An overview of malign asbestos-related diseases

Exposure to asbestos, especially to high amounts of it over a long period of time, can result in certain malign diseases. The most frequent are discussed below so that workers in Illinois are aware of the risks. Asbestos is, after all, the single largest cause of occupational cancers to date in the U.S.

Mesothelioma, the most frequently occurring asbestos-related disease, causes more than 3,000 deaths every year in this country. The cancer develops along the mesothelium, or thin protective lining, of the lungs, stomach, heart and testicles. Each of these types will exhibit different symptoms, but symptoms they all share include chest or abdominal pain and shortness of breath.

Lung cancer is another fatal disease related, though not as frequently, to asbestos. The National Cancer Institute states that it took more than 155,870 lives in the U.S. in 2017. Smokers exposed to asbestos have a greater chance of developing small cell or non-small cell lung cancer.

Women exposed to asbestos are at risk for developing ovarian cancer. Back in 2009, researchers confirmed this link when they discovered that the asbestos fibers can travel to the ovaries via the bloodstream, lymph system or reproductive tract. Asbestos exposure has also been linked with cancer of the larynx as well as loosely associated with cancer of the esophagus, kidney and gallbladder.

Workers who develop any of the above asbestos-related diseases could have the grounds for a personal injury claim, but they may want a lawyer to evaluate the claim before moving forward. If they retain the lawyer, he or she might bring in third parties like building inspectors and medical professionals to strengthen the case. Once there is proof of the employer's negligence, the lawyer may be able to negotiate for a fair settlement covering past and future medical expenses, lost wages and other applicable losses.

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