Up to 50% of former industrial workers and veterans develop a disease as a consequence of asbestos exposure
Lung cancer is primarily caused by tobacco smoking. Nonetheless, asbestos exposure is accountable for nearly 5% of all diagnosed cases of lung cancer and 4,800 Americans lose their lives annually to asbestos-related lung cancer. When it is a consequence of exposure to asbestos, lung cancer develops differently and also entails a long latency period of 15 to 35 years. Moreover, smokers with a history of asbestos exposure are between 50 and 84 times more likely to be diagnosed with lung cancer. Tobacco consumption has not been found to increase the risk of developing mesothelioma.
Other cancers caused by asbestos exposure
Asbestos exposure is responsible for other cancers as well, since once inside the body, asbestos fibers can easily travel through the bloodstream and subsequently reach other organs, such as the stomach or the colon. Thereby, people with a history of asbestos exposure can come to struggle with the following cancers within 20 to 50 years of their first asbestos exposure:
- esophageal cancer – 20%
- bronchial cancer – 10%
- gastrointestinal cancer – 30%
- colorectal cancer – 30%
- throat cancer – 20%
- mesothelioma – 10%
Approximately 80% of industrial workers and veterans have asbestosis and are misdiagnosed
Asbestosis is a non-malignant pulmonary disease that often develops prior to lung cancer or pleural mesothelioma. According to the Environmental Working Group, there have been 20,317 asbestosis deaths between 1999 and 2013 in the U.S. Because the symptoms of this condition are very similar to those of more common respiratory diseases, asbestosis cases might be severely underreported. Thereby, misdiagnosis is very common among the victims of asbestos exposure, as the symptoms of asbestosis often mimic the signs of other pulmonary diseases, such as:
- chronic bronchitis
- pulmonary fibrosis
- diffuse pleural thickening
- pleural plaques
- pleural effusion
- lung nodules
As a consequence, if you have asbestosis, your physician may mistake it for one of the diseases above, since the symptoms of this disease are very similar to those of the diseases above. For this reason, it is very important to seek a second and even third opinion from medical specialists if you have a history of occupational or military asbestos exposure. Only a medical professional with vast experience in diagnosing asbestos-related diseases can assign you a correct and accurate diagnosis. Having a correct diagnosis is not only essential in receiving appropriate treatment, but it will also affect the amount of compensation you can recover from asbestos trust funds and, if you are a veteran, from the VA as well.
Mesothelioma is a rarely diagnosed asbestos disease
Mesothelioma develops exclusively as a result of asbestos exposure. Every year, between 2,500 and 3,000 people develop mesothelioma in the U.S., most of whom have been in regular contact with asbestos in the workplace several decades ago. In fact, all asbestos-related diseases have a long latency period and tend to occur within 20 to 50 years of first exposure. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type. However, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, representing less than 0.2% of all cancer cases.
We provide quality legal assistance to victims of asbestos exposure
If you or a family member developed a disease as a result of occupational or military asbestos exposure, we strongly encourage you to take legal action.
While the legal process is very complex, your involvement will be minimal, as you will only have to provide our attorneys with your employment or military records, as well as with your medical records, documents which will be used as evidence of your asbestos exposure and of your related diagnosis.
With over 25 years of experience in recovering compensation for the victims of asbestos exposure and their family members, our attorneys will gladly help you obtain the money you deserve for your physical and emotional distress. Finally, it is essential to take legal action as soon as you have a diagnosis, as asbestos exposure cases have a statute of limitations of 3 years in most states.