Mesothelioma: Get the 411 before you call 911


U.S. veterans have always walked into the face of danger without flinching at the idea of putting themselves in harm’s way to protect us.

Unfortunately, as we learn more about hazards they encountered during their service, many veterans had no idea that asbestos was perhaps the deadliest of enemies. As a result, today’s veterans of WWII, as well as the Vietnam and Korean Wars are among those most at risk of asbestos-related health conditions, including mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive respiratory cancer of lung’s lining, a thin membrane of cell tissue known as the mesothelium. Military personnel often inhaled airborne asbestos fiber, which was a common component in many military industrial complex materials until the early 1980s. Finding help for veterans is not difficult, but knowing when to find help can be.

Even those exposed to asbestos during military service many years ago may still be at risk for the development of mesothelioma, as the disease often has a latency period of 30-50 years beyond exposure.

According to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance, veterans should monitor their respiratory health closely and speak with their primary care physician about any known asbestos exposure history. While exposure was most common aboard naval vessels and within naval shipyards, asbestos permeated industries within the Defense Department’s industrial complex (as well as many civilian heavy industries).

Asbestos-related conditions, and particularly mesothelioma, are still relatively rare but identifying possible exposure history can be critical for respiratory care specialists to identify, and treat appropriately, those veterans who may be at risk.

Veterans diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer should contact a mesothelioma lawyer to see about the substantial financial compensation they are owed.

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Many military veterans have been exposed to asbestos and may be at risk of developing mesothelioma. For more information about this rare cancer and other veteran health risks, visit the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance at

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