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If You Worked in One of the Following Industries, Get Tested for Asbestos as Soon as Possible

By Shaniqua Williams

Posted on February 21st, 2017

Multiple tests and examination procedures are required for a reliable diagnosis and 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 Cancer 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:

High Risk Asbestos Industries

If You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos You Need to Regularly Get Tested

Distinguishing between very similar forms of cancer such as pleural mesothelioma and lung cancer is incredibly challenging and sometimes, your first specialist will suggest you get a second opinion themselves. The rate of misdiagnosis is unfortunately very high when it comes to mesothelioma and not few are the people who regret not having consulted a second expert sooner. A second opinion may allow you access to more efficient and appropriate treatment options if you had been diagnosed with a wrong disease and can thereby improve your prognosis to a great extent or even lead to the remission of cancer if it is timely discovered.

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer, with only 3,000 new cases every year. For this reason, the majority of oncologists will not come across any patient suffering from this malignant disease throughout their practice. Additionally, mesothelioma is extremely challenging to diagnose and accurately assess even for specialists, as there are not many cases documented in the medical literature. Multiple tests and examination procedures are required for a reliable diagnosis and only a specialized oncologist with significant experience in evaluating and treating asbestos-related diseases will be able to provide you with a precise diagnosis.

We are aware that, considering the low prevalence of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, the number of medical experts is not very high. Nevertheless, you can still find the best specialists in asbestos disease in your area by accessing online resources which provide you with essential information regarding your potential oncologist, from their primary areas of expertise to how many years of medical experience they have. All you have to do is enter your ZIP code and you will be shown a list of all specialists who currently practice in your state.

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. All you need to do is send us your latest chest x-rays and we will analyze it 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. Our team is prepared to help you, offering expertise and experience gained in over 25 years of working with asbestos cases. Contact us and we will help you file a claim in order to get compensated.

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