Mesothelioma or Asbestos Question?

What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause a variety of diseases, including non-cancerous ones. Asbestos related diseases such as mesothelioma are usually not detected for many years or even decades after exposure. The extreme latency period associated with mesothelioma often leads to misdiagnosis as many sufferers are not even aware of their past exposure to asbestos.

Many workers exposed to asbestos in the 1940s up through the 1970s are only now coming down with mesothelioma symptoms. Thus, despite the fact that products containing asbestos were banned in 1989, many people are suffering from the disease currently and diagnosis continues to happen.

When to suspect Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is diagnosed when cancer cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (pleura), the abdomen (peritoneum) or the heart (pericardium). This cancer is the result of the unique makeup of the small, virtually invisible fibers in asbestos. These fibers easily get lodged within the lung tissue after inhalation and can eventually lead to cancer or other lung diseases and disorders.

If you worked in a job in which you handled or took apart asbestos or were around an asbestos containing building during construction, you are at risk for developing mesothelioma. If you were exposed to asbestos over an extended period of time and also smoke or were a smoker, your risk for developing this disease is greatly increased.

Contact Us

For more information on mesothelioma and other asbestos related disorders, visit the Mesothelioma & Asbestos Help Center.

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