Usually, you begin by seeing your family doctor (GP). They will examine you and may arrange for you to have some blood tests and x-rays. Your GP should urgently refer you for a chest x-ray if you have a history of asbestos exposure, and any of the following symptoms:
- shortness of breath
- chest pain
- weight loss
- loss of appetite.
Depending on the results of any tests and x-rays, your GP may refer you to hospital for further tests and specialist advice and treatment.
At the hospital, the specialist will ask you about your general health and any previous medical problems before they examine you.
You may be asked questions about any possible exposure to asbestos in your past, such as during jobs you’ve had or at places you’ve worked. This is called your occupational history. You may also be asked if someone in your family, a parent for example, worked with asbestos. Don’t worry if you can’t remember all of the details at first. You can let your doctor know later about anything you remember.