Lung Cancer Caused by Asbestos

Asbestos-caused lung cancer, just like mesothelioma, is known as one of the rarest types of cancer, which is at the same time the most common cause of cancer death in the United States. It has been estimated that 4,800 individuals die every single year because of this particular illness. That is a number which represents about 4 percent of the entire U.S. fatalities that is associated with cancer of the lungs. The overwhelming majority of the other deaths, nearly 90%, are related to smoking.

Research on medical trials first made the probably causal link between the exposure to asbestos and lung cancer in 1935. A number of years later, a member of the National Cancer Institute did confirm asbestos as the cause of lung cancer. A study after study kept growing so as to show the cause-effect link between asbestos exposure and lung cancer. The occupational safety and Health Administration, which is also known as OSHA, in 1986 claimed lung cancer as the most dominant risk for Americans that worked with asbestos.

Just like mesothelioma, another asbestos-linked cancer, lung cancer linked with asbestos is usually diagnosed at the late stage of development due to the long latency period of the outset and the development of the symptoms. The similarities and differences between mesothelioma and cancer are quite subtle. Both take decades to develop, but only few months to spread to distant areas in the body. They have similar diagnostic procedure and treatment steps. Nevertheless, the diseases are different in terms of the physical characteristics and the non-asbestos risk factors.

How Exposure to Asbestos Causes Lung Cancer

Manufacturers andcompanies have extensively mined and used asbestos, which is a naturally occurring mineral, for various commercial objectives in North America since the late 1800s. it has been now highly regulated and a number of countries classify it as human carcinogen. When somebody disturbs asbestos containing stuffs, they will release the microscopic fibers into the air. When in haled, these tiny fibers can get trapped in the lungs. Over the long periods of time, they can accumulate and trigger inflammation, scaring, and a wide range of health problems, at critical extent. In some cases, the fibers will even trigger the development of lung cancer.

Researchers have reported the duration and concentration of asbestos exposure which plays an important role in the risk of developing the cancer. The Helsinki Criteria states that the risk of lung cancer gets higher as much as 4 percent with the year of exposure. OSHA has indicated that there is a clear association between the concentration of asbestos exposure and the risk of lung cancer, which indicates higher concentration of asbestos fibers, the higher the lung cancer risk will be.

The implication of asbestos exposure are not readily apparent following the initial exposure. When asbestos fibers are ingested, they can get lodged in the lining of the lungs. The size of asbestos fibers will have significant impact on where they will get lodged, which implies on whether lung cancer or the mesothelioma will develop.

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