Asbestos exposure is one of the main causes of lung cancer, especially mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is hard to treat and symptoms can become severe and result in death. Asbestos-related lung cancer usually started in the lining of the bronchi, which divides into the windpipe and trachea. Lung cancer caused by asbestos usually develops at a slow pace, however, once it occurs, it grows at an alarming rate, moving into different areas of the body.
The early stages of asbestos lung cancer are usually asymptomatic. It is usually found by chance through imaging tests or other diagnostic systems. Once cancer reaches stage IV, patients develop symptoms such as persistent coughing, pain the chest or lung area, shortness of breath, and blood in sputum. Once cancer has spread or metastasized to other areas, it becomes increasingly harder to treat. Lung cancer is classified in two groups: small cell and non-small cell. Small cell lung cancer spread more rapidly than non-small cell cancer and accounts for only 20% of cases. Small cell lung cancer spreads to other areas easily. Non-small cell cancer accounts for the other 80% and is slower growing.
If you believe you have been exposed to asbestos, contact your doctor immediately. Asbestos can remain dormant in your body for many years before turning into cancer. Your doctor can run certain tests and check for cancer or any other problems associated with asbestos exposure. If you already have symptoms such as:
- Persistent Coughing
- Crackling When Breathing
- Trouble Breathing
- Allergy Symptoms Year Round
- Pain in Chest
See a doctor as soon as possible. It is also important to have your home checked for asbestos, as this could be where the exposure originated. A simple test completed on your home can determine if you have asbestos and if so, the best method of removal.