|Types of Lung Cancer
Asbestos Lung Cancer
Asbestos and Smoking Tobacco
Smoking does not cause asbestosis, pleural scarring, pleural effusion,
or mesothelioma cancer. However, since smoking affects the lungs'
natural protective mechanisms, it makes people that smoke tobacco more vulnerable to
inhaled asbestos and more likely to develop asbestosis.
Smoking and COPD
Many workers who were exposed to asbestos
were also heavy cigarette smokers. Because the latency of
asbestos-related diseases is 20 years or more, by the time
these workers are checked for asbestos diseases they often
have a very long smoking history and therefore smoking-related
disease -- principally chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
(COPD). COPD includes two separate pulmonary diseases, which
commonly overlap in a given patient - chronic bronchitis and
emphysema. Chronic bronchitis and emphysema are just different
manifestations of lung damage from cigarette smoking.
Smoking is also the major cause of lung
cancer. Since both asbestos and smoking can independently
cause lung cancer, it is obviously important that anyone who
might have been exposed to friable asbestos never smoke any kind of tobacco products and avoid areas with second-hand smoke as well..
not only adds to lung cancer risk in some asbestos workers,
it can heighten the risk is a process known as synergism.
This has been demonstrated with certainty only if the worker
has lung scarring from asbestosis. Synergism means that if,
for example, the risk of developing lung cancer from asbestosis