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How common are asbestos-related diseases?

Diseases caused by asbestos exposure affect 20% of former industrial workers and 30% of veterans. Every year, between 12,000 and 15,000 people lose their lives to diseases that stem from asbestos exposure.

answered by Treven Pyles

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:

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:

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.

We also Represent U.S. Veterans Exposed to Asbestos while Serving their Country

Other related questions

While smoking was found to greatly increase the risk of lung cancer in people with a history of asbestos exposure, it was not found to be the cause of developing other asbestos diseases.

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Every person will experience different emotions before death, depending on factors such as their age, how much distress mesothelioma has been causing them, and their spiritual beliefs.

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Death will usually ensue several months after mesothelioma spreads to major organs in the body. The tremendous damage cancer causes will gradually lead to the body shutting down.

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Asbestosis is a lung condition that develops as a result of exposure to high levels of asbestos fibers, especially during the removal of asbestos-containing materials for renovation at construction sites and shipbuilding yards.

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Misdiagnosis is quite common and is more likely to happen, especially when both the patient and the doctor ignore the past history of asbestos exposure.

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While both diseases affect the lungs, mesothelioma and lung cancer are two different diseases, each requiring a specific treatment.

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Only people who have been exposed to asbestos for at least 3 years in occupational or military settings can file a claim with asbestos trust funds or the VA to receive compensation.

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Asbestos is a carcinogen responsible for the occurrence of terrible diseases. However, most people who became ill had been exposed to high levels of asbestos over the course of several years.

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While asbestosis is not a common disease in and of itself, in people with a history of asbestos exposure, it is quite common and can also lead to the development of more severe pulmonary diseases, such as mesothelioma.

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