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Naval Veterans at risk of developing mesothelioma

October 15th, 2010

According to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, thousands of military veterans are now suffering from mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos exposure. Approximately 2,000 to 3,000 new mesothelioma cases are reported every year in the United States.

Asbestos materials were used in every branch of the Armed Forces, however the Navy alone used over 300 asbestos-containing products from the 1930s through the 1970s. Asbestos exposure was most common on naval ships and in shipyards where the vessels were built. Aboard these vessels, asbestos would most commonly be used as insulation around piping, boilers, sleeping quarters and navigation halls.

When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged within lung tissues, causing inflammation or infection over time, Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years to develop, meaning those who served decades ago are now demonstrating symptoms of the asbestos-related illness. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, however when diagnosed early the patient may qualify for a combination of treatments with hopes of improving life expectancy.

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    MesotheliomaAsbestosisLung cancerSilicosis

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