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Asbestos and Mesothelioma: What You Should Know

Apr 8, 2008
Asbestos and mesothelioma are two words that seem to go more often together lately. If you've heard of mesothelioma before, you'd probably know that asbestos has a lot to do with it.Here are some facts you may want to know about mesothelioma and the role of asbestos.

Asbestos Exposure

Exposure to asbestos poses the highest risk for mesothelioma. Around 80% of mesothelioma patients have been previously exposed to asbestos. This is the reason why some people alternatively call mesothelioma asbestos cancer. There could be a lot of ways in which exposure may happen. One of the most common ways however is through work situations. Employees who work for companies that use asbestos are the most at risk of developing mesothelioma.

There are however some patients who claim that they never have been exposed. There may therefore be some other risk factors involved. There are also a number of patients who may not exactly recall when and where they were exposed to asbestos. This is especially true for people who have indirect asbestos contact. The fibers of asbestos for example can be inhaled or ingested from objects like the clothes of people working with asbestos.

Appearance of Symptoms

Early treatment is often the key to increasing cancer patient survival rates. It is possible that the same can be true for mesothelioma. Many asbestos cancer patients however only learn of their illness when it is at an advanced stage. This is because the symptoms of mesothelioma seem a lot like the symptoms of other diseases. Mesothelioma symptoms can therefore be a bit misleading. Moreover, the symptoms may appear only after 20-30 years after exposure. By that time many patients do not expect it and may even forget that they have had some experience with asbestos.

Litigation

There are litigations on asbestos and mesothelioma. This is because an asbestos cancer patient may have developed the illness due to company negligence. It has been proven in decades old cases that some companies were actually aware of the dangers of asbestos and did not take steps to protect their employees. In recent cases, it may still be possible for some companies to have been negligent despite existing asbestos handling laws.

If you have reason to think that a company has been negligent, you can sue. It is possible that you were not warned about asbestos or a company's precautionary measures were not up to standard.

Prognosis

On the average, mesothelioma prognosis is not good. Based on average statistical data, a patient may not live beyond one year. This is not however an absolute figure. There have been some patients who have lived for more than five years. It is important to remember that your particular condition may not be the same as other people's conditions. Your hopes of survival are affected by a lot of different personal factors.

Asbestos and mesothelioma truly are interconnected. If you have reason to believe that you have been exposed to asbestos, you may want to ask your doctor about monitoring.
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Read more about asbestos and mesothelioma . Read about mesothelioma cases and how you can fight back.
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