Smoking and Its Effects on Mesothelioma

Posted by Admin Wednesday, May 4, 2011 7:30 AM
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by exposure to deadly fibers of asbestos. Although this is a type of cancer that affects the plural lining of the lungs, it is not in fact lung cancer.

The prognosis for those afflicted with Mesothelioma is poor. Due to the difficulty of detecting symptoms and the extremely long dormancy period, many times Mesothelioma is not diagnosed until it is too late. When an individual is exposed to asbestos fibers, they become lodged in the pleura of the lungs where they will create scar tissue. This scar tissue will eventually turn carcinogenic and Mesothelioma will occur. Many people, even if only exposed for a short period of time to asbestos, may contract this disease.

Although smoking is a very quick way to damage lungs, it is important to understand that smoking does not cause Mesothelioma. However, smoking does complicate a person's chance of contracting the disease. Smoking may not cause Mesothelioma directly, but it can cause other life-threatening diseases such as lung cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, emphysema and asbestosis. Asbestosis is not a form of Mesothelioma, but it does assist in the development of the cancer.

If a patient is diagnosed with Mesothelioma, it is vital that they stop smoking immediately. The statistics that surround smoking are devastating. Although smoking does not cause Mesothelioma, it does increase the chance of contracting lung cancer by 50% or even more! A patient who is a smoker is more likely to have a lung-related disease than a person who has been exposed to Mesothelioma for several years. This prior fact goes to show just how damaging and serious the effects of smoking are on the lungs.

Both Mesothelioma and lung cancer caused by smoking are very serious due to their detection difficulty. The severity and type of symptoms are dependent upon many factors. For Mesothelioma patients, the amount of asbestos inhaled and the extent of exposure will determine the side effects and severity of the cancer. For lung cancer caused by smoking, the amount of smoking per day and how long a person has smoked will determine the side effects and severity.

A smoker who has been exposed to asbestos at any point in his or her life should get tested immediately for both Mesothelioma and other types of lung-related illnesses, even if symptoms are non-existent. Again, it is important to understand that Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer are two separate types of cancers, both dealing with the lungs or surrounding organs.

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