A devastated grandmother-of-10 is appealing for help to find out if working at two factories has caused her terminal asbestos-related cancer.

Kath Broughton, 67, fell ill with severe shortness of breath in March.

After tests and treatment, it was confirmed in August that she had mesothelioma – a cancer of the lining of the lung often associated with asbestos exposure.

Following the news, Kath, formerly of Harraby, Carlisle, instructed expert asbestos-related disease lawyers at Irwin Mitchell to investigate her illness and whether it could be linked to her work history.

Kath, a mum-of-two who is married to Jim, 72, and her legal team are now appealing to people who worked with her at two companies to come forward and help.

Kath’s first spell at Metal Box Co. Ltd in Carlisle began in 1973. The company, which was known as Hudson Scott Carlisle, created food packaging and she was responsible for inspecting lids. Kath was based in the main building for around six months before moving to the Phoenix Building over the road.

She left the firm in 1975/76, returning in 1989 for about a year.

She said: “I don’t remember a huge amount about working there, except that there were two buildings about four storeys high. As well as inspecting lids, I remember working with metal tops for bottles in the packing area. I also think there were steam pipes on the premises.”

Kath worked at Cavaghan & Gray in 1975/76 as well as 1979/80.

During her second period at Cavaghan & Gray , Kath worked in the pie department close to a large industrial oven. She believes that a rope-style seal round the oven could have been made from asbestos.

Kath, who moved to Paignton, Devon, in 1991/92, said: “When I was told I had cancer and it was terminal I couldn’t believe it. Nothing can prepare you for the news.

“While my diagnosis is still very raw I’m trying to come to terms with it the best. However, it’s difficult not to worry about the future and particularly what it means for Jim and the rest of the family.

“I’ve so many questions about how I could have been exposed to asbestos and I think I deserve answers, not just for me but for my family.

“It can’t change what has happened, but hopefully by having my old colleagues come forward it will enable my family to understand why this happened and how.”

Rebecca Buxton, the specialist lawyer at Irwin Mitchell representing Kath, said: “Kath is devastated by her diagnosis and what the future holds for her and her family. Understandably she has a number of concerns about her illness and whether it is linked to her working history.

“Mesothelioma is a dreadful disease and while sadly there isn’t much the doctors can do for Kath we’re determined to support her and her family by establishing answers they deserve around her illness.

“We would be grateful is anyone who remembers working with Kath, or anyone with information about working conditions at the factories, could come forward. Any detail could make all the difference to Kath and her family.”