The Risk of Lung Cancer From Asbestos
Asbestos has been categorized as a known human carcinogen (a material that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer. Studies have revealed that exposure to asbestos may add to the risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.
While the majority asbestos-associated cancers are related to the intensity and duration of exposure, reports in medical journals have connected some mesotheliomas to short exposure periods, on the order of months. People who get asbestosis have typically been exposed to high levels of asbestos extensively. The symptoms of these diseases do not typically come into view until about 20 to 30 years after the first exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos-related lung disease rose at very high rates toward the middle of the 20th century, when patients who were uncovered decades earlier to asbestos ultimately developed disease. British asbestos workers were among the first who were detected to suffer lung cancer related to asbestos.
The majority asbestos lung cancer begins in the lining of the bronchi, the tubes into which the trachea or windpipe divides. However, it can also start in other parts such as the trachea, bronchioles (small branches of the bronchi), or alveoli (lung air sacs). Even though the cancer typically develops slowly, once it happens, cancer cells can break away and extend to other areas of the body.
Asbestos has been recognized as a principal risk factor for lung cancer for several years. However, though death statistics for Great Britain are readily obtainable, the number of deaths attributable to asbestos cannot be concluded in a straight line. This is because there are many agents that can lead to the disease – most significantly, tobacco smoke – and lung cancers resulting from asbestos exposure are clinically identical from those caused by these other agents.
There was a study that pointed out that exposure to asbestos and smoke makes you ninety times more possible to contract lung cancer than a person who is not exposed to either. A number of the symptoms of lung cancers include coughing, irregularities, breathing chest pains and also anemia.