Leaving a job with potential asbestos exposure does not eliminate or decrease the possibility of developing mesothelioma. According to a recent study by U.S. and Italian researchers, those last exposed to asbestos years earlier are still at risk for developing mesothelioma, a form of cancer targeting the tissues lining the lungs, heart, testicles, stomach, and additional organs. That is not the case with other types of cancer caused by exposure to specific substances. Most mesothelioma cases affect the lungs, followed by abdominal disease.
While other types of cancer may result from multiple causes, mesothelioma virtually always results from asbestos exposure. Rarely, mesothelioma may occur due to exposure to radiation therapy, erionite, and simian virus 40. Although asbestos exposure is the overwhelming cause of mesothelioma, most people exposed to asbestos will not contract the disease. Approximately 2,000 people receive a mesothelioma diagnosis each year, yet millions are exposed to asbestos over time. Certain people will develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure while others do not.
One theory is that the immune system can usually stop mesothelioma from occurring, but the cancer takes hold in those whose immune systems are compromised or stressed. While mesothelioma is eventually fatal, it is noteworthy that long-term survivors often rely on boosting the immune system to outlive their prognosis.
Researchers believe asbestos fibers pose risks long after exposure ends. These tiny particles are sharp and can remain in human tissues for decades. When a person inhales or swallows asbestos fibers, the fibers do not leave the body but burrow into the tissues. As time goes on, the trapped fibers inflame and irritate the area where they are lodged, boosting mesothelioma risk.
While industries voluntarily stopped using asbestos for the most part in the 1980s, it was never formally banned in the U.S. Older buildings are most likely to contain asbestos, but it is also found in products manufactured abroad and imported into the U.S.
Unfortunately, most people do not develop symptoms of the disease until it has advanced significantly. Symptoms of mesothelioma include:
Anyone with known asbestos exposure should visit their doctor regularly for checkups or visit their doctor if they experience any symptoms of mesothelioma.
If you or a loved one received a mesothelioma diagnosis, you need the services of the experienced Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler at this difficult time. Call us today for a free consultation at 215-569-4000 or contact us online. Located in Philadelphia, we proudly represent clients throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.