Sunday, February 19, 2012

Does Smoking Increase the Risk of Asbestos Related Lung Cancer? by Wendy Moyer

There's no two ways about it - exposure to asbestos as well as smoking increase your risk of getting lung cancer. But is your risk increased if you smoke and have been exposed to asbestos? Read this article and find out the cold, hard facts.

First, understand that anyone who smokes that has not been exposed to asbestos has eleven times the risk of getting lung cancer than a non-smoker. Eleven hundred percent.

If a nonsmoker has been exposed to asbestos they have five times the risk of getting lung cancer than a nonsmoker who has not been exposed to asbestos.

If a heavy smoker is exposed to asbestos then their risk of getting lung cancer is sixteen times higher than nonsmokers who have not been exposed to asbestos.

The signs, symptoms, and types of lung cancer are similar in individuals that have or have not been exposed to asbestos fibers or particles. However, the diagnosis and treatment are very complex matters. Therefore, if you suspect that you may have lung cancer you should consult with a pulmonary specialist to investigate further.

Malignant mesothelioma is a specific type of cancer that affects the pleura (the tissue that lines the lung) or the peritoneum (the tissue that lines the abdomen). The only known risk factor for malignant mesothelioma is asbestos.

The majority of mesothelioma victims are males who are more than forty years of age. Most of the people who have gotten malignant mesothelioma had been employees of companies who put them to work in areas where there were asbestos fibers floating around in the air.

Many veterans who served in the Navy from World War Two through the Vietnam War who have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma breathed in the asbestos particles when they were onboard their ships. That's because for many years asbestos had been used as a fire retardant as well as an insulator on virtually every part of a US Navy ship.

And, when you combine the amount of asbestos that was used in the construction and upkeep of the vessels with the extremely tight quarters the sailors occupied you have an almost perfect recipe for asbestos exposure and the ensuing asbestos related illnesses.

In addition, at that point in time cigarette smoking was not looked down upon by either society in general or the medical community in particular as much as it is today. And for many years the cigarette manufacturers denied that there was any relationship between smoking and cancer.

However, although mesothelioma is strongly linked to the level of exposure to asbestos it isn't associated with smoking cigarettes.