Mesothelioma Marines: Understanding the Risks and Protecting Our Service Members

Greetings, dear readers! Today we will be discussing an important topic that affects the health and safety of our honorable Marines: mesothelioma.

The Danger of Mesothelioma in the Marines

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of our internal organs. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral that was widely used in construction materials, including those used by the military.

Unfortunately, many Marines were exposed to asbestos during their time of service, putting them at a higher risk for developing mesothelioma and other serious health conditions. Despite being banned in the United States in the 1970s, asbestos still poses a threat to those who served in the military before this ban, as well as to those who work with or around the material today.

The Scope of the Problem

The impact of mesothelioma on Marines is a significant problem that cannot be ignored. According to the National Cancer Institute, mesothelioma is responsible for approximately 2,500 deaths each year in the United States alone.

Although anyone can develop mesothelioma, those who have served in the military are at a higher risk due to the wide usage of asbestos in the past. In fact, veterans account for more than 30% of all mesothelioma diagnoses in the U.S.

The Importance of Early Detection and Prevention

Early detection is critical in the effective treatment of mesothelioma, which is why it is essential that Marines who may have been exposed to asbestos seek regular medical checkups and screenings. This is especially important for those who were exposed to asbestos before the ban in the 1970s, as the cancer can take decades to develop and show symptoms.

Furthermore, preventing exposure to asbestos is the best way to avoid the risks of mesothelioma. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers comprehensive information to help service members and their families learn more about the risks of asbestos exposure, and how to protect themselves against it.

Table of Information About Mesothelioma Marines

Risk Factors Symptoms Prevention Tips
Exposure to asbestos Shortness of breath, chest pain, coughing, fatigue, weight loss, and fever Wear protective gear, avoid exposure to asbestos
Smoking Increased risk of developing lung cancer, which could lead to mesothelioma Avoid smoking and quit if you already do
Age and gender Older adults and males have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma Regular medical checkups and screenings

FAQs About Mesothelioma Marines

1. How does asbestos exposure occur?

Asbestos exposure can occur when handling or removing asbestos-containing materials, such as tiles, insulation, and pipes.

2. What are the long-term health effects of asbestos exposure?

Asbestos exposure can lead to mesothelioma, lung cancer, and asbestosis, a chronic respiratory disease.

3. Are all Marines at risk for mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure?

Marines who served before the 1970s and those who have been exposed to asbestos in their subsequent careers are at higher risk.

4. Can mesothelioma be cured?

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early detection and proper treatment can help manage symptoms and prolong life.

5. Can family members of Marines exposed to asbestos also be at risk?

Family members of those who were exposed to asbestos can also be at risk of developing mesothelioma due to secondary exposure through contaminated clothing or other materials.

6. What is the role of the VA in providing support for mesothelioma Marines?

The VA provides comprehensive medical treatment, compensation, and support for veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

7. What recourse do mesothelioma Marines have for legal action?

Mesothelioma Marines and their families may be eligible for compensation through lawsuits against the companies that manufactured and sold asbestos-containing materials.

8. How common is mesothelioma among Marines?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, but the risks are higher for those who have served in the military, especially in the earlier part of the 20th century.

9. How long does it take for mesothelioma to develop?

Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 20-50 years to develop after exposure to asbestos.

10. What are the treatment options for mesothelioma?

Treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and immunotherapy.

11. Can mesothelioma be prevented?

Preventing exposure to asbestos is the best way to avoid the risks of mesothelioma, including wearing protective gear and avoiding situations where asbestos might be present.

12. Can mesothelioma Marines receive disability benefits from the VA?

Yes, mesothelioma Marines may be eligible for disability benefits, including compensation for medical expenses and lost wages.

13. What resources are available for mesothelioma Marines and their families?

Resources for mesothelioma Marines and their families include the VA, legal resources, and support groups.


It is crucial that we raise awareness about the risks of mesothelioma among Marines and take steps to prevent exposure to asbestos. Early detection and proper treatment can make a significant difference in the lives of those diagnosed with this devastating disease, and the VA offers valuable resources for those who need support.

As we honor our brave service members, let us also take action to protect their health and wellbeing.

Take Action Today

If you or a loved one are a mesothelioma Marine, or if you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, please seek medical attention and contact the VA for support and resources.

Closing Disclaimer

This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice or legal counsel. Asbestos exposure and mesothelioma can have serious health consequences, and it is essential to take the necessary precautions to protect oneself against these risks.