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Sunday, 10 July 2011

Sunday, 10 July 2011

Understanding the Risk Factors for Potential Development of Asbestos Related Diseases


One of the frightening elements of asbestos related diseases is not knowing whether you’ve been exposed or not. Due to the long incubation period, from exposure to the deadly dust, to developing any diagnosable symptoms, it is difficult to pin point the actual symptoms of the disease to be malignant Mesothelioma, or pleural plaques. Unless a patient is already aware that they may be at risk from contracting one of these terminal cancers, due to their past occupation, or place of work, then the disease could be mistaken for something else, this would in turn prevent the patient claiming compensation in time to be of any help. 

Malignant Mesothelioma is notoriously difficult to treat, and is currently incurable. If a patient is lucky enough to be diagnosed early treatment called multimodality therapy is available to attempt to improve their life expectancy. It’s because of this latency, from exposure to diagnosis that makes understanding the risk factors very important for earlier diagnosis and therefore potential treatment. Early identification can be practically impossible, but if you know that you’ve been exposed to asbestos dust 20 or 30 years previously, then it’s a possible factor to take into account and inform your doctors. 

A few of the factors that can be used to work out whether you’re at risk from developing Mesothelioma are: your age, past occupation, past place of work, or from secondary exposure to it. Such as your parent bringing home the deadly dust on their working clothes, or uniform, and breathing the fibres in off their clothes. If your initial exposure occurred 20 or 30 years ago, this makes the average age for diagnosis around 65 years old. Men are three times more likely than women to develop asbestos related disease. Understanding the risk factors for developing Mesothelioma will aid medical diagnosis of the deadly disease. The symptoms can resemble less serious conditions such as pneumonia, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a persistent cough and this can delay potential treatment of the real cause of the illness.

If you think you’ve been exposed to asbestos dust during the course of your former occupation and working conditions, contact Simpson Millar for a friendly chat about your legal position on 0808 129 3320.


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