Mesothelioma, a form of lungcancer, can be caused by exposure to asbestos.
What is asbestos, what are the consequences and how does it relate to mesothlioma ?
I'll tell you all about it in this article.
Asbestos is a collective term for a number of minerals that exist in nature, that are build from microscopic fibers. Its a natural product, which is mined in area's like South-America, Russia and Canada. The fibers exist in 2 forms
- White, spirally fibers (or white asbestos)
- Straight fibers (or blue/brown asbestos)
Consequences of asbestos on your health
As long as asbestos has been processed into a finished product which stays solid, there is no health risk. However, when loose asbestosfibers become airborne, and you inhale them, the health risk explodes.
These small fibers get stuck in your airways and your alveoli (little bladders in your lungs), where they get picked up by macrophages, the cleanup crew of your body. If the fibers are too large for the macrophages, they get into the tissues of your bodies, where they might cause the following deceases:
- Mesotheloma (Lungcancer)
- Asbestos warts
- Pleural plaques
- Diffuse pleural thickening
The chance of forming lungcancer depends on the concentration and duration of exposure to the asbestos fibres. When someone is diagnosed for mesothelioma, it is almost always in an advanced stage and too late to cure. It could have already spread to the prostate (men) or breast (women). Only 25% of the patients will qualify for an operation where a part of the lung or an entire lung will be removed. 90% of people with mesothelioma die within 4 years.