Prolonged exposure to asbestos, even if it was many years ago, can cause devastating health concerns now. Even though asbestos is made from naturally occurring fibers, the harm it can cause in the body is irreversible. While long-term exposure is of the greatest concern, short-term exposure of any length still allows the harmful fibers into the body where they can begin to cause problems later in life.
Individuals who endured long-term exposure to asbestos many years ago, may not show any signs of illness or disease for many years. The longer a person was exposed, the higher the concentration of asbestos in their body. Even though they are no longer being exposed, the amount of asbestos in their body leaves them vulnerable to various types of cancers and upper respiratory disorders. After years of breathing the airborne fibers, individuals may start to experience many of the most common symptoms.
Different Types of Cancer
Asbestos has been known to cause several types of cancer including lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma (lungs), and peritoneal mesothelioma that occurs in the abdomen. It has also been found to cause asbestosis and other harmful conditions that affect the lungs and heart. Once asbestos enters the body, the damage that it causes cannot be reversed. When caught in the earliest stages, mesothelioma can be effectively treated. There does come a time, however, when the disease has progressed to a point where treatments cannot reverse its course.
Signs and Symptoms
Asbestos-related health conditions like mesobthelioma and lung cancer are often characterized by many of the same symptoms. These include chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, night sweats, and weight loss. When the condition affects the abdomen, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain and swelling are also strong indicators that something serious is going on and that a visit to the doctor is in order.
If you or a loved one has ever been exposed to asbestos, even for a short period of time, seeking medical treatment is essential. Even if it is discovered that the problem has nothing to do with asbestos exposure, it will be documented that the threat exists and can be monitored in the future.
Individuals who are interested in learning more about asbestos and what it can do to the body can visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Network. The information you find will allow you to make informed decisions concerning your health and well-being. There are also many helpful resources available to you if you are interested in learning more.