Mesothelioma is quite unique among cancers in that it has an extremely long latency period, which is the amount of time that elapses from exposure to the main causal factor (asbestos) and the presentation of symptoms. This latency period can last up to 40 years or more, which means that someone exposed to asbestos 40 years ago may not show any symptoms of mesothelioma until today.
Often, this means that mesothelioma is not diagnosed until the late stages of the disease when it is harder to treat. In order to protect your health, it’s wise to speak to a doctor soon after you believe you may have been exposed to asbestos.
What to Do After Asbestos Exposure
If you come into contact with asbestos on the job or somewhere else, head outside into fresh air immediately. If possible, change out of the equipment and clothing you were wearing when you came into contact with the substance. Let your employer or a professional asbestos removal company know where the asbestos was located.
After you have taken these immediate steps, it is in your best interest to make a doctor’s appointment as soon as possible. While it is unlikely that your doctor will know whether the amount of asbestos you inhaled was dangerous so soon after exposure, it is still a good first step to establishing a health plan moving forward.
For example, visiting your doctor early on may enable you to schedule annual lung screenings to check on whether the asbestos you inhaled has had an effect on your health. Additionally, this provides the opportunity for any mesothelioma that does develop to be caught in the early stages when it can still be operated on and potentially removed.
Exposed to Asbestos? Contact Us Today
Although asbestos was strictly regulated in the 1970s, many older buildings and industrial sites still contain the toxic substance. If you or someone you love was exposed to asbestos at home or on the job, Shrader & Associates L.L.P. is here to help. We have helped countless clients suffering from mesothelioma obtain justice and we may be able to do the same for you.
Call Shrader & Associates L.L.P. at (877) 958-7920 to schedule a consultation.