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Asbestos Cancer - What is It?


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The mining and use of asbestos started in the latter 1800's. It has been used to make cement stronger, as roofing, insulation, fireproofing, and to soundproof. In shipbuilding they use it for insulation of hot water pipes, steam pipes, and boilers. It is used in brake shoes and clutch pads. This building material has been used in homes, factories, and public buildings.

Asbestos cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which are fibrous minerals. For a long time it was considered safe. But it is a carcinogen and being around it causes lung cancer and colorectal cancer amongst others. Close to ten thousand people in the United States die from its carcinogenic effect each year.

Mesothelioma is rare and is not usually cured. It's the most typical kind of cancer caused by being close to asbestos. As many as thirty percent of the people diagnosed with mesothelioma had no clue that they had been exposed to the carcinogen. This illness attacks the mesothelium; this is the gossamer lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart.

It causes two kind of lung cancer: small cell and non-small cell. Eighty percent of this form of lung cancer is non-small cell. The symptoms of this disease normally occur years beyond the time of exposure like mesothelioma and other types of asbestos cancer.

Asbestosis is a lung illness caused by exposure to asbestos. It damages and scars the lungs and later the lungs can't expand and contract correctly. It is a kind of pulmonary fibrosis and it takes up to thirty years to show up. If the exposure to the asbestos is stopped the fibrosis discontinues. Though asbestosis has similar symptoms to other breathing disorders it develops differently over extended periods of time.

The symptoms of asbestosis are:

  • Shortness of breath if exerted and later at rest
  • Tolerance for exercise or physical activity decreases
  • Chest hurts
  • Chest is tight
  • Sometimes finger clubbing

    There are other factors to consider when calculating the risk of developing an asbestos cancer or asbestosis. If someone smokes this can increase his risk of getting an asbestos related illness. Development of an associated illness like non-malignant, pleural lung diseases caused by asbestos can help induce lung cancer and smoking plus the asbestos factor are a combination that increases the chances of developing lung cancer more than either carcinogen alone.

    These are the symptoms of asbestos induced illnesses:

  • Hoarseness
  • Wheezing
  • Persistent cough
  • Blood in liquid coughed from lungs
  • Chest pain or it gets tight
  • Hard to swallow
  • Face and neck swells
  • Lose appetite
  • Lose weight
  • Anemic
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue

    The asbestos still used for commercial purposes is known to cause cancer including gastrointestinal and other forms of lung disease. The statistics for asbestos related diseases have risen in the last twenty years. It is thought that it has now slowed down because of more awareness of the danger. There is still disagreement as to whether there is a threshold level of exposure that causes illness from asbestos; some think any level is dangerous.

    Ian Pennington is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Asbestos Cancer , please visit Medical Dental Terminology for current articles and discussions.

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