What Symptoms Might Veterans Who Were Exposed to Asbestos Experience?

by Channika DeSilva Gonzalez on January 16, 2019

Veterans with lung disease, the most common health effect of asbestos exposure, may notice symptoms such as shortness of breath, fatigue, and chest pain. However, military asbestos exposure can result in other diseases as well, including kidney cancer.

Approximately 10,000 U.S. veterans lose their lives to asbestos-related diseases every year

Asbestos exposure is capable of causing a multitude of diseases, from asbestosis to kidney cancer. While the signs veterans with pulmonary disease may notice are very similar, whether their illness is COPD, pleural plaques, or lung cancer, those who suffer from cancer which occurs elsewhere in the body will experience more specific symptoms. The most common signs of asbestos-related diseases which affect the lungs are:

  • a chronic cough
  • nail clubbing
  • shortness of breath
  • difficulty swallowing
  • loss of appetite
  • fatigue
  • hoarseness
  • night sweats
  • wheezing
  • chest pain which intensifies with deep breathing or coughing
  • recurring respiratory infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis

It is worthy of note that diseases which ensue as a consequence of asbestos exposure typically have a long latency period, setting in within 10 to 50 years after one inhales toxic dust. Since asbestos fibers produce damage to internal organs gradually, the disease they eventually bring about will only start causing perceivable symptoms after at least one decade, when it is often considerably advanced. This is why keeping a close eye on your health is vital if you are a veteran with a history of military asbestos exposure. In the unfortunate event that you develop a disease, early detection is bound to improve your prognosis, as it will allow you to undergo effective treatment.

If you notice any of the symptoms above, please seek medical assistance at your earliest convenience. The majority of diseases asbestos exposure is responsible for have a very aggressive progress and wreak havoc on your health at a tremendously fast pace. Because veterans injured by asbestos are frequently misdiagnosed, which severely impacts their chances of survival, we also encourage you to get a second and even a third opinion from a specialist, regardless of your current diagnosis. As the symptoms of one disease can easily be mistaken for those of another when asbestos is the culprit, it should not come as a surprise that the rate of misdiagnosis is so high. Visiting multiple medical experts is crucial and might even save your life if it turns out you initially received a wrong diagnosis.

As for the other diseases asbestos exposure can result in, their symptoms will vary depending on the location of cancer in the body, as well as on the severity of the illness. In addition to lung disease, veterans who were exposed to asbestos while serving in the military are also susceptible to the following:

If you are a veteran who had a high-risk job while serving in the U.S. military, chances are you inhaled a significant amount of toxic fibers, which are still in your lungs. To encourage timely detection, our medical experts provide asbestos screenings to veterans free of charge. All you have to do is make your chest X-ray results available to us and we will promptly let you know how severe your asbestos exposure was. Please feel free to contact Environmental Litigation Group, P.C. at 205.328.9200. Our specialists will gladly provide you with the assistance you need.