Asbestos Related Lung Cancer | Cancer Rounds

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Asbestos Related Lung Cancer- A Complication to White Lung Disease

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Lung cancer is growth of abnormal cells in the lungs uncontrollably, and is most common cancer in 2020 according to WHO World health Organisation.

Multifactorial reason for lung cancer to occur can be divided as environmental factors and then some genetic factors as well.

White lung remains an enigma as terminology and Oncologist, regularly deal with cancer of the lung, primarily caused by excessive occupational exposure to toxins like asbestos, chromium.

White lung and/ or Asbestosis, is a result of long-term exposure to asbestos fibres. White lung is strongly related to asbestos-related lung cancers. The heavy asbestos exposure trigger asbestosis and patients presents with symptoms like difficulty getting a full breath, dry cough, and loss of appetite with weight loss.

Cascade of symptoms occur as a result of fibrosis, or scarring, in the lungs as asbestos fibres, remain embedded in the lung tissue for decades. This situation worsens over time and becomes subsequent cause of mesothelioma or asbestos-related lung cancer. It is pertanious here to mention that not every individual exposed to asbestos will develop lung cancer or other asbestos-related diseases. But the individual exposed to asbestos will develop a risk of illness and poses an increase relative to their level of exposure to asbestos.

Diagnostic work up proceeds to accomplish White Lung Diagnosis for designing best lung cancer treatment by oncologist.

Symptoms of white lung, in case are suspected in an individual with matching history then the doctor will take several steps to diagnose this condition. These steps include:
History of asbestos exposure
Listening to patient’s lungs
Conducting pulmonary function tests
Ordering a chest X-ray or CT scan

The Helsinki Criteria established in 1997 help doctors determine if asbestos is the cause of respiratory diseases.
Latency Period: lung cancer developed at least 10 years after the initial exposure to asbestos.

Evidence of Asbestos Exposure: mainly presents with a diagnosis of asbestosis, higher than normal asbestos fibres in the lung tissue. The exposure levels of airborne asbestos equal to or greater than 25 fibres per millilitre of air a year is numerical value to study asbestos fibres in lung tissue to be pathologic.

Treating White Lung/asbestosis we are focussed on dealing with symptoms. That surely indicates that treatment plan is to reduce symptoms and slowing down the progression of the disease. Because for cure a lung transplant is the only option.

Asbestosis Association to Asbestos Lung Cancer: as this diagnosis poses the patient in high-risk zone for developing asbestos-related cancers. Tumorigeneses takes several types of lung cancer and mesothelioma, a cancer of the pleura that lines the lungs to develop as patients are exposed to asbestos. All forms of lung cancer originate inside the lungs and it is the fact to terminology named here as Mesothelioma- that is also cancer- it develops in the tissue that lines the outside of the lungs, chest cavity and abdomen.

Asbestos exposure can cause both types of illness. But even in those cases who are not diagnosed with asbestosis / white lung, people with can develop same cancer. And the lung cancer associated with white lung should continue undergoing regular monitoring and screening for signs of cancer as per recommended guidelines. Yes, it is true white lung progresses far enough to lead to death.

Best lung cancer treatment for Asbestos-related lung cancers like Mesothelioma and Other pulmonary conditions linked to asbestos exposure include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy and immunotherapy.

Posted by, Medical Team, Cancer Rounds
January 12, 2022

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