About this Guide/First Steps
About this Guide
This guide will help you understand the illnesses asbestos may cause and how to take care of yourself if you have any of those conditions. Caregivers may also find the guide useful.
If you think you might have been exposed to asbestos:
Tell your doctor. Your doctor may take an exposure history and recommend a thorough physical exam, including a chest x-ray and lung function tests. Your doctor may need a specialist who is experienced in reading x-rays for asbestos-related illness to help interpret the results. Other tests may be necessary.
Quit smoking. If you are a smoker, quit smoking. Smoking combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the risk of getting lung cancer.
Get regular influenza (flu) and pneumonia shots. Regular inoculations help reduce the chance of lung infections.
Being exposed to asbestos does not mean that you will develop health problems! Many things need to be considered when evaluating whether you are at risk for health problems from asbestos exposure. A doctor can help you find out if you have health problems from asbestos exposure.
- Page last reviewed: April 1, 2008
- Page last updated: April 1, 2008
- Content source: Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry