Your Guide to Asbestos-Related Cancer

Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma. Keep reading to take a closer look at asbestos-related cancer. 

Image Courtesy

Your Guide to Asbestos-Related Cancer

Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of lung cancer and mesothelioma – one of the deadliest cancers with limited life expectancy. Understanding asbestos exposure and how it happened demands patients to reflect on their work history and environmental exposure. Asbestos exposure doesn’t lead to the development of cancerous cells within a month or even a year. It takes years of prolonged exposure to asbestos fiber to develop a deadly, life-threatening cancer. 

Before we dive into the complexities of asbestos-related cancer, let’s discuss what asbestos is and how it affects the human body. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring compound comprising six flexible fibers. These fibers are naturally resistant to corrosion, electricity, and heat, making them excellent for construction and industrial applications. 

Asbestos was widely used as a potent insulator across multiple industries, given its resistance capabilities. From constructing houses and building shipyards to manufacturing paper, cement and cloth, asbestos was used. However, as medical science revealed the health hazards of ingesting asbestos fibers, its use became limited and heavily regulated. 

Keep reading to take a closer look at the development of asbestos-related cancer. 

Asbestos Exposure & Risk Factors 

Asbestos-containing materials are widely used in residential construction, manufacturing, and industrial processes. It’s crucial to note that asbestos exposure primarily happens in the workplace, except for patients who ingest asbestos fibers at home. The majority of the patients diagnosed with mesothelioma include Navy veterans and industrial workers who ingested the fibers at work.  

It takes years of prolonged exposure to this hazardous mineral to develop the risk factors for a life-threatening condition. However, if your exposure has occurred at work, it’s crucial to demand accountability and take your employer to court. The legal experts at Simmons Hanly & Conroy, a leading law firm specializing in asbestos claims, advise patients to explore multiple legal options. 

Most patients develop asbestos-related cancer after retiring from work, making it difficult to trace the origins of their exposure. It’s natural for victims to feel overwhelmed by the idea of retracing years of employment history while processing a life-changing cancer diagnosis. We advise working closely with a law firm with vast experience filing asbestos claims and helping mesothelioma patients secure compensation, because mesothelioma cases need an expert attorney, due to the nature of the claims.

Suppose you served in a manufacturing plant where asbestos-containing materials were used to manufacture plastic. In that case, inhaling asbestos dust or ingesting fibers could have caused the mineral to get trapped within your respiratory system. Experienced attorneys deploy various instruments and strategies to gather evidence and help victims sue negligent employers. 

Over the decades, these trapped asbestos fibers harm bodily organs with severe scarring, inflammation, and DNA damage. 

Cancer & other Health Concerns 

Prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers makes the human body vulnerable to numerous risk factors by compromising the immune system. These hazardous fibers dismantle the body’s natural defenses against alien compounds by causing severe genetic damage. As the body weakens and deteriorates, it becomes vulnerable to scores of illnesses. 

Asbestos boasts severe carcinogenic capabilities that make it hazardous and damaging for the body. Asbestos exposure is the leading cause of mesothelioma, a rare and volatile form of cancer that progresses speedily and dangerously. Prolonged exposure also leads to the development of asbestosis, a progressive lung condition. People often wonder, what makes asbestos so dangerous that it becomes a catalyst for cancer? 

When we inhale or absorb asbestos fibers, our bodies struggle to remove them or break them down like other compounds. The microscopic fibers travel through the respiratory system, often hiding behind sensitive tissues in the lungs or stomach. These fibers damage healthy cells, replacing them with disease-ridden cancerous cells, inflicting severe DNA damage. For decades, asbestos fibers hide in plain sight, sowing the seed for inflammation and irritation. 

DNA damages cause severe genetic changes in the body, leading to the growth of abnormal, cancerous cells. Asbestos-related cancers like mesothelioma and lung cancer stem from the malignancy and prolonged damage of the ingested fibers. Most people develop mesothelioma and lung cancer due to protracted professional exposure. 

Research reveals that over 125 million blue-collar professionals worldwide are exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is responsible for more than half of all occupational cancer fatalities. Some patients also develop cancer due to environmental or secondhand exposure to asbestos-containing materials. 

Diagnosis & Clinical Manifestations 

Mesothelioma and other asbestos-induced cancers are sneaky, and they develop slowly, taking many years to manifest severe symptoms. Patients notice the signs when the disease has spread alarmingly, and cancerous cells are activated through the body. Asbestos-related cancers take years to spread throughout the body, setting the stage for widespread organ and cellular damage. 

The early signs of mesothelioma are similar to abdominal or lung cancers. It takes a mesothelioma specialist to dig deep and identify the underlying presence of ingested asbestos fiber. And unfortunately, many patients succumb to cancer fatalities before getting a chance to investigate deeply. 

Periodic screening is the only way to identify mesothelioma and catch it before it spreads throughout the body. Therefore, cancer specialists strongly advise professionals with a history of asbestos exposure to undergo regular screenings. It’s also wise to understand the symptoms to monitor your bodily health for unusual signs and risk factors. 

Mesothelioma typically accompanies severe respiratory discomfort, chest aches, shortness of breath, and coughing bouts. Patients also complain of digestive concerns, severe nausea, swelling, and abdominal pain.

Asbestos-related cancer damages the reproductive system, resulting in painful intercourse and dramatic menstrual changes. 

Many patients complain of throat discomforts, such as prolonged hoarseness and a chronic case of sore throat. These symptoms can often seem similar to the clinical manifestations of ovarian cancer. Again, such symptoms lead physicians to confuse mesothelioma with throat cancer. 

Diagnosing an asbestos-related cancer isn’t easy. Everyone must screen themselves for asbestos exposure and investigate their workplace environment for asbestos-containing material. Suppose you suspect that your work environment or history contains asbestos exposure. In that case, you can start a preventive care regime today with regular screening and an immune-strengthening diet. Therefore, patient awareness and preventive care are of the utmost significance. 

Final Thoughts 

Exposure to asbestos-containing materials or fibers sets the stage for numerous health complications, including cancer and respiratory damage. A mesothelioma diagnosis doesn’t leave patients and family members much time to devise a future course of action. Most families struggle to balance cancer treatments with legal battles as compensation helps patients ensure quality treatments. But then again, prevention is always an option. Before moving in, testing may prove worth it before any health risks of asbestos starts showing up.

Similar Posts