We've all heard about the dangers of asbestos and know to avoid it at all costs. But what if you've already been exposed? In recent years, the use of asbestos for construction and in other products has dramatically declined because of the negative health effects it has wreaked on society. Unfortunately, people are still exposed to asbestos today at work, in their homes, and in their communities. Asbestos still exists in some old buildings, old automotive products like brake shoes and clutches, in old floor tiles, roof shingles, concrete pipe and siding, to name only a few. Sadly, everyone who has been exposed to asbestos almost certainly bears some risk for dangerous diseases, including mesothelioma.
Unfortunately, once you've been exposed, there's no quick fix, removal process or way to reverse the potential damage. If you are a responder, your body will be impacted by the exposure to some degree. The best you can do? Get healthy and try to prevent mesothelioma from developing. One of the best things to do is to quit smoking. We all know that smoking causes damage to the lungs, but when the lungs have already been exposed to dangerous asbestos, smoking is even more hazardous to your health. Research shows that smokers who have been exposed to asbestos are at a greatly increased risk of lung cancer.
Try adopting some new healthy lifestyle changes. This will help to build your immune system and ward off potential health impacts. Eat a well-balanced diet, exercise routinely, reduce stress in your life, and get plenty of sleep each night. Consider taking immunity-building vitamins, like A, C, and E.
Monitor Your Lungs
Sadly, there's only so much you can do to prevent mesothelioma once you've been exposed to asbestos. The important thing is to go see a doctor at the first sign of lung problems. Some symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may not show for years. In fact, it's common for at least a decade-long lag time between exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma. If you're experiencing shortness of breath, have pain in the chest, difficulty swallowing, weight loss, or coughing up blood consult a doctor immediately. Make sure to inform your doctor of your asbestos exposure. It is critical that your doctor understand your history of exposure in order to correctly diagnose your condition.
Mesothelioma is Statistically Unlikely
On the positive side, even if you've had some exposure to breathable asbestos fiber in your life it is statistically quite unlikely you will be stricken with mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is diagnosed in approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people per year across the U.S., and doctors consider it to be a fairly rare disease. Many doctors may never personally see a case of mesothelioma, which can make it a difficult disease to diagnose because it shares symptoms with other respiratory diseases or conditions. Its symptoms can be reminiscent of the flu or bronchitis for instance. Still, Oregon is among the 11 states in the U.S. with the highest number of mesothelioma deaths per capita per year. Receiving an accurate diagnosis is imperative to getting treatment that can extend your life in the event you develop mesothelioma.
Though mesothelioma is considered a rare disease, doctors predict the number of mesothelioma cases will peak in 2020. That disconcerting date foretells many more years of potential suffering, despite preventative measures being taken, like discontinuing certain building materials on construction sites. Men are 4 times as likely as women to be diagnosed and most patients diagnosed are between 50 and 70 years old.
Get Help From an Experienced Asbestos Attorney
If asbestos has created health problems for you, consider seeking legal counsel. A personal injury lawyer knows how to properly investigate and represent your needs in a court room. If you've got expensive medical bills or can no longer work due to your health problems, consult a lawyer. It's important to bring those responsible for the exposure to asbestos to justice.
While this can be a difficult process, because of how long mesothelioma often takes to develop, it is possible with Angel Law, P.C. on your side. Our Portland personal injury attorneys are prepared to fight tirelessly for the just outcome you need and won't relent until you have been compensated.
Get in touch with a Portland personal injury attorney from our firm today to get started.