Thursday, April 10, 2008

Asbestos Cause Lung Mesothelioma Cancer

Asbestos Cause Lung Mesothelioma Cancer
by Nathalie Fiset

Asbestos induced lung cancer is known as Mesothelioma. It is a dangerous disease that, while rare, is troublesome for several reasons. For one thing, the initial symptoms of mesothelioma are ones that can usually be associated with other, less threatening problems, including asthma, old age, and being out of shape.

Because of this, while only 3000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every year, it is held that quite a few fatal cases of seemingly harmless lung ailments were in fact misdiagnosed cases of mesothelioma.

The inital cause of mesothelioma is the introduction of minute fibers of asbestos into a person's lungs through inhalation. Asbestos is a fibrous, fire retardant material that was commonly used in the past several decades for fire proofing purposes.

The fibrous nature of the material causes it to fragment into small slivers that are easily airborne and almost invisible to the naked eye. People who inhale the fibers first develop a problem called asbestosis.

Asbestosis is the development of small scar tissue in the lungs due to the fibers of asbestos. This scar tissue causes difficulty breathing, and given time can block entire sections of the lung's air passages altogether.

However, if left unchecked, asbestosis causes a more severe lung problem called mesothelioma, a form of lung cancer caused by tumors in the lungs. The lungs and chest cavity in general develop an excess of fluids due to the body's unsuccessful effort to combat these tumors and the foreign particles (the asbestos fibers).


The earliest symptoms of lung asbestos problems is a harsh, rattling breathing pattern commonly associated with smokers. The other symptoms include shortness of breath, shallow breathing, and a drop in physical endurance. Since these symptoms are commonly found in smokers as well, it was a previously held misconception that asbestosis was also caused by smoking filtered cigarettes.

Recent studies show that this is not the case - not that smoking is healthy, but rather only that the two, while having the same symptoms, are not related.
If left unchecked asbestosis develops into mesothelioma, and the symptoms worsen to sudden chest pains, even more difficulty breathing, and even a "sloshing" feeling when breathing, like that experienced by people during severe coughs where the lungs temporarily fill with phlegm.

Again, this symptom can be easily explained away as a case of fever or cough, and can easily be misdiagnosed.

In either case, the only real way to determine if someone has asbestosis or mesothelioma is to undergo an x ray. X ray scans can detect the presence of asbestos fiber induced scar tissue, or the formation of tumors in the lungs. Without an x ray there is no sure way to determine the presence of asbestos in the lungs.


The effects of asbestosis and mesothelioma are ultimately fatal if left unchecked. Pulmonary emboli, a condition where blood clotting forms in the lungs and not only restricts breathing, but also sends these clots into the blood stream and eventually causing cardiac arrest, is one of the usual causes of death from asbestos inhalation.

The fluid buildup in the lungs, chest cavity, and chest lining brought about by mesothelioma is another common cause of death, as this fluid can literally fill a person's lungs, restricting breathing completely, or can likewise cause cardiac arrest eventually.

The lung tumors of mesothelioma can also grow out of control, eventually eating away a person's lungs like a regular cancer, or can cause severe wounds in the chest cavity that causes internal hemorrhaging.


Regular lung surgery can be used to treat early cases of asbestosis, assuming that no cancers have developed yet. The survival rate is pretty much on par with regular operations, so at this early stage people can be treated with safety.

However, if the asbestosis has already developed into mesothelioma, regular surgery ceases to be an option, as the average life expectancy of a patient after the operation is only 5 years. Chemotherapy and laser surgery procedures geared towards cancer treatment are the most effective medical procedures used in tandem to treat mesothelioma tumors.

Avoidance/Safety Tips

One fact about asbestosis and mesothelioma is that the symptoms only manifest between 20 to 50 years after inhaling the fibers, depending on the fitness of the person and the amount of asbestos inhaled. Therefore, at the first possible signs x rays should be taken to determine of the problems are simply old age or not.

Wearing safety masks with air filters if working in an area with asbestos is a must to prevent asbestosis and mesothelioma. This not only includes factory workers who are exposed to industrial materials laced with asbestos, but to civilians who travel through construction and demolition sites where old houses are situated.

The reason for this is because some houses and buildings constructed in the 1970s and 1980s included asbestos lining as part of the materials in an attempt at fire proofing

1 comment:

Rohit Sharma said...

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