Most people know about the primary asbestos-related diseases that people suffer from. Those include illnesses like mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis. What they may not realize is that there are many other illnesses that could be developed as a result of exposure to asbestos. Any of these may be compensable once diagnosed.
Asbestos exposure should be taken seriously. If you are told that you’ve been exposed, you should inform your primary care provider and note the date of the exposure in your medical records. If you find out later that an exposure might have occurred, keep track of that information and talk to your medical provider about the signs of illness that you should be watching for.
The illnesses that asbestos exposure can cause
Some of the kinds of illnesses that might be experienced after exposure to asbestos include:
- Lung cancer
- Pleural plaques
- Thickening of the tissues around the lungs
- Pleural effusion
Interestingly, mesothelioma can affect multiple parts of the body, not just the lungs. For example, you could develop a pleural, pericardial, peritoneal or testicular form. That means that your heart, abdomen and testis could be impacted if asbestos has traveled to those regions.
It’s also important to note that exposure to asbestos tends not to cause problems right away, but it can. Within the first or second exposure, it’s possible to start developing symptoms like shortness of breath or chest pain. This isn’t particularly common, but it is possible, especially in those with preexisting lung conditions who may be sensitive to exposure.
Asbestos-related diseases should be taken seriously
It is vital that your exposure to asbestos is taken seriously. Asbestos-related diseases may not start to affect you for several decades, but the asbestos in your body may be doing damage already. Early diagnosis of these conditions may help you get better treatment that helps slow further damage and increases your likelihood of living with a good quality of life. If you begin to have symptoms, see your medical provider right away, so you can get started with tests to identify the cause and to determine the appropriate treatment.