Asbestos Lung Cancer

Asbestos Lung Cancer History

With the use of asbestos having been banned in many countries for around 20 years now, it may seem like the problem with asbestos is over. Unfortunately, this is far from the truth. Every year thousands more people are diagnosed with asbestos lung cancer and thousands more die from this disease. On top of that, millions of workers in the construction industry are still being exposed to asbestos, particularly those in the demolition industry. The companies that use asbestos have known for a long time the potential dangers of this material, yet it was still allowed to be used for many decades, which has led to the current state of affairs.

If you've ever seen asbestos in or around a building, you may wonder how it could cause asbestos lung cancer. Asbestos actually lets off a lot of tiny little fibers are then inhaled by people working in close proximity with the material. These asbestos particles get lodged in the lungs and in the mesothelium, which is a membrane that protects the heart, lungs, and abdomen. The particles are too large to be breathed back out, so they sit there and eventually lead to serious health problems, most commonly asbestos lung cancer.

Asbestos Lung Cancer: Asbestosis

Basically, asbestos lung cancer fits into three major categories. First, there is asbestosis. This type of asbestos lung cancer manifests itself as shortness of breath that continually gets worse over time. It also causes people who have it to become easily exerted. At its most serious, this disease can cause complete respiratory failure. In addition, asbestosis frequently leads to lung cancer.

Asbestos and Lung Cancer

While asbestos isn't the only cause of lung cancer, it is certainly a prominent one. This is especially true in people who are already at risk for lung cancer, such as smokers. Needless to say, lung cancer is a very serious disease that is often fatal. The risk of developing lung cancer from asbestos exposure, and the prognosis, depends largely on the amount of asbestos that was inhaled over the course of the exposure.

Mesothelioma Asbestos Lung Cancer

Finally, there is mesothelioma, another type of asbestos lung cancer. This is also a cancerous disease, but it is not always centered on the lungs. It can also target the area around the heart or the abdomen. Like lung cancer, however, it is very often terminal. Many people who develop mesothelioma die within a year, and few live past 5 years.