If you have been exposed to asbestos, you are at risk for several different respiratory conditions in your lifetime. Fatal cancers and other conditions can occur years or decades after exposure to asbestos takes place.
Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. There are different types of mesothelioma that occur within different parts of the body. The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lining surrounding the lungs of an individual.
Asbestos Lung Cancer: Many people think that the only cause of lung cancer is smoking tobacco. This is not the case. Exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer. Smoking tobacco can seriously increase the risk of lung cancer in an asbestos exposure victim.
Asbestosis: Asbestosis is a nonmalignant disease that causes scarring of the lung tissue. Many times, asbestosis is mistaken for other respiratory conditions. Asbestosis can eventually lead to cancers like mesothelioma.
These asbestos-related conditions are commonly mistaken for other respiratory illnesses, so alerting your doctor to any past exposure would be wise. This will help them more accurately assess symptoms as they arise.