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ASBESTOS & RELATED PRODUCTS

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ASBESTOSIS

 Asbestos was used in almost all construction projects in the UK in the 1960’s, 70’s and early 80’s, with all types of it eventually being banned in 1999. Exposure to this deadly material can lead to conditions such as asbestosis, one which has a long latency period of often 20 years or more. With a diagnosis of asbestosis comes a difficult time for you and your family, however Hydrogard Legal Services can help. 

WHAT IS ASBESTOSIS?

Asbestosis is fibrosis of the lungs caused by prolonged heavy exposure to asbestos, such as in industries such as construction, asbestos mining or ship building. Asbestosis affects the tissue of the lungs and causes chronic inflammation. Those with asbestosis suffer from sever dyspnea (shortness of breath) and are at an increased risk of contracting lung cancer and mesothelioma in the future.

Asbestosis can sometimes become confused with other asbestos related diseases, although it can be linked to Lung Cancer and Pleural thickening.  The primary symptom of asbestosis, however, is the slow onset of shortness of breath. In more advanced and severe cases it can cause respiratory failure. Asbestosis sufferers in more advanced cases often require oxygen therapy. 

MESOTHELIOMA

 The majority of people who develop mesothelioma are those who have worked in jobs where they have been exposed to asbestos over a period of time. It can also occur when asbestos dust and fibres are inhaled in other ways, such as handling the clothes of those who have been exposed and being in areas where asbestos is disturbed. 

WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA

 Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which is caused by the exposure and inhalation of asbestos fibres. Malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, which is a protective lining that covers some of the body’s internal organs. It most commonly occurs in the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall) but can also occur in the heart, the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart) or in the peritoneum (the abdominal cavity lining). The symptoms of mesothelioma include: Shortness of Breath, Pleural Effusions, Chest Pain, A Chronic Cough, Weight Loss, Fluid In The Area Around The Lung, Fatigue, Excessive Sweating, Hoarseness, Swelling Of The Face & Arms, Trouble Swallowing.

 Whilst many symptoms can be associated with other diseases and conditions, most people with mesothelioma will have a number of the above for a few months prior to diagnosis. 

ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER

 Asbestos-related lung cancer is a deadly disease where uncontrolled cell growth occurs in the tissue of the lung. The growth within the lungs can lead to metastasis, which is where the cancer invades the adjacent tissue and invades the organs in the body beyond the lungs. The vast majority of cancers in the lung are carcinomas of the lung, derived from body tissues. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women. Globally it is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide. 

WHAT IS ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER

Asbestos-related lung cancer is a deadly disease where uncontrolled cell growth occurs in the tissue of the lung. The growth within the lungs can lead to metastasis, which is where the cancer invades the adjacent tissue and invades the organs in the body beyond the lungs. The vast majority of cancers in the lung are carcinomas of the lung, derived from body tissues. Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death in men and the second most common in women. Globally it is responsible for 1.3 million deaths worldwide.

There are two main types of lung cancer – small cell lung carcinoma (SCLC) and non-small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). The distinction is important because treatment can varies. Non-small cell lung carcinoma is often treated with surgery, whilst small cell lung carcinoma responds better to treatments such as radiotherapy and chemotherapy. There are many causes of lung cancer, with the most prevalent being long-term smoking, however cases in non-smokers (which account for around 15% of cases) are often caused by a combination of factors, such as genetic predisposition, radon gas exposure, asbestos exposure and air pollution.

Long-term asbestos exposure can lead to the development of lung cancer and it is reported that asbestos kills at least twice as many people each year through lung cancer than through mesothelioma. The risk of lung cancer in those who have been exposed to asbestos is far greater in smokers and the effect of both smoke and asbestos is known to weaken the lungs, as well as making them more susceptible to the development of cancer. Of course, given the fact that smoking is the single biggest cause of lung cancer, it can often be difficult to distinguish whether the cause of the disease is smoking, asbestos or a combination of the two..