A very important characteristic of mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases is the long delay, or latency period, between the asbestos exposure and the onset of disease. It is usually at least 15 years, and sometimes as long as 40 or 50 years, after the person’s first exposure to asbestos before an asbestos-related condition develops in the exposed person.
Because of this latency period, people exposed to asbestos many years ago are still at risk, now and in the future, to develop mesothelioma, lung cancer, or asbestosis.
Exposure to all types of asbestos is known to cause asbestos-related lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and asbestosis.
- Asbestos-related lung cancer occurs inside the lungs.
- Malignant mesothelioma is an asbestos cancer that affects the lining or covering of the affected body part, such as (1) the lung, if it is pleural mesothelioma, or (2) the abdomen, if it is peritoneal mesothelioma, or (3) the heart, if it is pericardial mesothelioma. Each of these three different types of mesothelioma is sometimes called just “meso”, for short.
- Asbestosis is not cancer; rather it is pulmonary fibrosis, or scarring of the lungs, that is caused by breathing in asbestos dust and asbestos fibers.
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- Mesothelioma Diagnosis
- Mesothelioma Stages
- Mesothelioma Treatment Options By Stages
- Malignant Mesothelioma Treatments
- Treatment Drugs Approved for Malignant Mesothelioma
- Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Surgery Options
- What Is Peritoneal Mesothelioma and How Is It Treated?
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (“Meso”) Is Rare Asbestos Cancer Type
- Mesothelioma, Asbestos Diseases, and Smoking
- More About Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lung Cancer
- Lung Cancer Diagnosis
- Lung Cancer Staging
- Lung Cancer Treatment Options
- Asbestos Diseases: Pulmonary Asbestosis and Pleural Thickening