Do You Know The Warning Signs of This Deadly Disease?

Our guest post today contains an urgent message. Please give a warm welcome to Doug Karr, a former Petty Officer, Second Class for the United States Navy. Doug currently writes about veteran health for the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos.  The early warning signs are subtle and often ignored. A majority of suffers have symptoms present for 2 to 3 months prior to diagnoses. These symptoms are over looked because they can be mistaken for common every day ailments.

Symptoms include shortness of breath, back or chest pain, difficulty swallowing, coughing, fever, weight loss, fatigue, muscle weakness, and hoarseness.  The latency period of this disease is what makes it so unique. A person may not experience symptoms from mesothelioma for 10 to even 40 years after their asbestos exposure.  So if you have ever been exposed to asbestos fibers at home or in the work place you should schedule regular doctors visits to watch for these symptoms.

Asbestos exposure is a possibility for veterans in all branches of the military: Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. However, Navy veterans are most at risk for health problems because the Navy used asbestos everywhere: shipyards, boiler rooms, engine rooms, galleys, mess halls, sleeping quarters and other facilities. For many Navy personnel, asbestos exposure was unavoidable.

All veterans of the armed forces may have been exposed to asbestos if they worked in certain occupations. Health problems and disability are very real possibilities for those who worked in mining, milling, insulation, construction, demolition, flooring, roofing, vehicle repair, manufacturing and other jobs that used asbestos products.

Asbestosis, pleural plaques, lung cancer and mesothelioma are some of the health problems associated with asbestos exposure. Veterans who struggle with these conditions find it difficult to work because of painful coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain and respiratory problems.

The United States Department of Veteran Affairs recognizes mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases as service-related disabilities. Former members of the armed forces may be eligible for health and disability benefits if their health problems were caused by asbestos exposure during their service years. In some cases, their dependents may also qualify for government benefits.

Thank you Doug for your service and for bringing us this important message.  Doug has graciously offered to answer any questions you may have. You can contact Doug at


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