Asbestos-Related Diseases


Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure which most often occurs in the thin membrane lining of the lungs, chest, abdomen and heart. Symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, severe chest pains and persistent cough.

Exposure to asbestos has also been linked to mesothelioma. As with lung cancer, patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma often do not begin to show symptoms of the disease until decades after exposure. Although there are treatment options available for patients who are diagnosed with mesothelioma, there is currently no cure for the disease.

Symptoms of the mesothelioma can include shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, tiredness, fever, night sweats and weight loss. Because mesothelioma symptoms can be similar to those of other conditions, individuals who have been exposed to asbestos may wish to speak with a doctor in order to rule out other conditions.

People who have manufactured, installed or worked with or around asbestos-containing products are at an increased risk of contracting mesothelioma. Also at risk are veterans of the U.S. Navy or mesrchant marines, people who live near asbestos mining areas,  asbestos product factories or shipyards where use of asbestos has produced large or moderate quantities of airborne asbestos fibers.

There is no known cure for malignant mesothelioma. Prognosis depends on the size and stage of the tumor, the cell type and whether or not the tumor responds to mesothelioma treatment.

Lung cancer

The link between asbestos and lung cancer has been known to scientists since at least 1925. Some of the most common symptoms of lung cancer include coughing, chest pain, shortness of breath, changes to or blood in the sputum, weight loss, tiredness and headaches.

Lung cancer causes the greatest number of deaths related to asbestos exposure. The occurrence of lung cancer in people who are directly involved in the mining, milling, manufacturing, installation and use of asbestos and silica products is much higher than in the general population.

The most common symptoms of lung cancer are coughing and change in breathing. Other symptoms include shortness of breath, persistent chest pains, hoarseness and anemia.

Asbestosis and silicosis

One early sign of lung cancer caused by asbestos exposure is asbestosis, an inflammation of the lungs caused by the presence of asbestos fibers. According to statistics from the American Cancer Society, one in seven individuals who develop asbestosis will later go on to develop lung cancer.

Asbestosis and silicosis are serious, chronic, non-cancerous respiratory diseases. Inhaled asbestos fibers and silica dust aggravate lung tissue, causing them to scar.


Symptoms of asbestosis may include shortness of breath and a dry crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling (known as “rales”). In its advanced stages, asbestosis may cause cardiac failure.

It is important to note that there may be no noticeable symptoms for an individual with asbestosis or silicosis. There is no effective treatment to reverse the scarring on lung tissue caused by inhalation of asbestos or silica. These diseases may be disabling or even fatal.

Other Cancers Linked to Asbestos

Asbestos exposure has also been linked to several other types of cancer, including:

  • Kidney cancer
  • Throat cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Gastrointestinal cancer
  • Stomach cancer
  • Gallbladder cancer.

Free Legal Consultation for Victims of Asbestos Diseases

While the manufacturers of asbestos products have known for decades about the link between cancer and asbestos exposure, restrictions on the use of asbestos did not begin in the U.S. until the 1970s. Because of the long latency period between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma or lung cancer, individuals who were exposed decades ago may only now be developing symptoms of one of these diseases.

Individuals who have been exposed to asbestos on the job or in their homes may be eligible for asbestos testing at no out of pocket expense. To speak with a lawyer about filing a lung cancer or mesothelioma lawsuit, contact the attorneys at Hissey Mulderig & Friend to learn more about your legal rights. You can reach us by calling toll-free at 1-866-863-3848 or by filling out the free contact form on the right of this page.

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