For almost 50 years, asbestos has been known to cause cancer. More specifically, it has been known to cause a very rare form of cancer, mesothelioma. While the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma has been largely undisputed, scientists have not been able to establish why asbestos is so harmful to the human body until more recently.
If you have been working in an industry that puts you at risk of asbestos exposure, it is important that you are aware of the most common symptoms of mesothelioma so that you can take action to get a diagnosis. The following is an overview of how asbestos exposure causes cancer and the common symptoms associated with the disease.
The link between asbestos and cancer
In 2018, scientists established that long, pointed asbestos fibers induce chronic inflammation. This chronic inflammation, when present for many years, leads the immune system to become out of balance. In turn, this means that the immune system is no longer strong enough to combat the formation of tumors. Asbestos fibers settle in the linings of the lungs, and in many cases, they can settle in other organ linings, such as the stomach. This is mesothelioma, a cancer in the linings of the organs, can result from asbestos exposure.
What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos or who has a close family member with a history of asbestos exposure should be aware of the symptoms of mesothelioma. The symptoms of the most common form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, consist of pain in the side of the chest or lower back, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, a persistent cough, and swelling of the face and arms.
If you experience any of these symptoms and you may have been exposed to asbestos in the past, you should seek medical attention. If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma and you have worked in an environment where asbestos was present in the past, it’s possible to take action to gain compensation from your former employer.
Taking legal action after a medical diagnosis may feel overwhelming, but it can be easier than you think. If successful, you’ll be able to gain significant compensation to cover medical bills and to help you and your loved ones financially through this difficult time.