What’s the Link Between Asbestos and Cancer?

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What’s the Link Between Asbestos and Cancer?

Asbestos is a natural mineral that is mined out of the ground. It has a unique set of properties that has made it useful for a number of applications. It resists heat and fire, electricity, and most chemicals, and so it has been used for millennia to insulate buildings and pipes, in fireproof materials, in caulk and joint compound, in filters, and even in dental casts. Exposure to asbestos is known to be a leading risk factor for mesothelioma, and those at the greatest risk are people who have been working around the mineral for years.

Mesothelioma has traditionally impacted a wide variety of workers in different occupational settings, including industrial environments, school yards, auto repair shops, shipyards and municipal or public buildings. In most cases it takes an extended exposure to the toxin for cancer to form, but there have been notable instances in which people have been diagnosed after single instances of exposure, as well as short-term exposures.

Asbestos gets into the body through microscopic fibers that are either inhaled or ingested. Because these particles are so tiny and become embedded in cells so easily, they tend to remain in place for many years.

Over time, the asbestos fibers cause mutations to occur within the cells in which they are embedding. These mutations cause inflammation and other damage, and their impact tends to be greatest in the delicate, thin lining that forms around the lungs. Eventually all this damage and inflammation can lead to a number of illnesses, potentially including mesothelioma.

This lining of the lungs is called the pleura. The lining of the abdominal cavity known as the peritoneum is similarly vulnerable to the damaging effects of asbestos, and is also a common location for the cancer to form.

Once the scarring and inflammation process begins it goes on for several decades, continuing until it has formed into malignant tumors. Many people exposed to asbestos do not realize they have developed cancer until decades later.

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Eklenme Tarihi: 2 Mart 2017