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Sunday, July 27, 2008



Asbestosis is a non-cancerous, chronic lung illness caused by exposure to asbestos.

Significant exposure to asbestos increases the risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma and non-malignant lung and pleural disorders.

Risk depends on duration, frequency, concentration, & type of asbestos fibres.

Diseases from asbestos exposure take a long time to develop. Most cases of asbestosis occur in asbestos workers 15 or more years after initial exposure to asbestos.

Smoking greatly increases the likelihood of lung cancer in workers exposed to asbestos (although smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma (asbestos cancer)

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer which may affect the lining of the lungs (pleura) and the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).

Most mesotheliomas are caused by exposure to asbestos.

Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed 30 years or more after the first exposure to asbestos.

Mesothelioma occurs more often in men than in women.

Risk increases with age.

Symptoms & Signs

Shortness of breath (this is the primary symptom)

A persistent and productive cough

Chest tightness

Chest pain

Loss of appetite/weight loss

A crackling sound in the lungs while inhaling.


History of asbestos exposure.

Chest X-rays are the most common method of detecting asbestos-related disorders.

Other tests:

Physical Examination
Pulmonary Function Tests
CT scan


Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient's age and general health. Standard treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined.

Getting Help

Only a doctor can make the diagnosis of mesothelioma. It is important to see a doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos and have any symptoms.

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