Mesothelioma is one of the most well-known asbestos-related diseases. It is a fatal form of cancer that affects different parts of the human body, and is known to be caused by asbestos. For many victims of the disease, their exposure to asbestos occurs daily in the workplace. This prolonged exposure can result in a mesothelioma diagnosis years or decades down the line.
After asbestos fibers are breathed in by an individual, they can become trapped within the lining of the lungs, stomach or abdomen, heart, and more. These situations have become known as the different types of mesothelioma, but they are all dangerous to the victim. If the fibers damage the cells of these linings, irregular cell division can progress into cancerous tumors.
The average mesothelioma patient is given one to two years after diagnosis to live. This is often because it takes so long for doctors to diagnose mesothelioma patients. Symptoms of the disease can take ten to fifty years to appear, and are often mistaken for other respiratory illnesses.
If you know you have been exposed to asbestos, it would be wise to alert your doctor to the possibility of a future mesothelioma diagnosis. While the disease is incurable, many patients have lived longer and healthier lives thanks to early detection and treatment.