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While mesothelioma is the type of cancer most closely associated with the inhalation of asbestos, it's not the only form of cancer the substance produces. Small cell and non-small cell lung cancers (NSCLC) are also likely to strike those who have worked around asbestos for long periods of time or who were exposed to it on a daily basis.
NSCLCs are the most common type of lung cancer and are divided into three broad categories:
Typically, the early stages of NSCLCs have no symptoms, or the symptoms are mild enough that they may be mistaken for other lung ailments. As a result, these types of cancers are often not caught until they have spread. Fortunately, surgical and chemotherapy options are often effective in combating these lung cancers.
The single most important risk factor in the development of NSCLCs is smoking. In fact, people who smoke a pack a day for a long period of time are at least 10 times more likely to develop lung cancers than a non-smoker. Asbestos inhalation, while not the underlying cause of NSCLCs, increases a smoker's chances of developing a lung condition by at least 50 percent. Any exposure to asbestos – long- or short-term – should be mentioned to a primary care physician or oncologist. That way, patients can ensure a proper diagnosis.
Non-small cell lung cancer comes in a variety of forms, but the risk of all types is increased due to asbestos exposure. If you've been the victim of asbestos inhalation and have developed any type of NSCLC, contact us today. We'll send you a free information package that tells you more about the fight against lung cancers. It also gives you treatment options and relays the research strides being made to combat this disease.
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