Cancers Related to Asbestos – Symptoms and Diagnosis

Asbestos has been manufactured into a wide range of products, mainly roofing materials and flooring materials. Although the use of asbestos was banned in the 80s, those businesses that used it exposed their workers to this poison and its hazardous effects.

Those who worked in the construction business in that era were routinely exposed to Asbestos. As a result, the poisonous fumes entered their lungs, causing illnesses such as inflammation, fibrosis, asbestosis, and mesothelioma.

Asbestos-Related Cancers

Asbestos is a poison that, when inhaled, can have a significant on one’s life. People can get life-threatening diseases, lose their lives, or suffer from a disability. The most dangerous diseases caused by it are:

  1. Asbestosis

Asbestosis is one of over 200 types of fibrosis of the lungs, a form of interstitial lung disease caused by long-term exposure to these fibers. Doctors may refer to your asbestos-related condition like lung cancer or asbestosis.

  1. Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer type that develops in thin layers of tissue covering most of your internal organs. It is an aggressive and lethal form of cancer with a survival rate of 7.5%.

Do I Carry The Risk?

Some people may not know that they carry the disease because the symptoms may take years to surface. Many Americans have been exposed to asbestos on the job, from electricians and carpenters to painters and cement workers.

If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you can fight for your health and get compensation by filing a lawsuit. Having some financial assistance can certainly ease your pain during this difficult time. There may be firms that have gone bankrupt. However, they have set up asbestos trust funds so they can compensate the amount to those suffering from asbestos-related diseases.

What Are The Common Symptoms of Asbestos Exposure?

Some common symptoms associated with asbestos-disease include:

  1. Breathing difficulties

A person’s lungs may begin to scar after inhaling asbestos fibers. Eventually, scar tissue replaces a greater percentage of the individual’s healthy lung tissue. If the amount is excessive, it can lead to shortness of breath and impair lung functionality.

  1. Wheezing

It’s a whistling-like sound that’s particularly noticeable when taking deep breaths caused by inflammation of the lungs.

  1. Weight loss and fatigue

The growth of tumors in mesothelioma can cause fatigue because they use up energy. As a result, the body as a whole is left with fewer resources. Tiredness is often accompanied by breathing problems.

  1. Abdominal and chest pain

Excessive fatigue is exacerbated by the presence of chest or abdominal pain, which makes resting even more difficult for mesothelioma patients.

  1. Dry, Persistent Cough

Asbestos poisoning is often accompanied by persistent dry coughing. In the initial stages of a mesothelioma case, dry coughing is common, and it tends to worsen over time.

What Are Mesothelioma Symptoms?

While mesothelioma has just one identified cause, asbestos exposure, the symptoms of the disease vary depending on its stage of development and where it occurs. As a result, mesothelioma symptoms do not appear until cancer has invaded the mesothelium, which can take up to fifty years. Due to this, it is nearly impossible to detect asbestos-related cancer symptoms early in the disease’s development.

Further complicating matters, most of the early symptoms of mesothelioma are the same as those of other conditions. You may ignore your symptoms or mistake them for those of other conditions.

How Can We Detect Mesothelioma at an Early Stage?

Mesothelioma patients often experience the following symptoms in the early stages:

  • Having a dry cough
  • Feeling short of breath
  • Having chest pains
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Lungs thrombosis

What is Mesothelioma like at the Late Stages?

In the later stages of the disease, the patients often experience these symptoms:

  • Intensified pain
  • Reduced weight
  • Swallowing problems
  • Breathing problems
  • Appetite loss

Mesothelioma Symptoms according to their Types:

Mesothelioma consists of four distinct types, each defined by where the tumor is located. Each type manifests unique symptoms.

  • Pleural Mesothelioma: 

The lung lining is affected by pleural mesothelioma. Fever, breathlessness, fatigue, and chest pain are among the symptoms.

  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma: 

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma, which attacks the lining of the abdomen, may include abdominal pain, swelling, bloating, and bowel changes.

  • Pericardial Mesothelioma: 

Mesothelioma in the heart lining is called pericardial mesothelioma. The typical symptoms of coronary artery disease include heart pain, irregular heartbeats, coughing, and breathing difficulties.

  • Testicular Mesothelioma: 

The lining of the testicles is affected by testicular mesothelioma. The most common symptoms are swelling of the scrotum and lumps in the testicles.

How Is Asbestosis Diagnosed?

The diagnosis of asbestosis is usually based on a history of health problems, extreme exposure, and a CT scan showing scarring in the lung tissues. With the help of such information and breathing tests, your doctor determines the severity of asbestosis and the lung’s capacity to function.

Should you experience shortness of breath and have a history of asbestos exposure, you should talk to your primary care doctor about asbestosis. You will probably be referred to a pulmonologist – a doctor that specializes in lung diseases. 

During the visit, the doctor will inquire about both your rest and exercise breathing during the visit. They may also ask you about your work history to determine the amount of asbestos exposure you have experienced. To prepare for this meeting, it will be wise to gather these details beforehand:

  • The time when you began experiencing symptoms
  • How previous treatments helped with the symptoms
  • Your entire career’s worth of work; how long you spent at each job; the type of work you did.
  • Whether or not you wear protective equipment while at work and the products you came in contact with
  • Tobacco use history
  • An X-ray or CT scan of the chest, if possible

If your lungs sound normal, your doctor will listen to them during the physical examination. Following this, the doctor might order a Lung Function Test, a CT scan, or a chest X-ray.


Asbestos is a deadly poison that can cause lung cancers and Mesothelioma. Its symptoms are usually difficult to detect and may go unnoticed until the disease is far along. However, if you suspect that you have been working in one of the common occupations that have used asbestos, you must immediately get yourself diagnosed. In addition, you must take legal help to get compensation.

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