Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is often fatal. It is largely a respiratory disease, but it can also exist in the stomach, chest and surrounding tissues. This is a very aggressive type of cancer, and it usually shows up in older individuals.
You increase your risk of mesothelioma if you are ever exposed to asbestos. The particles making up that asbestos, which are so small that you can’t even see them or taste them, are what causes mesothelioma to form in the future. Everyone is exposed to some degree, since asbestos can be found in nature, but exposure to the higher levels found in commercial products dramatically increases the chances that you will develop mesothelioma over the course of your life.
Should you avoid asbestos when it’s discovered?
One thing to remember is that your odds of contracting mesothelioma are permanently increased once you are exposed. It is incredibly important to avoid asbestos whenever possible. If it’s discovered in your home or workplace, or in any other setting, you want to get away from it as fast as you can and let an official asbestos remediation team work on the job.
However, even removing yourself from the area doesn’t lower your odds of getting mesothelioma. They will forever be higher than they would be if you had never been exposed.
As noted above, this is a disease that often shows up in older individuals, but the reason for that is that there’s often a long delay – perhaps thirty years or more – between exposure and the onset of the disease. The particles become trapped within your body. This is why your risks are still higher, even if you were exposed to asbestos 10 years ago and you haven’t had any negative effects yet. You may simply not have seen the symptoms at this point in your life, but the odds that you will see them are much higher than they would be for someone who was never exposed to high levels of asbestos.
So what can you do?
There are treatment options, but they can be expensive and mesothelioma is very difficult to treat. As you look into your medical options, it’s also important to explore your legal options.