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Adenocarcinoma and Asbestos

While mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure, inhaling asbestos fibers over a long period of time can also put individuals at higher risk for developing other types of cancer. One such type is a form of non-small cell lung cancer known as adenocarcinoma. Not only is this one of the prevalent types of lung cancer to develop among smokers, but it is also the most common among non-smokers. Those who have worked around asbestos are at a substantially increased risk to contact this disease.


Adenocarcinomas start as tumors called adenomas. The term adeno means "gland" and refers to the places in the body where the tumors originate. Each gland produces cells, and if these cells multiply excessively, they can form an adenoma. In many cases, these tumors aren't cancerous, meaning they can either be ignored or removed via surgery. However, in other cases, these tumors mutate and become malignant.

Typically, adenocarcinomas begin in the lungs and slowly move to other parts of the body. Symptoms include severe coughing, possibly with blood; shortness of breath; chest pain; and hoarseness. Weight loss and a poor appetite may occur as well. Because of how vague these symptoms are, the condition often goes misdiagnosed. As a result, it may not be diagnosed until the cancer has spread.

Adenocarcinomas and Smokers

The relationship between asbestos and adenocarcinoma is not the same as the one connecting the substance and mesothelioma. That is, asbestos inhalation is considered the cause of mesothelioma, but it is a significant risk factor in the development of adenocarcinoma. This is particularly the case among smokers.

Studies have shown that non-smoking workers exposed to asbestos are five times more likely to develop lung cancer. However, those who smoked at least a pack a day for 20 years and worked with asbestos are between 50 and 90 times more likely to contract a form of cancer, such as adenocarcinoma. Further research has demonstrated that those who stop smoking can reduce their risk of contracting adenocarcinoma by up to 50 percent within five years.

While adenocarcinoma is a far more prevalent form of cancer than mesothelioma, those who develop the disease are often unaware of the link it shares with asbestos exposure and the heightened amount of risk such inhalation carries. If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with a non-small cell lung cancer such as adenocarcinoma, contact us today for a free information kit. We'll help you learn more about your options for treatment and taking your life back from lung cancer. We'll also help you seek compensation for your losses.

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