Mesothelioma Latency Periods
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral which for years was used in industrial and construction applications. Someone who has been exposed to asbestos may not develop mesothelioma for many years. Mesothelioma latency periods refer to the time it takes for the disease to develop and manifest.
Understanding the Latency Period of Mesothelioma
The latency period for someone who has been exposed to asbestos can be anywhere from twenty to fifty years. The exact time it takes to develop the disease depends on a number of factors, including:
- Exposure. The greater the exposure and the longer the exposure took place, the more likely it is that someone will develop mesothelioma sooner.
- Genetics. Genetics play a big role in mesothelioma, although researchers do not understand the link. Some patients are exposed to very small amounts of asbestos rarely and develop mesothelioma. Some work around the material for a lifetime and never develop the cancer. In addition, two workers with the same exposure may have very different latency periods, even though their exposure was the same. This may be because some people are more vulnerable to mesothelioma.
- Diagnosis. Since mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, it can take some time before a proper diagnosis is made. This means the latency period may be greater for a patient because their condition was not detected quickly.
- Occupation. Workers in construction, manufacturing, aerospace and other industries who were employed in the 1980s and before had the highest rate of exposure to asbestos, because during that time, the dangers of the material were not widely reported and these occupations were more likely to lead to exposure. Workers in these occupations tend to have a shorter latency period overall because their exposure was more severe.
How Latency Periods Affect You
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, speak with a medical professional who has experience diagnosing and treating mesothelioma. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, work closely with mesothelioma doctors to get the best treatment possible.
You’ll also want to contact a New Orleans mesothelioma lawyer. Many cases of mesothelioma are cases of negligence, but the long latency periods can make it challenging to prove when exposure occurred and who is liable. The experienced attorneys at Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm have handled multiple mesothelioma cases, and some of our attorneys have served on steering committees of class action lawsuits.
Our legal team is committed to treating clients with compassion and professional care. We are ethical and work hard to seek the best results possible on your behalf. Contact Irpino, Avin & Hawkins Law Firm online or by calling 800-7500-LAW or 504-525-1500 for a free consultation.