Diseases Caused by Asbestos

Diseases Caused by Asbestos

This blog is directed to those men and women who have worked around products containing asbestos and who were exposed to the various diseases that are caused by that exposure, as well as the families of those workers who may have contracted asbestos-related diseases as a result of having been around their loved ones as they brought these asbestos particles home from work. The majority of the people who suffer from asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, are in the trades and labors.   

One of the most problematic and dangerous effects of asbestos is mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer which may originate in the protective lining that covers the organs in the abdomen and chest. Unfortunately, there are around 4,000 people diagnosed each year in this country with mesothelioma. This thing called mesothelioma is not limited to any one race or gender, nor is it limited to young or old. It covers all the bases. 

The primary risk factor for contracting mesothelioma is the individual’s exposure to asbestos. Although some in the scientific field believe that even a single exposure to asbestos may cause serious medical problems, as a general rule, those who are most at risk are the individuals who have repeated exposures to asbestos for long periods of time. 

In addition to the people who suffer from “meso” who worked around asbestos products, their family members may also be at risk. Others who have been diagnosed with “meso” may have been exposed at their home or place of employment during renovation projects.  

The mesothelioma symptoms often don’t occur until 20-60 years after exposure to asbestos. The average latent period is 32 years after the initial exposure according to the National Institute of Health. In other words, a mesothelioma victim is often times exposed to asbestos 20-60 years before the diagnosis of mesothelioma is made. Symptoms of mesothelioma may be a painful cough, shortness of breath and weight loss. If you have those symptoms, then you’ll need to see an appropriate doctor. A competent physician suspecting that you may have some disease of the lungs or heart will, in all likelihood, order chest x-rays, CT Scans and perhaps biopsies. 

If you are unfortunate enough to be diagnosed with mesothelioma, then you would, in all likelihood, be provided with treatment options such as chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The purpose of chemotherapy is basically to shrink the tumor before surgery to make it easier to remove all the cancer, or to shrink the tumor before radiation therapy so the treatment area is smaller, thus subjecting the patient to less radiation. Sometimes after surgery, a doctor may feel that radiation therapy is necessary in an effort to try to kill any cancer cells that may have been left behind. The purpose of the surgery and the radiation therapy is to attempt to prevent the cancer from coming back. 

When arranging your treatment with your mesothelioma doctor, you should be prepared to ask the doctor a number of questions, including the following: What type of mesothelioma do I have? What is the treatment that you are recommending? What is my prognosis? Are there medications available to me as opposed to surgery and radiation? What will my lifestyle be like from this point on? How much will this cost? Are there any clinical trials that I can be put in to further my chances for a better life?

Finally, after you’ve met with your doctor, considered the type of mesothelioma that you are suffering from, decided on the treatment options and looked at insurance coverages and other ways to pay for the treatment, you may ask if there are any government or non-profit organizations that could help. The answer is yes, and you might want to contact the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services by calling 1-800-MEDICARE or 1-800-633-4227; the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213; the Veteran’s Health Administration at 1-800-827-1000; the American Cancer Society, Patient Navigator Program, at 1-800-227-2345; Cancer Care at 1-800-813-4673; or the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship.  All of these governmental agencies and non-profit organizations can be found at various websites, such as www.webmedicalcare.gov, www.medicare.gov, www.ssa.gov, www.va.gov, www.cancer.org, and www.cancercare.org.     

Finally, if the diagnosis of mesothelioma has been made, in addition to the medical, governmental and non-profit care that you will need, you may also need the help of one of the lawyers at our firm who can conduct an in-depth interview to determine whether you have a claim that will result in a monetary recovery as a result of your asbestos exposure that brought about the mesothelioma. There is plenty of blame to go around and there are still massive funds for compensation to asbestos victims!  


This blog is directed to those men and women who have worked around products containing asbestos and who were exposed to the various diseases that are caused by that exposure, as well as the families of those workers who may have contracted asbestos-related diseases as a result of having been around their loved ones as they brought these asbestos particles home from work. The majority of the people who suffer from asbestos-related diseases, such as mesothelioma, are in the trades and labors.