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What Should I Do If I Know I’ve Been Exposed to Asbestos?

Key takeaways: First, go to your primary care physician and explain the circumstance of your asbestos exposure. From there, your doctor may recommend yearly screenings or yearly checkups to ensure your status is stable. It’s imperative to be cognizant of the symptoms of mesothelioma in case you start experiencing any of them. Alert your doctor immediately if you notice changes that align with mesothelioma symptoms. After receiving medical attention, you might want to consider pursuing legal justice to hold negligent companies, communities, and employers accountable for exposing you to asbestos.


Keeping an attentive eye

Asbestos exposure is causally related to the onset of asbestosis, lung cancer, and most notably, mesothelioma. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos—unknowingly, before the 2024 ban, or perhaps at a job site or home renovation—it’s imperative that you first alert your primary care physician. From there, they can recommend certain tests, proactive screening measures, or specialists that prioritize mesothelioma care. Telling your doctor about the entire situation—where it was, when it happened, to what extent you were exposed—can inform the ways that they decide to proceed. It’s important to let your doctor know all the details of your asbestos exposure, even if they might seem insignificant. The gold-star procedure for people exposed to asbestos are yearly screenings, including chest X-Rays and CT scans, that can qualify effects of asbestos exposure. Even though mesothelioma’s latency period is decades after the initial asbestos exposure, yearly screenings a.) are relatively inexpensive compared to mesothelioma treatment; b.) can help doctors and researchers learn about the carcinogenesis of mesothelioma; and c.) can give patients peace of mind as they grapple with the mental, physical, and emotional toll of asbestos exposure.

Knowing the symptoms of mesothelioma

Although there isn’t a way to intercept the development of mesothelioma after asbestos exposure, you can still monitor any symptoms you might have. An obstacle for treatment is a late stage diagnosis, with most patients being formally diagnosed in the end-stages of the disease. Being mindful of the following symptoms and immediately reporting them to your physician can expedite the diagnostic process.

Symptoms include:
● Dry, unproductive cough
● Chest pain
● Difficulty breathing or swallowing
● Decreased appetite
● Sudden weight loss, despite no lifestyle changes
● Abdomen pain during normal range-of-motion movements
● Fatigue
● Unexplained swelling in chest or lymph node area(s)
● Persistent fever
● Night sweats/dysregulated body temperatures

Seeking medical and legal opinions

If you have been exposed to asbestos, it’s imperative to first seek out medical assistance. Doctors and clinicians, like mentioned above, will be able to direct you to screenings, external resources, and other precautionary measures to ensure your safety. Importantly, though, not all people exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma—in fact, most people that have suffered exposures will develop more chronic (but less fatal) asbestos-related diseases, like asbestosis. Once medically treated, people exposed to asbestos should consider pursuing legal justice for the damages—familial, emotional, financial, and physical. Holding companies, employers, and communities accountable for asbestos exposure can help prevent further exposures while also securing you monetary compensation for damages inflicted.

 

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, please call The Halpern Law Firm at (800)-505-6000. We are here to help you navigate the legal process of filing a claim to receive compensation for your cancer diagnosis. We help mesothelioma victims and their families in Pennsylvania.

Sources:
https://www.cancer.org/cancer/types/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/signssymptoms.html
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5830548/
https://www.ingentaconnect.com/content/iuatld/ijtld/2020/00000024/00000006/art00004

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