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Does Being Exposed to Asbestos Guarantee the Development of Mesothelioma?

Posted by Michael Throneberry | Sep 25, 2022

Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is aggressive and deadly. According to the American Cancer Society, approximately 8 out of 10 people with mesothelioma have a history of asbestos exposure. When an individual breathes in asbestos fibers, those fibers travel to the pleura, where they can cause scarring and inflammation and, thus, pleural mesothelioma. If asbestos fibers are swallowed, they can travel to the abdominal lining and cause mesothelioma. When mesothelioma occurs in the abdomen, it is referred to as peritoneal mesothelioma.

So, since asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, does it mean that asbestos exposure guarantees the development of this form of cancer? Does it mean everyone who gets exposed to asbestos ends up developing mesothelioma? No, not everybody who gets exposed to asbestos ends up developing mesothelioma. It is even possible for someone exposed to huge quantities of asbestos not to end up suffering from mesothelioma. As much as asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, different risk factors play a role in determining a person's chances of getting mesothelioma after asbestos exposure. 

Is There a Safe Level of Asbestos Exposure?

Indeed, many cases of mesothelioma arise after many years of asbestos exposure. Being exposed to asbestos one time often does not lead to the development of mesothelioma. However, it is possible for someone who suffers asbestos exposure only once to end up being diagnosed with mesothelioma. In other words, no amount of asbestos is safe. People should always be careful not to inhale or swallow any amount of asbestos.

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

A mesothelioma risk factor is anything that increases a person's chances of developing mesothelioma. Some risk factors can be changed, whereas it is impossible to change other risk factors. According to research, the following are some of the factors that determine a person's chances of getting mesothelioma after suffering asbestos exposure;

  • Genetics – According to research, some genetic mutations may play a role in determining whether or not a person develops mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.
  • Smoking – A person who smokes may be more at risk of developing mesothelioma after asbestos exposure than someone who does not smoke.
  • Dose of asbestos - The worst exposure occurs when the air is contaminated with raw asbestos fibers.
  • Type of asbestos – Any type of asbestos can cause an asbestos-related illness like mesothelioma. However, some types are considered more dangerous than others. Crocidolite asbestos is deemed to be the most hazardous.

How Long After Asbestos Exposure Do Mesothelioma Symptoms Appear?

People often wonder when symptoms of mesothelioma start appearing after asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma can take decades to develop after asbestos exposure. Because of this long latency period, it's common for people to assume that mesothelioma symptoms point to another disease. For this reason, people need to understand the signs of mesothelioma. Symptoms of mesothelioma include;

  • Persistent cough
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Tummy pain
  • Fever

Arizona Mesothelioma Lawyers

If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced Arizona mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help pay for your medical treatment.

About the Author

Michael Throneberry

Attorney Michael Throneberry graduated from Purdue University with a Civil Engineering degree. He then served with the United States Army...

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