Here is how asbestos causes mesothelioma, a type of cancer that affects the lungs, stomach, or heart lining. When the asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs, they can enter the lining of the lungs or inner chest walls and cause scarring and inflammation. Over time, this can cause mesothelioma.
Currently, the vast majority of mesothelioma cases are caused by asbestos exposure. However, not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. Scientists do not fully understand this yet.
Asbestos exposure in the workplace
While the use of asbestos has declined, your former occupation may have exposed you to it. If you worked in industries such as shipbuilding and construction, you are at a higher risk. Suppose you regularly had or still have contact with asbestos at your occupation. In that case, you need to actively monitor your health and flag any symptoms that may indicate the development of mesothelioma.
Notably, mesothelioma takes years to develop, and in most cases, patients are diagnosed when it is too late. This is why you need to be proactive by having regular health screening. It is equally important to look out for the signs below.
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Back or chest pain
- Persistent or chronic coughing
- Unexplained weight loss, among others
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma following asbestos exposure at work, it is essential to get justice. It is considered an occupational disease, given that you were exposed in the line of duty. Since a diagnosis with the illness may negatively affect your quality of life, getting adequate compensation will help you meet the cost of managing the disease as you focus on recovery.