Life Expectancy After Asbestos Exposure is a critical concern, and understanding its implications is crucial for individuals who may have been exposed to this hazardous substance. It can take many years, several decades even, to develop an adverse health condition after asbestos exposure. While a one-time asbestos exposure can lead to developing an illness, it is rare and involves a significantly toxic exposure, such as what happened with victims of the 9/11 attack.
Although most one-time exposures at normal levels do not usually pose a serious risk, we still recommend checking in with your primary care physician about any concerns. Your doctor can advise whether you may be at increased risk of developing any asbestos exposure-related diseases.
If you have been exposed and are facing a life-changing diagnosis, understanding your prognosis is key to moving forward. In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the life expectancy rates associated with various asbestos-exposure-related diseases.
Some people who have been exposed to asbestos fibers for a long period are at risk of developing asbestosis. Asbestosis is a progressive condition involving scarring of the lungs. The longer the body attempts to fight off lodged asbestos fibers within the lung tissue, the more scarring occurs. Labored and painful breathing results from this progressive scarring. The symptoms develop so slowly over time, that it can be difficult to receive a diagnosis, and some patients mistake their early symptoms for other lung conditions. By the time the respiratory illness is detected and diagnosed, the average life expectancy is one decade.
There is no cure for asbestosis, so prevention using proper personal protective equipment is one of the best courses of action you can take. If you have already developed asbestosis due to asbestos exposure on the job, while in service, or even at home, your prognosis largely depends on your overall health. The severity of your asbestos exposure as well as your ability to comply with and benefit from medical treatments will also play a major factor in your life expectancy.
Asbestosis is not a cancerous disease. Many patients with lung illness survive well over the ten-year average. Proper treatment, medications, and health and lifestyle changes will all come into play to ensure a longer lifespan for people with this respiratory disease. If you have asbestosis due to asbestos exposure, you must seek legal help to ensure that you receive representation. You may be entitled to compensation for your illness, which will go far in supporting your ongoing healthcare needs.
The impact on life expectancy after asbestos exposure can vary depending on the duration and intensity of exposure, as well as individual health factors. Asbestos exposure can also lead to the development of lung cancer. As with lung cancer caused by other factors, asbestos-related lung cancer is a serious illness. In one study, asbestos exposure was not found to significantly change the prognosis in comparison with lung non-asbestos exposure-related lung cancer patients. The average prognosis for an asbestos-related lung cancer patient is 16 months. 25% of asbestos-related lung cancer patients survive for five years with proper treatment.
When assessing life expectancy after asbestos exposure, early detection, and medical intervention play a pivotal role. Early detection is key to receiving a more favorable prognosis, because the earlier a patient is diagnosed, the more progressive their treatment options become. To detect this slow-to-develop cancer, anyone who has been exposed to asbestos must receive regular lung cancer screenings. If you smoke cigarettes in addition to having a history of asbestos exposure, it is even more important that you get screened regularly.
With proper diagnosis and prompt treatment as prescribed by your medical team, you may see your life expectancy surpass that of the average lung cancer patient. Many factors can contribute to a longer life expectancy, including the level of asbestos exposure, your overall health, your pulmonary health, whether or not you smoke or have smoked cigarettes, your age, and the type and stage of lung cancer. If you have lung cancer due to asbestos exposure, your medical bills will be high. You may be entitled to compensation for your illness. If you have had a recent lung cancer diagnosis, should reach out to an experienced asbestos lawyer for a case evaluation as soon as possible.
Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive form of cancer and perhaps the most well-known of all asbestos-exposure-related diseases. This disease takes up to five decades to fully develop, resulting in typically late diagnosis with a serious prognosis. The average life expectancy for a patient receiving proper treatment for their mesothelioma diagnosis is 12-21 months. A recent study of thousands of mesothelioma patients found a one-year survival rate of 54%. Thankfully, mesothelioma research has greatly advanced, so many patients may improve their life expectancy by several months, even years.
Like other asbestos exposure-related diseases, many factors play into how long of a life expectancy a mesothelioma patient has. These include general health and medical history, age, sex, cigarette use, mesothelioma type, and cancer stage. Patients under 45 years of age can expect longer lives with treatment. Women generally receive a more favorable prognosis than men do. Smokers do not have as favorable outcomes, particularly as smoking precludes some patients from surgeries that could otherwise help extend their lifespans.
Pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the heart, typically comes with a lower life expectancy. Peritoneal mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the abdomen, comes with the highest life expectancy. In general, the earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better the life expectancy. That being said, two-thirds of all victims of asbestos exposure do not receive a diagnosis until the disease has already advanced to its late stages.
Despite efforts to regulate and minimize asbestos use, cases of exposure still occur. Staying informed about Life Expectancy After Asbestos Exposure is key to making informed decisions about one’s health. Due to the aggressive and terminal nature of mesothelioma, medical treatment must also be aggressive and ongoing to ensure a more favorable life expectancy. For this reason, mesothelioma treatment is incredibly expensive. You and your family will likely require support to get through this difficult time.
We can help you pursue compensation if you’ve experienced asbestos exposure and a life-changing diagnosis. Let our experienced mesothelioma attorneys review your case today.