For most people now asbestos is something from the past that was dangerous, but are not worried about now. This isn’t true though; there are many still suffering from the effects during its use and stories of people finding it during building work even today.
The diseases that are related to asbestos are very debilitating and often terminal. As the disease becomes apparent many years after initial exposure, it often builds upon existing health problems too. For those who are diagnosed with the disease it is a good idea to file an asbestos compensation claim straight away to speed through the process. It may not be the first thing that is thought about after a diagnosis, but the money gained can help a lot with care during the later stages of asbestos related illnesses.
There are a few diseases directly linked to asbestos exposure:
Mesothelioma: This is a form of cancer that is almost solely caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease develops when malignant cells develop in the mesothelioma, which is a protective lining that covers the body’s internal organs. This happens mostly in the pleura (lining between the lungs and the internal chest wall), but can also occur around the heart, peritoneum (around the abdominal cavity) or pericardium (a sac that surrounds the heart).
Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a chronic inflammatory condition that affects the tissue of the lungs. It occurs mostly after long, heavy exposure to asbestos fibres. It is considered an occupational lung disease. Sufferers of asbestosis have severe dyspnea (shortness of breath) and increased risk of different types of lung cancer. The primary symptom of asbestosis is shortness of breath; in severe cases this can lead to repertory failure. Coughing is not usually a symptom of the disease itself, but through other complaints it can easily aggravate the lungs and exacerbate existing conditions.
Lung Cancer:This is a disease of uncontrolled cell growth in tissue in the lung. Lung cancer is the most common form of cancer in men and the second most common in women and is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide each year. The most common symptoms are coughing, shortness of breath, coughing up blood and weight loss.
Pleural Thickening and Scarring:When asbestos particles are breathed in, they bypass the lungs filtration system due to the fact they are so small. This causes the areas around the lungs to become inflamed of scarred. This creates a layer of density between the lungs and the chest wall, which can impair breathing. If it builds up, it can cause the cells to become cancerous which can then lead to mesothelioma.
If you know you have been exposed to asbestos in the past, it is a good idea to keep regular checkups with your doctor, so that you can be diagnosed early should the worst happen.