About 20 years ago, when I was 23 I was working in the construction field and did demolition on a house that had asbestos. They said it was in the acoustic part of the ceiling. I was covered with dust, no ventalation, and had no breathing protection. The demo lasted 1 week half. I am worried that I will get cancer or mesothelioma. I am very worried. Should I be or would this be considered small exposure. Currently, I don’t have any problems. Reading everything, I feel that I have 10 to 20 percent of developing one of theses deadly diseases. Is cancer more likely or mesothemioma. I told may docter and she she said it was minual but she not expert. I appreciate your help
The bottom line up front is that the risk of cancer or mesothelioma is quite low in people who have had limited exposures to asbestos. In terms of quantifying risk with a percentage, that is a very difficult task. Your physicians estimation of your risk as "minimal" is likely a good estimation.
A couple questions for you.
1. Are you a smoker? If so, you should do your very best to quit smoking now, if not today/tonight. Smoking + exposure to asbestos dramatically increases your risk for cancer.
2. Have you ever had a chest x-ray? One of the reasons why I ask is that chest x-rays can show signs of asbestos exposure. However, these "plaques" are not predictive of the later development of cancer or mesothelioma. The "plaques" represent the lungs response to asbestos exposure.
I hope that this is helpful. Feel free to ask additional questions.
~•~ Dr. Parks
This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical or legal advice. The information presented in this posting is for patients’ education only. As always, I encourage you to see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.
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