The most serious asbestos related condition is a rare lung cancer known as mesothelioma. It is most common in the outer lining of the lungs but can also affect the peritoneum. Around 2000 people are diagnosed with the condition in the UK each year. Unfortunately at present there is no known cure.
As a popular construction material in the 20th century the dangers of asbestos were not considered. Asbestos becomes potentially fatal if damaged, as crystal fibres become airborne and can be inhaled. Once inside the lungs they will cause inflammation and scarring which lead to serious conditions including pleural plaque, asbestosis and of course, mesothelioma. After being banned by the UK government in 1999, it is thought that cases of mesothelioma will rise further before declining and becoming virtually non-existent.
Symptoms often do not become present until after a long latency period of around 40-60 years after first exposure to asbestos. Patients suffer breathlessness, weight loss, fatigue, chest and back pain and jaundice (yellowing of the eyes and skin) when associated with the lungs and also abdominal swelling when affecting the peritoneum. In severe cases there is risk of lung collapse and tumour masses may start to spread to other parts of the body.
Various treatments for mesothelioma are available, like any form of cancer, such as surgery to remove tumours, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Doctors will decide what treatment should be administered after assessing the patient's age and general health, the location of their cancer and the stage of the disease.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and experience any of these symptoms it is very important that you seek medical help and also consider claiming compensation as many people are eligible for legal action without even knowing it. Many legal organisations specialise in helping people who have been exposed to asbestos.
Many mesothelioma cases
can recieve mesothelioma compensation
with the help of an expert solicitor
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