Asbestos is used in thousands of products today, but has been known to cause serious and lethal illnesses since the beginning of the 20th century. Symptoms of many of these illnesses can remain dormant for decades, showing up as late as 50 years after initial exposure.
Asbestos fibers are very small and lodge themselves in the tissue of the lungs when inhaled doing irreversible damage. Your body will continue to try and rid itself of these fibers, causing a chronic inflammatory response. The result is a plethora of health problems, including cancer.
Asbestos can get into the body via inhalation or ingestion. Inhaling asbestos fibers is by far the most common. Lungs become seriously damaged, even when cancer does not develop. Two non-cancerous diseases related to asbestos affecting the lungs are:
- Asbestos pleural disease
Asbestos fibers are resistant to chemical change, but your immune system triggers a response to get rid of them nonetheless. The repeated attempts to rid your lungs of these tiny, sharp fibers cause scar tissue to form in the lungs. This condition is known as asbestosis. Scar tissue reduces the ability of your lungs to expand and contract, reducing lung capacity. Asbestos pleural disease is similar to asbestosis, but occurs when asbestos fibers are in the lining of the lungs rather than the lung tissue itself.
Asbestosis and asbestosis pleural disease are both progressive. Shortness of breath after exertion is usually the first symptom, and is often mistaken for asthma. As the disease progresses, breathing at rest becomes difficult. The end stages are victims who are bedridden and possibly suffering heart failure due to reduced lung capacity.
Asbestos and Cancer
Several types of cancer are linked to exposure to asbestos, including:
- Lung cancer
- Kidney cancer
- Stomach cancer
- Esophageal cancer
- Throat cancer
Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelioma, the protective lining around the lungs, heart, and abdominal organs. It is incurable, very painful, and patients have a short life expectancy. Once diagnosed, treatment for patients is mostly managing pain.
If you or a loved one has developed an illness due to exposure to asbestos in San Francisco, Los Angeles, California or anywhere else in the state of California, including the Bay Area, please contact the experienced personal injury attorneys at the Evans Law Firm today for a free and confidential case consultation.
Contact us for a free and confidential consultation at 888-891-4906 or 415-441-8669