The U.S. has banned asbestos in many products and industries, but the dangerous substance is still used here and in many other nations. That means there remains a risk of becoming ill from prolonged asbestos exposure.
Most people know about the possibility of developing mesothelioma, but that is not the only illness linked to asbestos. At-risk individuals with unexplained symptoms (persistent shortness of breath, etc.) need a medical opinion to confirm or rule out an asbestos-related condition.
What is asbestosis?
Although non-cancerous, asbestosis is a serious illness affecting the lungs and currently has no cure. Once lung tissue suffers damage and scarring from asbestos fibers, it cannot be reversed. Unfortunately, patients typically continue to worsen over time.
Physicians focus their treatment on relieving the symptoms of asbestosis, slowing its progression and preventing complications. Many suffering from this condition develop cancer or mesothelioma eventually, especially without treatment.
Can asbestos cause lung cancer?
Yes, it sometimes causes non-mesothelioma lung cancer. The main difference between mesothelioma and lung cancer is where it occurs. Mesothelioma affects the primordial cavity lining (mesothelium) in the lungs, abdomen or heart. Victims can develop lung cancer from exposure that does not affect the body’s cavity lining.
Does it cause other cancers?
Possibly. The American Cancer Society says studies have linked asbestos exposure to cancers of the:
Researchers do not yet understand this link or how these other cancers may develop.
What are your rights?
You may have the right to obtain financial compensation if asbestos exposure caused your cancer. A wise course of action is to explore your compensation options with a representative dedicated to helping asbestos victims.