: When inhaled, asbestos fibers can lodge in the lungs, initially causing irritation and eventually causing scar tissue to build. Over time, the condition may worsen into one of several different asbestos-related cancers. Mesothelioma and lung cancer are the two most commonly recognized asbestos cancers, but they are not the only illnesses linked to this condition.
Click here to learn more about asbestos-related cancers, including their symptoms and treatment.
Lung Cancer: Lung cancer is a painful and dangerous disease that can be difficult to treat. While most people associate lung cancer with tobacco use, it can actually have multiple causes. Asbestos is one of the more common causes of lung cancer, particularly among asbestos workers who also smoke. To learn more about asbestos-related lung cancer, its symptoms, and its treatment, click here.
Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a chronic condition that can result when asbestos fibers collect in the lungs and begin to form scar tissue. It causes persistent shortness of breath, a decreased capability for physical activities, and an increased risk of developing asbestos cancer.
To learn more about the symptoms of asbestosis, and ways to manage this condition, see our asbestosis resources here.
Other Conditions Linked to Asbestos
Recent research has suggested that asbestos may be connected to more illnesses than health professionals previously realized. Health researchers are still trying to determine the exact relationship between asbestos and the following conditions, which could perhaps be caused or exacerbated by exposure to the toxic mineral:
- Breast Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
- Prostate Cancer
- Pleural Plaques
- Laryngeal Cancer
Most of these conditions carry better prognoses than lung cancer or mesothelioma. However, they are still life-threatening conditions that may require very costly treatments. The repercussions of these diagnoses can be felt by victims and their families alike.
Facing a Diagnosis
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, the associated risks and complications are no reason to give up hope. Researchers are working on improved treatments for mesothelioma and related illnesses every day. Additionally, there are a variety of social, medical, financial, and legal resources available to asbestos cancer victims and their loved ones.