Many of those exposed to asbestos have no idea that asbestosis, mesothelioma, or lung cancer might be developing in their body, since the symptoms of asbestos-related diseases often do not appear for ten to seventy years.
This makes it important for at-risk individuals to familiarize themselves with the symptoms that can appear over time. Here are just a few:
Shortness of Breath: Since asbestos-related diseases, like mesothelioma, often affect the respiratory system of an individual, it is not uncommon for them to experience shortness of breath.
Tightness in Chest: In the case of asbestosis victims, scar tissue that has developed over time begins to restrict lung function, resulting in a feeling of tightness in the chest.
Worsening Cough: When an asbestos-related disease, like lung cancer, is developing within an asbestos exposure victim, the individual might experience a cough that does not go away or gets worse over time.
The symptoms listed above are often interchangeable with asbestosis, mesothelioma, and lung cancer. Without knowledge of work and health history, a doctor might misdiagnose these conditions for more common respiratory ailments. By the time a diagnosis is made, it might be too late.
If you have been exposed to asbestos in your home or on the job, do not hesitate to alert your doctor to the possibility of a future asbestos-related disease diagnosis. Providing your doctor with the proper work and medical history will allow them to better assess symptoms as they appear.