Military Veterans and Mesothelioma Cancer
While those who served in the Navy are considered to be at the most risk of developing malignant mesothelioma cancer, this disease does not discriminate. Vets who served in all branches of the military may have been exposed to asbestos during their time in the service.
Those in the Army may not have spent time on board naval ships, but they still faced the risk of exposure to asbestos. Because asbestos insulation was cheap and easy to use, it was prevalent in military housing. In fact, many Army bases still contain potentially harmful asbestos materials today despite the institution of asbestos usage regulations in the 1980s.
The Marines and the Navy have been working alongside one another since the inception of this country’s military. Many Marines served on Navy ships, and were therefore likely exposed to asbestos. Marines may also have been exposed while living in military base housing or during their time overseas.
Air Force Veterans
Those who served with the Air Force may have been exposed to asbestos while on board military aircraft, and those who repaired the planes were even more at risk of exposure. Airplane engines, brakes and other equipment contained asbestos insulation. In addition, Air Force members and even their family members were likely exposed while residing in base housing.
Medical Support for Veterans with Mesothelioma Cancer
For a veteran who bravely served their country, a mesothelioma diagnosis is incredibly overwhelming, especially when they realize that they may have been exposed to cancer-causing asbestos during their time in the service. Because of the long latency period associated with mesothelioma, many veterans are well into their seventies or eighties when they are diagnosed. The first step for a veteran who has received a mesothelioma diagnosis is to locate an oncologist who specializes in treating this disease.
It is important for veterans with cancer to understand that they are not limited to treatment at a VA-affiliated medical center. Often, an oncologist who also treats civilian cancer cases at a larger hospital may be the veteran’s best option. The Veterans Benefits Network can assist veterans who are looking for a physician to treat their cancer.
Legal Support for Veterans with Mesothelioma Cancer
Veterans who have developed mesothelioma cancer as a result of exposure sustained during their military service do have legal rights. While they cannot hold the U.S. government liable for their asbestos exposure, some veterans and their families choose to file a lawsuit against the manufacturer of the asbestos-containing product to which they were exposed. Many lawyers specialize in assisting veterans, and a veteran should seek out an attorney who has experience handling asbestos lawsuits.
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Last modified: December 24, 2010.