ASBESTOS LUNG CANCER VIDEO

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What are the types of asbestos-related lung disease?














What are the types of asbestos-related lung disease?
Asbestos Lung Cancer
Lung disease from exposure to asbestos can be divided into three main types:
1) asbestosis,
2) disease of the lining of the lung (pleura), and
3) lung cancer.

1. Asbestosis is a process of widespread scarring of the lungs.

2. Disease of the lining of the lungs, called the pleura, has a variety of signs and symptoms and is the result of inflammation and the hardening (calcification) and/or thickening of the lining tissue.

3. Lung cancer, either of the internal portions of the lungs or the outer lining (pleura).

All of the commonly available commercial forms of asbestos have been linked to cancerous and non-cancerous lung disease.

Asbestos-related lung disease / asbestos lung cancer occurred at very high rates toward the middle of the 20th century, when patients who were exposed decades earlier to asbestos eventually developed disease. British asbestos workers were among the first who were observed to have lung cancer related to asbestos.

Most current patients were once exposed to asbestos in:

* mines,
* mills,
* factories, or
* homes with asbestos, either in the process of carrying, installing, or removing asbestos, or while cleaning items laden with asbestos dust.

Some workers have been exposed to high concentrations of asbestos in:

* automotive repair,
* boilermaking,
* construction,
* pipefitting,
* launderers of asbestos-containing clothing.

Continuing sources of exposure are asbestos removal and general construction industries. The delay between exposure to asbestos and the development of cancer is generally 20 or more years.

The number of deaths from asbestosis / asbestos lung cancer has increased over the past two decades, but is believed to have plateaued due to increased awareness of the risks.

Who is at risk for an asbestos-related disease?












Who is at risk for an asbestos-related disease?

Asbestos Lung Cancer
Everyone is exposed to asbestos at some time during their life. Low levels of asbestos are present in the air, water, and soil. However, most people do not become ill from their exposure. People who become ill from asbestos are usually those who are exposed to it on a regular basis, most often in a job where they work directly with the material or through substantial environmental contact.

Since the early 1940s, millions of American workers have been exposed to asbestos. Health hazards from asbestos fibers have been recognized in workers exposed in the shipbuilding trades, asbestos mining and milling, manufacturing of asbestos textiles and other asbestos products, insulation work in the construction and building trades, and a variety of other trades. Demolition workers, drywall removers, asbestos removal workers, firefighters, and automobile workers also may be exposed to asbestos fibers. Studies evaluating the cancer risk experienced by automobile mechanics exposed to asbestos through brake repair are limited, but the overall evidence suggests there is no safe level of asbestos exposure . As a result of Government regulations and improved work practices, today’s workers (those without previous exposure) are likely to face smaller risks than did those exposed in the past.

Individuals involved in the rescue, recovery, and cleanup at the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center (WTC) in New York City are another group at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease. Because asbestos was used in the construction of the North Tower of the WTC, when the building was attacked, hundreds of tons of asbestos were released into the atmosphere. Those at greatest risk include :
  • firefighters,
  • police officers,
  • paramedics,
  • construction workers, and
  • volunteers who worked in the rubble at Ground Zero.
Others at risk include residents in close proximity to the WTC towers and those who attended schools nearby. These individuals will need to be followed to determine the long-term health consequences of their asbestos exposure .

One study found that nearly 70 percent of WTC rescue and recovery workers suffered new or worsened respiratory symptoms while performing work at the WTC site. The study describes the results of the WTC Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, which was established to identify and characterize possible WTC-related health effects in responders. The study found that about 27 percent of those tested had abnormal lung function tests, and 62 percent of those without previous health problems developed respiratory symptoms . However, it is important to note that these symptoms may be related to exposure to debris components other than asbestos.

Although it is clear that the health risks from asbestos exposure increase with heavier exposure and longer exposure time, investigators have found asbestos-related diseases in individuals with only brief exposures. Generally, those who develop asbestos-related diseases show no signs of illness for a long time after their first exposure. It can take from 10 to 40 years or more for symptoms of an asbestos-related condition to appear .
There is some evidence that family members of workers heavily exposed to asbestos face an increased risk of developing mesothelioma . This risk is thought to result from exposure to asbestos fibers brought into the home on the shoes, clothing, skin, and hair of workers. To decrease these exposures, Federal law regulates workplace practices to limit the possibility of asbestos being brought home in this way. Some employees may be required to shower and change their clothes before they leave work, store their street clothes in a separate area of the workplace, or wash their work clothes at home separately from other clothes .

Cases of mesothelioma / asbestos lung cancer have also been seen in individuals without occupational asbestos exposure who live close to asbestos mines .
asbestos-lung-cancer-explained.

Asbestos Lung Cancer Explained











Asbestos Lung Cancer Explained


Most asbestos lung cancer starts in the lining of the bronchi, the tubes into which the trachea or windpipe divides. However, asbestos lung cancer can also begin in other areas such as the trachea, bronchioles (small branches of the bronchi), or alveoli (lung air sacs). Although asbestos lung cancer usually develops slowly, once it occurs, cancer cells can break away and spread to other parts of the body.

The two most common types of asbestos lung cancer are small cell lung cancer (SCLC), in which the cancer cells are small and round, and non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), in which the cancer cells are larger. Sometimes a cancer has features of both types, and is called mixed small cell/large cell cancer.

Non–small cell lung cancer accounts for almost 80% of lung cancers. Small cell asbestos lung cancer accounts for about 20% of all lung cancers (American Cancer Society, Lung Cancer). Although the cancer cells are small, they can multiply quickly and form large tumors. The tumors can spread to the lymph nodes and to other organs.

Early–stage asbestos lung cancer may be asymptomatic (without symptoms). The methods used to diagnose asbestos lung cancer include imaging tests, biopsies, and taking phlegm (spit) samples.
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What are the health hazards of exposure to asbestos?












What are the health hazards of exposure to asbestos?


People may be exposed to asbestos in their workplace, their communities, or their homes. If products containing asbestos are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers are released into the air. When asbestos fibers are breathed in, they may get trapped in the lungs and remain there for a long time. Over time, these fibers can accumulate and cause scarring and inflammation, which can affect breathing and lead to serious health problems (6).

Asbestos has been classified as a known human carcinogen (a substance that causes cancer) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the EPA, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer (2, 3, 7, 8). Studies have shown that exposure to asbestos may increase the risk of asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma (a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen). Although rare, mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. In addition to asbestos lung cancer and mesothelioma, some studies have suggested an association between asbestos exposure and gastrointestinal and colorectal cancers, as well as an elevated risk for cancers of the throat, kidney, esophagus, and gallbladder (3, 4). However, the evidence is inconclusive.

Asbestos exposure may also increase the risk of asbestosis (an inflammatory condition affecting the lungs that can cause shortness of breath, coughing, and permanent lung damage) and other nonmalignant lung and pleural disorders, including pleural plaques (changes in the membranes surrounding the lung), pleural thickening, and benign pleural effusions (abnormal collections of fluid between the thin layers of tissue lining the lungs and the wall of the chest cavity). Although pleural plaques are not precursors to lung cancer, evidence suggests that people with pleural disease caused by exposure to asbestos may be at increased risk for asbestos lung cancer.
asbestos-lung-cancer-explained