Asbestos exposure: What are the chances of developing mesothelioma?

Posted by davidsmith76 @davidsmith76, Dec 24, 2022

I might have been exposed to asbestos. I am 76 years old. Will I outlive any chances of getting mesothelioma? How many years does it take for symptoms to develop?

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At age 76 will I outlive my chances of getting mesothelioma?

REPLY

Good morning @davidsmith76 From information I’ve found, most people exposed to asbestos don’t develop (asbestos based) mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is rare and can happen without exposure to asbestos.

From our Mayo Website (with the informational link attached below) “Most people with asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.”
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022
The possibility for chances of this cancer can be impacted by the level of exposure and the length of time. It can take decades for the disease to develop.
Another informational article for you to read from Asbestos.com https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/latency-period/#:~:text=How%20Long%20Does%20Mesothelioma%20Take%20to%20Develop%3F%20Mesothelioma,cases%20have%20been%20around%2060%20to%2070%20years.

How long ago were you exposed? There are a number of jobs more commonly associated with the risk.

Asbestos miners
Electricians
Firemen/rescue workers
Plumbers
Pipefitters
Insulators
Shipyard workers
Demolition workers
Brake mechanics
Selected military personnel
Home remodelers
Were you employed in a high risk area?

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@davidsmith76

At age 76 will I outlive my chances of getting mesothelioma?

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Well, I would certainly think so – I was regularly exposed to asbestos as a kid – for several years my brother and I used to dig for agates in a "tailings pile", and haul the stuff to spread on our driveway instead of coal ash. We are now screened regularly but no signs of mesothelioma. We do have other (familial) lung issues that would also make us predisposed to it.
Growing up in the city in the '50's was an adventure – in addition to the asbestos, we played on the railroad tracks, picked tar balls off the streets when recoated (we now know this was waste oil from old electric transformers, full of PCB's), crawled around 90-100 year old attics and basements, went sledding down tree-covered hills, ice skated in below zero temps – Oh yeah, and we lived by a roofing plant, a poleyard (creosote), a paint factory (solvents) and climbed ladders to help our Dad paint houses & rebuild old brick chimneys. Now in our 70's, it is a wonder we all survived!
Sue

REPLY

Thank you for replying. It was so interesting what you recounted. I tend to be a worrier and get fixated on such stuff so that is where I am coming from. I guess you are telling me to ''let it go'' and stop fixating.

I am interested to know about the screeing you get for mesothelioma. What does it entail? Again, thanks so much for taking the tine to respond to someone who is very concerned about this topic

REPLY
@loribmt

Good morning @davidsmith76 From information I’ve found, most people exposed to asbestos don’t develop (asbestos based) mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is rare and can happen without exposure to asbestos.

From our Mayo Website (with the informational link attached below) “Most people with asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.”
https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/mesothelioma/symptoms-causes/syc-20375022
The possibility for chances of this cancer can be impacted by the level of exposure and the length of time. It can take decades for the disease to develop.
Another informational article for you to read from Asbestos.com https://www.asbestos.com/mesothelioma/latency-period/#:~:text=How%20Long%20Does%20Mesothelioma%20Take%20to%20Develop%3F%20Mesothelioma,cases%20have%20been%20around%2060%20to%2070%20years.

How long ago were you exposed? There are a number of jobs more commonly associated with the risk.

Asbestos miners
Electricians
Firemen/rescue workers
Plumbers
Pipefitters
Insulators
Shipyard workers
Demolition workers
Brake mechanics
Selected military personnel
Home remodelers
Were you employed in a high risk area?

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It was about three years ago. I had a fellow remove some asbestos tiles from my basement and he really did not follow the proper procedure for doing such a project. At that time, I knew nothing about how it had to be done correctly and safely. He was there just a day doing the job. He put the tiles in the black plastic bags and took them away for me. I am assuming he disposed of them correctly. Again, I was not aware of how this project should have been done.

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@davidsmith76

It was about three years ago. I had a fellow remove some asbestos tiles from my basement and he really did not follow the proper procedure for doing such a project. At that time, I knew nothing about how it had to be done correctly and safely. He was there just a day doing the job. He put the tiles in the black plastic bags and took them away for me. I am assuming he disposed of them correctly. Again, I was not aware of how this project should have been done.

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Hi David, if this exposure was only 3 years ago, I’d say go ahead and buy green bananas. My mom used to joke about that…she planned on living a long time. ☺️

REPLY
@davidsmith76

Thank you for replying. It was so interesting what you recounted. I tend to be a worrier and get fixated on such stuff so that is where I am coming from. I guess you are telling me to ''let it go'' and stop fixating.

I am interested to know about the screeing you get for mesothelioma. What does it entail? Again, thanks so much for taking the tine to respond to someone who is very concerned about this topic

Jump to this post

Mesothelioma is only screened for in cases of significant (long term or very close) exposure plus specific lung symptoms such as cough and shortness of breath. Then x-rays or CT scans will look for signs of tumors, which can then be biopsies.
I think you can be assured that a single exposure is highly unlikely to be a problem unless you are a heavy smoker or have emphysema or COPD
Do you have lung symptoms?
Sue

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No, I am not a smoker and never was. I do not have emphysems or COPD. I take no meds. I seem to enjoy good health.

REPLY
@loribmt

Hi David, if this exposure was only 3 years ago, I’d say go ahead and buy green bananas. My mom used to joke about that…she planned on living a long time. ☺️

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Good attitude!!

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