Sequoia Senior Solutions Blog

Comments & Discussions Pertinent to Seniors and Their Families

How Asbestos Exposure has Affected Senior Citizens

Guest Blogger Faith Franz

Senior CitizensPost-retirement, most seniors are looking forward to traveling, visiting with family and otherwise enjoying their leisure time.

Unfortunately, some receive news that they never expected to hear: that they will spend the next years of their life receiving treatment for an asbestos-related disease.

Nearly 3,000 people each year are diagnosed with mesothelioma (a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos). Seniors receive the majority of these diagnoses. Seniors also have a high risk for the other diseases caused by asbestos exposure, including:


  • Asbestosis
  • Lung cancer
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural effusion

Most often, these diseases are caused by exposure that occurred when the patient was much younger. Asbestos-induced damage occurs slowly, and most asbestos-related diseases develop over the course of several decades.

In the 1970s and ‘80s, when many of today’s seniors were in the workforce, asbestos use was extremely common. It was present in literally thousands of products before it was identified as a carcinogen. Even after health organizations learned of its impact on human health, companies still did not completely discontinue its use.

Many seniors encountered asbestos at some point throughout their career. Those who worked in the military or in industrial occupations were at the highest risk for the exposure. Additionally, the spouses of these workers faced exposure risks when they laundered their spouse’s asbestos-contaminated work garments.

Now, decades later, seniors may be facing health complications because of this exposure.

What Seniors Can do Now to Protect their Health

Because asbestos exposure that occurred long ago cannot be undone, seniors must do what they can to protect their health now.

Anyone who worked in a heavily asbestos-contaminated industry must understand that they have a high risk for developing an asbestos-related disease. These industries include:

  • Shipbuilding
  • Plumbing
  • Pipefitting
  • Mining
  • Metalworking

Seniors should make a note to tell their doctors about their history of asbestos exposure. The physician will arrange regular health screenings – including CT scans and pulmonary function tests – for the patient.

In the event that these tests reveal an asbestos-related disease, patients should explore their treatment options as promptly as possible. The longer they delay treatment, the more limited the treatment options are. However, seniors who treat their illnesses in the earliest stages tend to have the most positive prognosis.

For more information:


Author bio: Faith Franz researches and writes about health-related issues for The Mesothelioma Center. One of her focuses is living with cancer.


Senior careThis information was brought to you by Stanton Lawson, the Co-Owner of Sequoia Senior Solutions. Sequoia’s mission is to ensure a better quality of life for their elderly clients and their families, by providing dependable and affordable in-home care. Sequoia’s focus is to keep you or your loved ones at home and avoid:

  • Loss of friends and possessions
  • Loss of independence and freedom
  • Loss of spirit which is drained by the battles of daily living

Sequoia Senior Solutions, Inc. serves Napa, Sonoma, Marin, Solano, Mendocino, Lake Counties. The main office is located at191 Lynch Creek Way, Suite 102, Petaluma, CA 94954. Email  Tel: (707) 763-6600 Fax: (707) 763-6607,



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