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How long does it take for asbestos exposure to cause cancer?

Different kinds of cancers have different causes. Some cancers result from a genetic proclivity in the individual who develops them. Other forms of cancer may be the result of some kind of toxic exposure. Mesothelioma is a perfect example of a cancer caused by exposure to a substance.

Mesothelioma is directly linked to prolonged exposure to asbestos particles. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has many applications for both consumer products and industrial use. Unfortunately, just because it's natural does not mean that it is safe. Scientist have known for roughly a century that exposure to asbestos can cause irritation of the lungs and other symptoms.

In more recent decades, medical science has conclusively linked a deadly cancer of organ linings, known as mesothelioma, to asbestos exposure. Individuals who know they got exposed to asbestos at work may find themselves wondering how long it will take for that exposure to result in some form of cancer.

A mesothelioma diagnosis usually occurs decades after exposure

Unfortunately for those with significant levels of environmental asbestos exposure at work, there really isn't a deadline after which they can assume they are safe. Mesothelioma is a particularly slow-growing cancer, which means it takes many years to manifest symptoms.

In the majority of cases, mesothelioma can take between 20 to 50 years to develop after exposure. That could mean that you have held several other jobs or even decided to retire before you realize that you developed a cancer related to exposure at work.

It is possible that your employer is not even in business anymore by the time you develop symptoms for mesothelioma. The good news for those exposed to asbestos is that testing and diagnostic measures for mesothelioma have improved, as has the life expectancy for those with this serious, typically deadly cancer.

Mesothelioma funds and lawsuits can offer victims access to medical care

The best medical treatments cost a significant amount of money, especially when it comes to cutting-edge cancer treatments. Those who have already retired or who are too sick to work may not have the kind of insurance that will cover the treatments they require. They may also need to travel to get care from the best doctors.

If there is any good news in the situation, it is that those who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure likely have grounds for a civil lawsuit or a workers' compensation claim, depending on the circumstances. In other cases, these individuals may have the right to access money in special mesothelioma funds.

Talking to an attorney who understands the laws in Kentucky related to this complex legal issue is a great starting point for those reeling after a mesothelioma diagnosis.

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