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That ‘prostate cancer' diagnosis could be wrong if you've been exposed to asbestos…

by , 04 April 2013

South Africa's mining industry is one of its largest employment sectors. Unfortunately, many of these miners were exposed to asbestos until asbestos mining stopped in 2002. Now, many lead them to live a life tainted by asbestos-related diseases like the deadly lung cancer mesothelioma. Unfortunately, some of the symptoms are easily confused with those of prostate cancer, so it tends to be incorrectly diagnosed. Here's what to look for.


South Africa was the site of ground-breaking research linking asbestos exposure to an excruciatingly painful and deadly lung cancer called mesothelioma. 
 
But the import, export, manufacture and sale of asbestos products was only banned in 2008, says the Business Day’s BD Live website.
That’s why many people still struggle with asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma.
 
Mesothelioma primarily involves the thin lining that surrounds organs in the chest and abdomen and kills someone every 3.4 hours, according to Asbestos.com
 
Unfortunately, the signs of mesothelioma tend to appear only 20 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos, which could be too late.
 
So if you or someone you know worked with asbestos, it’s a good idea to go for a screening.
 
And in cases of testicular mesothelioma, the symptoms of testicular lumps and swelling of the scrotum tend to be misdiagnosed as prostate cancer.
 
Here’s when to worry that your ‘prostate cancer’ is actually mesothelioma
 
So if you’ve been diagnosed with prostate cancer and you know you’ve been exposed to asbestos, you’ll need to watch for the symptoms of mesothelioma.
 
This is especially true if you haven’t experienced the most common symptoms of prostate cancer, like a change in your urination habits, says FSP Health.
 
Instead, look out for symptoms like shortness of breath, constant chest pain or cough, night sweats, weight loss but fluid gain, bowel obstruction and swelling of the feet, says MesotheliomaSymptomsOnline.
 
One way to minimise your risk of lung cancer if you’ve been exposed to asbestos…
 
eHow says smokers who have been exposed to asbestos have a higher risk of developing lung cancer.
 
So quitting smoking may help reduce the risk of developing lung cancer.
 
And apart from the obvious risk of lung cancer, quitting smoking will also make you less likely to look older than your years, thanks to wrinkles and skin damage, says FSP Health.
 
All the more reason to quit smoking today!
 

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