One of the most troubling things about asbestos exposure is how long it can take for related illnesses like mesothelioma or asbestosis to manifest. Because it can take anywhere from 10 years to 40 years for symptoms to develop, many Tennessee victims may not even know how or when they were exposed to asbestos.
As you might expect, this can complicate any efforts on the victim’s part to seek recompense for injuries wrongfully suffered due to asbestos exposure. Often, speaking with an attorney about your work history and other situations in which exposure may have occurred can help you identify the source of your illness. In turn, accurate identification of your illness’s cause will support any lawsuit you and your lawyer choose to pursue.
Before you can take any legal action, however, you will need a diagnosis. Physicians turn to a variety of techniques to detect and diagnose asbestos-related illnesses, such as:
- Chest x-rays to determine if a lung disease exists
- Tests to see how the lungs function
- Inserting a bronchoscope into the respiratory system to detect fibers
- Biopsies to remove a lung tissue sample and examine it for asbestos fibers
A much easier, although less reliable, detection technique involves a medical expert examining samples of urine, feces and mucus for asbestos fibers. You can also do your part by noting any symptoms of lung illnesses you may experience, especially if you have a history of working or living near asbestos. Some of these symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Persistent and worsening cough
- Chest tightening or pain
- Coughing up blood
- Face and neck swelling
If to your knowledge you have been exposed to asbestos and experience any of the symptoms above, seek a medical opinion at once. This is particularly important if you plan to take legal action against any parties responsible for your illness.
Source: National Cancer Institute, “Asbestos Exposure and Cancer Risk,” accessed April 12, 2018