Asbestos Exposure and Smoking May Lead to Lung Cancer

by | Aug 26, 2015 | Asbestos-Related Illness |

Did you know that exposure to asbestos can lead to lung cancer? Some people think that smoking tobacco is the only cause of the disease, but many of those who do not smoke and have encountered asbestos at work or at home have been diagnosed with lung cancer.

cigarette in an ashtray

If you have been exposed to asbestos, tobacco use can greatly increase your risk for developing lung cancer due to the synergistic relationship between the two substances. The more you smoke or the more you have been exposed to asbestos, the more likely you are to receive a lung cancer diagnosis in your lifetime.

It has been found that cigarette smoke irritates air passages within the lungs, causing them to produce mucus. This production of mucus can decrease the lungs’ ability to remove asbestos fibers from the respiratory system. When asbestos fibers become trapped within the lungs, fatal diseases like mesothelioma and lung cancer often develop over time. When a cigarette user is exposed to asbestos, their risk of developing lung cancer increases by 50 to 84 times.

Evidence has proven that quitting smoking can reduce the risk of lung cancer development in the victims of asbestos exposure. If you need help quitting, consider reaching out to your doctor or a support group that can help you through the process. If you have been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime and are not currently a smoker, do not start now!

Source: ASTDR