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New study clarifies extent of asbestos exposure in causing cancer

A newly-released study provides much useful information for North Carolinians who may have been exposed to asbestos. In an article published in the Journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, two researchers found that the risk of contracting mesothelioma, lung cancer and laryngeal cancer increased as exposure to asbestos increased. The researchers also confirmed that the risk of contracting these types of cancers was higher for those persons with a smoking habit.

In one piece of good news, the researchers found that the risk of contracting mesothelioma from incidental exposure to asbestos for members of the general public is much lower than for individuals who experienced extended exposure in the workplace. But even members of the general public who smoke have a noticeably higher risk of contracting mesothelioma than non-smokers do.

The researchers emphasized that asbestos-containing products still pose a significant health hazard. They said their research underscored the fact that exposure to even a small amount of asbestos can cause mesothelioma and other forms of cancer. They also reaffirmed the fact that pleural mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer with no known cure.

Everyone should avoid exposure to asbestos. For example, homeowners contemplating a home remodeling project that involves removal of asbestos-containing products should hire a trained removal firm instead of attempting to remove the materials by themselves.

Persons who believe they have been exposed to asbestos should obtain a complete medical examination, including a chest x-ray. New therapies and treatments to ameliorate the horrific effects of this disease are continually being developed.

Those persons who have received a positive diagnosis of mesothelioma, asbestosis or laryngeal cancer should consult an attorney experienced in handling asbestos claims to determine whether or not they have a claim that can be successfully pursued.

Source: Surviving Mesothelioma: A Patient's Guide, "How Much Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma?," May 2, 2014

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