You Don’t Need to Work in a High-Risk Industry to be at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
The Center for Disease Control notes
The Center for Disease Control notes that you can suffer from asbestos exposure even if you never work in a high-risk industry traditionally associated with mesothelioma diagnoses. People have developed mesothelioma from second-hand exposure through such activities as:
- Home repairs
- Contact with contaminated hair, skin or clothing
- Laundering of contaminated clothing
- Working in aging schools where asbestos-laced materials have started to deteriorate
Notably, the latency period for mesothelioma is very long. People who have been exposed to asbestos may not develop symptoms until years and decades have passed.
As a result, the disease most often affects the elderly, and data from the National Cancer Institute shows an increase in mesothelioma rates among people age 60 or older, especially among men. The same data also reveals that more than 60% of all cases go unnoticed and untreated until the cancer has already reached a late stage.
Could asbestos awareness be the key to better mesothelioma diagnosis?
Most people who receive a diagnosis for mesothelioma don’t get it until it’s already too late for most treatment options. This means the diagnosis is almost always grim. However, if doctors can diagnose the disease earlier, they are more likely to pursue surgery and other treatments that can save lives, rather than just extend them.
If you suspect you may have mesothelioma, alerting your doctor to your history of asbestos exposure could be the key to getting an earlier diagnosis.
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