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asbestos cancer


Science has made it clear that Asbestos is a highly toxic element that was once filtered through concrete buildings around the world. In fact, it is carcinogenic—can cause cancer, most prominently, mesothelioma which doctor’s view as one of the worst forms of cancer.

Mesothelioma has quite a long latency span (around 25– 50 years) which makes treating it quite a challenge. Soon after diagnosis, a victim is given a 12-21-month life expectancy. The fact that our body senses can’t easily detect asbestos is what makes it a menacing threat to human health. It has no smell detectable smell and does irritate the skin when in contact. What’s more, it can spread very easily through the air and therefore can only be removed by specialists.

So, before you even start looking for an experienced lawyer for asbestos exposure, here is a guide on what to do in the event you get exposed to the harmful asbestos.

Image source Wikimedia

What to Do:

  1. If Asbestos Particles Contaminate Your Eye

One thing; asbestos dust will cause a sting in the eye but rubbing your eyes won’t help. So, if your eyes get contaminated with asbestos particles, then your first move should be to immediately flush with gently running lukewarm water for not less than 5 minutes. You can also flush the water using your clean hands. If irritation persists, visit a doctor ASAP.

  1. In case you breathe in Asbestos particles

Unfortunately, there’s no known way to expel asbestos dust from your system once it gets in. But the huge motivation is the fact that you can take steps to moderate the risk.

First, you need to flee from the contaminated area as soon as you can so you don’t get exposed for a very long time. Find an open space with clean and fresh air.

Tip: If you intend to rescue someone who has been exposed to the dangerous asbestos particles then it is important that you protect yourself first by putting on protective equipment.

  1. If Asbestos Dust gets in contact with your skin

The first step is to immediately get away from the contaminated area. And because asbestos dust might have also contaminated your clothing, it is advisable to gently remove them and have them kept in a sealed synthetic bag.

Next, you might need to take not less than 5 minutes in the shower to ensure your skin is thoroughly washed. Be sure to strictly use mild soap, and at all costs, do not rub your skin. Also, make sure the shower is continuously flowing, so you thoroughly wash the asbestos dust away.

  1. If you unintentionally Ingest Asbestos Fibres

Rinse your mouth repeatedly with clean water. If you feel unwell, be sure to call a physician or poison control without delay.

As it reveals in the above guide, you first thing to do when you get exposed to response to asbestos exposure should be to immediately leave the contaminated place. Experts insist on this because the longer you get exposed, the greater the risk of developing more asbestos-related diseases.  

Lastly, once you’ve conducted the first aid response, it is wise to seek a doctor’s medical advice.


Malignant mesothelioma or asbestos cancer is most often diagnosed after a person goes to a doctor because of symptoms.

If there is a reason to suspect you might have mesothelioma, your doctor will use one or more tests to find out. Symptoms might suggest that the problem could be mesothelioma, but tests will be needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Medical history and physical exam

If you have any signs or symptoms that suggest you might have mesothelioma, your doctor will want to take a complete medical history to learn about your symptoms and possible risk factors, especially asbestos exposure. You will also be asked about your general health.

A physical exam can provide information about possible signs of mesothelioma and other health problems. Pleural mesothelioma can cause fluid to build up around the lungs in the chest (called a pleural effusion). In cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, fluid can build up in the abdomen (called ascites). In pericardial mesothelioma, fluid builds up in the sac around the heart (called a pericardial effusion). Rarely, mesothelioma can develop in the groin and look like a hernia. All of these might be found during a physical exam, such as when the doctor listens to these areas with a stethoscope.

CT scan is one of the tests needed to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis

CT scan is one of the tests needed to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis

If mesothelioma is a possibility, tests will be needed to make sure. These might include imaging tests, blood tests, and other procedures.

Imaging tests

Imaging tests use X-rays, radioactive particles, or magnetic fields to create pictures of the inside of your body. Imaging tests may be done for a number of reasons, including to help find a suspicious area that might be cancerous, to learn how far cancer may have spread, and to help determine if treatment has been effective.

Chest X-ray

This is often the first test done if someone has symptoms such as a constant cough or shortness of breath. It may show an abnormal thickening of the pleura, calcium deposits on the pleura, fluid in the space between the lungs and the chest wall, or changes in the lungs themselves as a result of asbestos exposure. These findings could suggest a mesothelioma.

Computed tomography (CT) scan

The CT scan is an X-ray test that produces detailed cross-sectional images of your body. Unlike a regular X-ray, a CT scan creates detailed images of the soft tissues in the body.



According to the National Cancer Institute definition, malignant mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the lining of the chest or abdomen.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that most often starts in the covering of the lungs (pleural mesothelioma) but can also start in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).

Exposure to airborne asbestos particles increases one’s risk of developing malignant mesothelioma.

Recognizing symptoms early and informing your doctor about any history of asbestos exposure can help lead to an earlier-than-normal diagnosis

Recognizing symptoms early and informing your doctor about any history of asbestos exposure can help lead to an earlier-than-normal diagnosis (photo mesothelioma.com)

The most common symptoms of mesothelioma can include a dry, hacking cough that will not go away, shortness of breath and abdominal pain. Symptoms can be different based on the type of asbestos cancer and can be vague and mild even as the disease progresses into a later stage. Early signs can be so slight that they are mistaken as normal aches and pains or symptoms of other illnesses, making asbestos-related cancer hard to detect.

Mesothelioma early symptoms:

–          Dry cough

–          Shortness of breath

–          Minor fatigue

Mesothelioma advanced symptoms:

–          Chest pain

–          Weight loss

–          Respiratory complications

Recognizing symptoms early and informing your doctor about any history of asbestos exposure can help lead to an earlier-than-normal diagnosis and a much better chance of a potentially curative therapy.