If you worked in one of the following industries, get tested for asbestos as soon as possible

By Treven Pyles

Posted on February 21st, 2017

People with a history of asbestos exposure need to undergo a periodical medical examination to timely find out about a potential disease they may have developed. However, only a specialized oncologist with significant experience in evaluating and treating asbestos-related diseases will be able to provide you with a precise diagnosis.

Exposure to asbestos can occur in multiple ways, from environmental exposure - if you live close to large deposits of asbestos - to inhaling fibers of toxic minerals in your own house since asbestos has been a very popular building material until the 1980s. However, the majority of people who now suffer from an asbestos-related disease such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis have been exposed to the carcinogen in the workplace.

Occupational exposure is responsible for most diagnosed cases, as employees who worked in certain industries had been in regular contact with very high levels of asbestos and oftentimes were not required to use protective equipment to prevent contamination.

Early symptoms of asbestos-related cancers are often vague and can easily be mistaken for signs of less severe conditions

The symptoms, which typically accompany a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure may not seem very distressing in the beginning, hence why the majority of people who are going to be diagnosed with a serious disease tend to thoughtlessly dismiss the initial signs or attribute them to a common respiratory condition such as bronchitis, asthma or pneumonia. Nevertheless, the severity of these symptoms will only continue to increase within the following months, and regrettably, a lot of people find out they are suffering from lung cancer or mesothelioma when cancer is considerably advanced. As the disease progresses, the number of effective and safe treatment options becomes lower.

While lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos is undeniably severe and difficult to keep under control, mesothelioma implies even more physical and emotional distress - it is significantly more aggressive and has a tendency to spread rapidly to other organs as well. Consequently, mesothelioma is generally associated with a poor prognosis and a life expectancy of one year or less, if cancer has reached the advanced stages. If you have a history of asbestos exposure and experience one or more of the following symptoms, regardless of their frequency or intensity, we strongly recommend you to get tested by a specialist, as you are at a high risk of developing an asbestos-related disease:

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • a persistent cough
  • fever
  • unintentional weight loss
  • wheezing
  • fatigue
  • abdominal pain
  • excessive sweating, especially at night
  • hoarseness
  • nausea
  • fluid buildup in the chest or abdomen
  • difficulty swallowing
  • loss of appetite

Occupational groups with high asbestos exposure

Over 75 occupational groups have been exposed to tremendous concentrations of asbestos in the workplace throughout the last century.

Annually, over 12.000 people lose their lives over asbestos-related diseases in the U.S.

If you had a job in one of the industries below, you should not postpone getting screened for the presence of asbestos fibers in your lungs, especially if you already have symptoms, as the risk of contamination is the highest for employees who worked in the following trades:

If you have a history of asbestos exposure, you need to periodically undergo asbestos screening and seek a second opinion if you already have a diagnosis

People with a history of asbestos exposure need to undergo a periodical medical examination to timely find out about a potential disease they may have developed. However, only a medical professional who specializes in diseases that occur as a result of asbestos exposure can assign you a correct and accurate diagnosis. Because the symptoms of diseases which stem from asbestos exposure are very similar to those of more common and less serious diseases and conditions, misdiagnosis is, unfortunately, a very common occurrence among the victims of asbestos exposure. You can first be examined by your physician, which should know about your asbestos exposure history so that they can take into consideration the possibility of a related disease. Nevertheless, seeking a second and even a third opinion is essential when it comes to diseases caused by asbestos exposure, as the rate of misdiagnosis is very high.

If you are a veteran, you can undergo asbestos screening at a VA medical facility, whose medical specialists should be able to determine if you have a disease as a result of military asbestos exposure. Nevertheless, your disease may also be mistaken for a more common one, since diseases which stem from asbestos exposure are rare, so you will also need to seek a second opinion for a precise diagnosis. Having a wrong diagnosis will not only affect your chances of receiving appropriate treatment for your disease, but also the legal right to recover compensation for your injury, as only certain diseases qualify you for filing a claim with asbestos trust funds and with the VA if you are a veteran. The following are the diseases which make you eligible for recovering compensation:

If, however, you receive one of the following diagnoses, you will need to undergo asbestos screening to determine whether asbestos fibers are present in your lungs, as these diseases and conditions do not qualify you for compensation unless there are asbestos fibers in your lungs:

Distinguishing between these diseases is undoubtedly a challenging task for medical professionals, even for those who specialize in diagnosing diseases that occur as a consequence of asbestos exposure, which is why you need multiple opinions concerning your diagnosis. For instance, if you have a disease that affects your lungs, such as pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer, you may receive a diagnosis of pneumonia, chronic bronchitis, asthma, or emphysema, as the symptoms are very similar. If you have peritoneal mesothelioma, you may be assigned a diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome, hernia, ovarian cancer, or ulcerative colitis. Thereby, seeking multiple opinions from medical specialists is crucial in receiving a correct diagnosis.

We offer free of charge asbestos screening to former industrial workers and veterans

With over 25 years of experience in diagnosing diseases that stem from asbestos exposure, our medical specialists provide asbestos screening free of charge to former industrial workers and veterans with a history of asbestos exposure. They will carefully examine your most recent chest X-ray to determine whether you have asbestos fibers in your lungs and assess the damage they have caused to the organs, as well as employ other tests and exams, such as blood and breathing tests, to assign you a correct diagnosis. To undergo a free of charge asbestos screening, you will first need to call our law firm to determine if you are eligible for one. If you are, we strongly encourage you to come to Birmingham, Alabama to undergo asbestos screening.

Victims of asbestos exposure may be entitled to file a claim

While seeking a second opinion is always a wise idea, getting evaluated by another specialist is vital when you have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related form of cancer.

Oftentimes, diagnosing mesothelioma proves to be an incredibly demanding and complex task even for the most experienced specialists due to its intricacies and low prevalence. Therefore, even if you think you might have found the perfect oncologist, looking for a second opinion could still benefit you in multiple ways. Our team of specialists can help you, free of charge, to discover whether or not you have reasons to worry about your health. We will examine your chest X-rays and let you know if there are any concerning abnormalities. Contact us for further information.

If you or a family member have been affected by workplace exposure to asbestos, you need to take action. To file a claim, you will only have to send our skilled attorneys your employment or military records, which you must retrieve, and your medical records. Our team is prepared to help you, offering expertise and experience gained over 25 years of working with asbestos cases. Contact us and we will help you file a claim in order to get compensated.