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Other Asbestos-Related Diseases

Asbestos is a material that was popular from the Industrial Revolution through the 1980s, when it was phased-out due to significant health concerns. Indeed, asbestos is most commonly linked with an aggressive, deadly form of cancer called mesothelioma. However, mesothelioma is not the only health problem caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos can cause other types of cancer as well as other asbestos-related disorders.

Asbestos and Cancer

Although mesothelioma primarily starts in the lungs, it is not the same thing as lung cancer. However, asbestos exposure can greatly increase an individual’s risk of developing lung cancer. Asbestos has also been linked to the following forms of cancer:

  • Throat
  • Esophageal
  • Gallbladder
  • Gastrointestinal
  • Colorectal

As an individual inhales or ingests asbestos fibers, the particles can become lodged throughout the body, serving as carcinogenic nodes in the respiratory and digestive systems.

The Dangers of Asbestosis

Asbestosis is an inflammatory lung disease exclusively caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers. The body is unable to break down these asbestos particles. Instead, the macrophages of the immune system that attempt to dissolve the fibers are destroyed themselves. This can cause the macrophages to release enzymes into the lungs that irritate the thin, delicate tissue of the alveoli, or air sacs. Over time, exposure to these enzymes can cause fibrosis, or scarring. If the fibrosis continues to worsen, it can inhibit a person’s ability to breathe.

Pleural Damage

Asbestos exposure can also damage the lungs in a way that results in the following lung problems:

  • Pleural effusion
  • Pleural plaques
  • Pleural thickening

Like asbestosis, these conditions can seriously interfere with an individual’s ability to breathe.

For More Information

If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to understand the health risks you may be facing. To learn more about the dangers of asbestos, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the page today.

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