Hello and welcome to this in-depth journal article exploring the topic of mesothelioma in the US Navy. As you may already know, mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, those who have served in the US Navy are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma due to the extensive use of asbestos-containing materials in ships and naval facilities.
What is Mesothelioma and What Causes It?
Before we dive into the specific risks and consequences of mesothelioma in the US Navy, let’s first take a closer look at what mesothelioma is and what causes it.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, which is the thin layer of tissue that lines the lungs, heart, and abdomen. The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral that was commonly used in a variety of industries before its dangers were fully understood.
When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become trapped in the lining of the lungs, where they can cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually the development of mesothelioma.
What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the location of the cancer, but some common symptoms include:
|Location of Cancer||Common Symptoms|
|Lungs||Chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing|
|Abdomen||Abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss|
|Heart||Chest pain, irregular heartbeat, fatigue|
It’s important to note that mesothelioma symptoms can take decades to develop after exposure to asbestos, which can make it difficult to diagnose and treat.
As we mentioned earlier, those who have served in the US Navy are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma due to the extensive use of asbestos-containing materials in ships and naval facilities.
During the 20th century, the US Navy used asbestos in a variety of applications, including:
- Insulation for pipes and boilers
- Fireproofing for engine and boiler rooms
- Deck covering
- Brakes and clutches
- Gaskets and packing materials
The use of asbestos in these applications was widespread and lasted for many decades, exposing countless sailors, shipbuilders, and naval personnel to the dangerous fibers. Even today, many older ships and naval facilities still contain asbestos-containing materials, putting current Navy personnel at risk.
What Can You Do to Protect Yourself?
If you served in the US Navy or are currently serving and think you may have been exposed to asbestos, it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting screened for mesothelioma. Early detection is key to successful treatment.
In addition, if you work in an industry that may expose you to asbestos, be sure to follow all safety procedures and wear appropriate protective gear at all times.
The Consequences of Mesothelioma: Legal and Financial Concerns
Being diagnosed with mesothelioma can be a devastating experience, both emotionally and financially. In addition to the physical toll of the disease, those with mesothelioma may face significant legal and financial challenges.
What Legal Options Are Available?
If you were exposed to asbestos as a result of your service in the US Navy or in another industry, you may be able to pursue legal action to seek compensation for your injuries. Many companies that used asbestos-containing materials have been held liable for the harm they caused, and there are a number of mesothelioma settlement funds and trust funds available to help victims and their families.
What Financial Assistance is Available?
There are also a number of government programs and financial resources available to help mesothelioma victims and their families, including:
- Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI)
- Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
- Veterans Affairs (VA) benefits
- Workers’ compensation
These programs can help cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a serious and potentially deadly disease, and those who have served in the US Navy are at a higher risk of developing it due to asbestos exposure. If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to seek medical attention and explore your legal and financial options. We hope this article has provided you with valuable information about mesothelioma and the US Navy.