Asbestos exposure: Exploring your risk of cancer

Asbestos can cause some serious and life-threatening conditions. While this is a natural mineral and has applicable uses in everyday life, it's also the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Asbestos can cause diseases other than mesothelioma, though. Asbestos also has the potential to cause:

  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Cancer of the larynx
  • Ovarian cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Nonmalignant pleural and lung disorders
  • Pleural plaques
  • Benign pleural effusions
  • Pleural thickening

Many people are at risk of developing these disorders and diseases as a result of coming into contact with asbestos. Some factors that play a role in the risk of developing asbestos-related diseases include:

  • The dose of asbestos you were exposed to
  • The duration of the exposure
  • Individual risk factors
  • Genetic factors, including germline mutation in BAP1
  • The size, shape and makeup of the asbestos fibers you were exposed to
  • The source of exposure

It has also been shown that smoking, when combined with asbestos exposure, is particularly dangerous. Certain types of asbestos exposure, like being exposed to amphibole forms, are also more likely to lead to mesothelioma and other conditions, since that type of asbestos fiber tends to remain in the body longer.

Some signs of mesothelioma or asbestos-related conditions include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Hoarseness
  • Blood in the sputum
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling of the face or neck

If you have been exposed to asbestos and are developing medical conditions as a result, it's important to look into your opportunities for compensation. Many people who develop these disorders can seek compensation from those who exposed them to asbestos in the past. An experienced attorney can provide valuable guidance.

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