While prevailing public opinion possibly tends to overlook the serious concern which should be afforded to the issue of asbestos cancer, this does not necessarily minimize the affect of this debilitating disease. People most at risk are those who have encountered long term exposure to asbestos in a variety of material forms. Asbestos was present in a wide variety of construction areas, present at our places of work, our homes and in our public buildings and facilities. Unfortunately, the past, proliferated use of asbestos as a construction material continues to have a result in cancer diagnoses taking place to the present day. One of the greatest aides to defeating this disease is effective education to the symptoms one might encounter if they were at risk of such a disease. As always, the sooner detection can take place, the greater the chances of treatment and recovery. The purpose of this article is therefore to provide useful information relating to asbestos-related cancer symptoms. It is always advised that you consult your general practitioner before arriving at any conclusion. However, it is hoped that the following information on offer here would be useful to people who may have been exposed to asbestos for an extended duration of time, or those who may feel that their health has been affected in any way owing to asbestos exposure
Asbestos-related lung diseases are both wide and varied depending on the type of disease present and the extent to which a person’s lungs may have been damaged. Signs and symptoms may not be present for between 10 – 40 or more years following asbestos exposure.
Pleural plaque is the fibrous thickening on the lining of the lungs (pleura). The patient may not express signs or symptoms, however, some patients have described experiencing a ‘grating’ pain. Pleural effusion is when excess fluid accumulates in the pleural cavity, and may affect breathing. Both conditions are quite regularly diagnosed with a chest x-ray. These conditions may occur earlier than other asbestos-related lung diseases and although they are not proven to cause cancer, they are certainly an indicator that the patient was exposed to asbestos.
Asbestosis is another asbestos-related disease, expressing symptoms such as shortness of breath following physical exertion. The patient may have a dry cough and feel tired. Using a stethoscope, a doctor may be able to listen to your lungs when breathing and hear a crackling sound when the patient breathes in.
Lung cancer symptoms are very varied and may include cough that gets worse consistently, or a cough that does not leave. Patients also experience difficulty breathing, ongoing chest pain, and coughing up blood. Further symptoms of lung cancer include frequent lung infections, fatigue (tiredness), and sudden, unaccountable weight loss.
Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath and chest pain due to pleural effusion.
If you suspect any period of exposure to asbestos, or express any of the above symptoms, it is always recommended to consult your doctor.