Asbestos Lung Cancer is caused when asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested and get embedded in the lung tissues causing scars and tumors. When asbestos breaks down, its fibers are released into the air. The fibers do not dissolve or break down easily. This can lead to scarring as well as abnormal development of various cell types. Long-term or heavy exposure to asbestos has been linked with the development of asbestos lung cancer. In fact, asbestos exposure has been reported to lead to the development of lung cancer in 1 out of 7 cases.
Symptoms of Asbestos Lung Cancer
Lung cancer generally does not display symptoms until later stages. At that time, common symptoms may include a persistent cough, coughing up blood, a shortness of breath, chest pain, wheezing, hoarseness, loss of appetite, fatigue, recurrent pneumonia or bronchitis, weight loss and swelling of the neck and face.
If you have displayed any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor. You must also inform your doctor about any exposure to asbestos you may have experienced.
Complications of Asbestos Lung Cancer
Lung cancer can cause more serious symptoms, including buildup of fluid in the space that surrounds the lungs, called the pleural space. In addition, lung cancer can metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body, including the lung, brain, bones, liver, and adrenal glands. Unfortunately, the survival rates for people with lung cancer are not high. Lung cancer is fatal within a year of diagnosis for approximately 60 percent of people.
The treatment options for Lung Cancer vary depending on the stage at which the cancer is diagnosed. In the first stage, the treatment is surgery. In stage two, treatment may include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. In the first phase of stage three, treatment may be a combination of chemotherapy and radiation and, occasionally, surgery. Treatment in the later part of stage three is chemotherapy and sometimes radiation. In the fourth stage of lung cancer, treatment may include chemotherapy, drug therapy, participation in clinical trials or supportive care such as hospice.
Regardless of the symptoms or stages of the signs, Asbestos Lung Cancer can be a difficult diagnosis to handle. It is important to seek emotional support from family and friends as well as support groups of people who are going through the same thing.