You’ve probably heard about asbestos and its relation to a rare form of cancer known as mesothelioma. What you may not know is that exposure to asbestos is more common than most people realize. Since asbestos was so widely used for so many years, there’s a good chance you have come in contact with this deadly substance. However, since asbestos is only harmful when inhaled or ingested, the odds of contracting mesothelioma are slim. Keep reading to learn more about mesothelioma, as well as the dangers of asbestos and your risk of exposure.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a group of naturally-occurring minerals made up of thin fibrous crystals. There are six different types of asbestos, each of which is commonly known by color. For example, there’s white asbestos, blue asbestos, brown asbestos and so on. Asbestos is known for its strength, durability and fire-resistant properties. Because of these characteristics, asbestos can be used in a number of industrial capacities, most notably in construction, where it is often used in the production of insulation, roofing materials, cement and siding. Before the use of asbestos was banned in the 1970’s, it was also commonly used in the production of automobile parts, firearms and ammunition.
The Dangers of Asbestos Exposure
When the fibers of asbestos are inhaled or swallowed, a number of complications can occur. For example, mesothelioma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer, is almost always the result of prolonged exposure to asbestos. Therefore, individuals who have worked with or around asbestos are at an increased risk for developing mesothelioma. What’s more, since the small fibers that form asbestos are easily transferred via clothing and other objects, family members, roommates and others who have had close contact with workers are also at risk. And although a number of occupations are associated with asbestos exposure, the following are the most common:
- Construction and the manufacture of building materials.
- The military.
- The oil industry, especially in refinery work.
- Factory work, especially asbestos factories, textile mills and the manufacture of automotive parts like brake pads, engines, clutch plates, etc.
Because exposure to asbestos usually occurs in the workplace, employers are often held accountable for the development of mesothelioma among employees. According to information found at FightMesothelioma.com, workers who have been exposed to asbestos, including military personnel, can seek compensation for pain and suffering, medical bills, lost wages and other factors.
Asbestos and Mesothelioma
Depending on whether asbestos was swallowed or inhaled, mesothelioma develops in the stomach or lungs, respectively. This illness also has a dormancy period of up to several decades, which means that, in most cases, by the time symptoms appear, the disease has progressed beyond the point of effective treatment. This dormancy period, combined with the aggressive nature of mesothelioma, lend to an extremely slim survival rate once a diagnosis is made. However, due to methods like surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and alternative therapies, some patients experience enhanced quality of life, longer lifespan, relief from pain and other benefits.
Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos?
If you think you have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to seek the immediate advice of a medical professional. If you have worked in an asbestos-related industry, your doctor may recommend screening for mesothelioma and other illnesses. Although mesothelioma is a serious and aggressive disease, early detection is essential to recovery. When caught in its early stages, a patient’s prognosis can improve, considerably.
It’s a known fact that Americans are at risk for a number of deadly diseases, through no fault of their own. Unfortunately, mesothelioma is one such disease. If you have experienced the symptoms of mesothelioma, or think you have been exposed to asbestos at any point in your past, seeking treatment now can provide significant advantages to your health and quality of life.
~~ Help Waking Times to raise the vibration by sharing this article with friends and family…