Mesothelioma and asbestos Information for Veterans
We have prepared this section of our mesothelioma web site for veterans of the U.S. military services. Because there have been so many veterans exposed to asbestos during their service in the military, veterans are particularly at risk for mesothelioma. Throughout the 20th century the Navy and other branches of the military had asbestos products in ships, buildings, and other military facilities, and thousands of servicemen and women came into contact with asbestos fibers.
More Resources for Veterans
Military Asbestos Exposure
Getting around the VA
- Understanding the Veterans Health Administration
- Veterans Service Officers
- Your DD 214 “The Report of Separation”
VA Treatment Facilities
Military Asbestos Exposure
Members of all uniformed services were exposed to asbestos on duty, as were civilian defense employees, military contractors, and people in the merchant marines. Boilermen, enginemen, electricians, pipefitters, and many other jobs brought servicemen into close contact with asbestos insulation, cements, ceiling tiles, brakes, and other materials.
Thousands of Navy and Coast Guard ships were constructed with asbestos, which had physical properties that made it ideal for the vessels of the era. The health problems caused by inhaling asbestos fibers don’t show up for decades, but when they do, they can be serious. Literally hundreds of materials used by the Navy and other services included asbestos.
The Department of Veterans Affairs serves veterans in many ways, including the world-class medical system at the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). If you are eligible, these facilities can be an invaluable part of your health care. For more information and guidance, see our section on navigating your way through the VHA.
Like any large organization, the Department of Veterans Affairs can be difficult to find your away around in, and other federal and state programs for veterans are also hard to find and to identify if you qualify for. The VA has established a network of Veteran Service Officers at the county level throughout the United States.
Getting checked out and treated for asbestos diseases
Asbestos cancer, mesothelioma, and asbestosis can lie dormant for decades before symptoms start to show. Doctors who suspect mesothelioma will ask about your exposure to asbestos, and most people find this difficult to remember, especially if it happened decades ago. Check out our list of Naval Vessels for places where you might have been exposed, as well as our list of shipyards and asbestos-containing materials used by the military. If you worked with any of these materials or in any of these locations, be sure to tell your doctor during examinations. Early detection is the best defense against asbestos diseases.
If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, our site has extensive information on treatment. Contact us if you need help finding a doctor or medical center that can handle this form of cancer.
The VHA has designated Comprehensive Cancer Centers throughout the country. These are large hospitals with experienced oncologists and nursing staffs. The VA also has established, at a community level, outpatient clinics that provide medical care for eligible veterans. Click here for a list of outpatient clinics by state.
Support for veterans with mesothelioma
Mesothelioma Web attempts to be the most comprehensive mesothelioma website on the Internet. If you can’t find what you are looking for on the site, let us know at 877-367-6376 and we will attempt to answer your questions.