Greetings dear readers! Did you know that mesothelioma, a rare but fatal form of cancer, has been linked to the US Navy? Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers our organs, including the lungs, heart, and abdomen. This type of cancer is aggressive and can’t be cured, making it a significant threat to those who have been exposed to asbestos, which is common in Navy ships built before the 1980s.
If you are a veteran or a current service member who has been affected by mesothelioma, this article is for you. We’ve compiled all the essential information you need to know about mesothelioma and the US Navy. From what it is, how it develops, and how it can be prevented, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading to learn more!
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the lining of the organs in the body, including the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was once commonly used in construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing. Asbestos is made up of small fibers that can become airborne and are easily inhaled, leading to health problems over time.
How Does Mesothelioma Develop?
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can get lodged in the lining of our organs, causing inflammation and scarring. Over time, these scars can turn into cancerous cells, leading to mesothelioma. The risk of developing mesothelioma is higher among those who have been exposed to asbestos for an extended period or have had repeated exposure.
Can Mesothelioma be Prevented?
Mesothelioma can be prevented by minimizing exposure to asbestos. The US Navy has taken several steps to reduce the risk of mesothelioma among its service members. Since the 1980s, they have stopped using asbestos in shipbuilding and ship repair. However, veterans who served before this time may still be at risk. It’s essential to follow all safety precautions while working in areas where asbestos could be present, such as in older buildings or ships.
Asbestos was commonly used in the construction of Navy ships throughout the 20th century, as it was a cheap and durable material. However, the consequences of using asbestos were not fully understood until much later. Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma in the US Navy, as many veterans were exposed to this toxic mineral during their time in service.
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According to recent statistics, mesothelioma in the US Navy has affected over 3,600 veterans since 1999. These numbers are expected to rise in the coming years as more veterans are diagnosed with this type of cancer.
The high prevalence of mesothelioma among Navy veterans can be attributed to their exposure to asbestos during their service. Asbestos was used widely in the construction of Navy ships, and service members were often in close proximity to the material. Exposure to asbestos can occur through inhalation or ingestion, and once the fibers are in the body, they can cause inflammation and scarring, leading to mesothelioma over time.
1. What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath, chest pain, cough, and fatigue. These symptoms can develop slowly over time and are often mistaken for other illnesses.
2. How is mesothelioma treated?
Treatment options for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Treatment depends on the stage of the cancer and the location of the tumor.
3. How long does it take for mesothelioma to develop?
Mesothelioma can take several decades to develop after exposure to asbestos.
4. Who is at risk for mesothelioma?
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is at risk for mesothelioma. However, Navy veterans are at a higher risk due to their exposure to asbestos during service.
5. How can I get tested for mesothelioma?
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, it’s essential to speak to your doctor about getting tested for mesothelioma. Your doctor may perform a chest X-ray, CT scan, or biopsy to diagnose the cancer.
6. Can I file a claim if I’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma?
Yes, you may be eligible to file a claim if you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma. Navy veterans who were exposed to asbestos during their service may be eligible for compensation through the VA.
7. What should I do if I’ve been exposed to asbestos?
If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, it’s essential to speak to your doctor about getting tested for mesothelioma. You should also notify your employer, as they may be able to take steps to prevent further exposure to the toxin.
8. What is the survival rate for mesothelioma?
The survival rate for mesothelioma is relatively low, with only about 10% of patients surviving five years or more after diagnosis.
9. Can mesothelioma be cured?
Currently, there is no cure for mesothelioma. However, treatment can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life for patients.
10. What is the VA doing to help veterans with mesothelioma?
The VA provides compensation and support to veterans who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma due to their service. They also offer healthcare services for those who have been affected by the disease.
11. Can mesothelioma be prevented?
Mesothelioma can be prevented by minimizing exposure to asbestos. The US Navy has taken steps to reduce exposure to asbestos among service members. It’s also important to follow safety precautions when working in areas where asbestos could be present.
12. What is the statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma claim?
The statute of limitations for filing a mesothelioma claim varies by state. It’s important to speak to a lawyer or legal expert to understand the laws in your area.
13. What should I do if I’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma?
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to speak to your doctor about treatment options. You may also want to consider speaking to a lawyer or legal expert about your options for compensation.
Mesothelioma is a significant threat to US Navy veterans, as exposure to asbestos during service can lead to the development of this rare form of cancer. If you are a Navy veteran who has been affected by mesothelioma, it’s essential to understand the risks, the symptoms, and the treatment options available. By following safety precautions and seeking medical attention as soon as possible, you can reduce your risk of developing mesothelioma or manage your symptoms if you’ve already been diagnosed.
If you’re looking for more information or support, consider reaching out to one of the many organizations that provide resources for mesothelioma patients and their families. With the right care and support, you can live a fulfilling life despite a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The information included in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice. If you have been exposed to asbestos or have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s essential to speak to your doctor about your options for treatment and compensation. Each case is unique, and the right course of action will depend on your individual circumstances.