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Difference Between Asbestos and Lung Cancer
Asbestos and lung cancer are two terms that are often heard in the medical world and both of them have a close relationship. However, it is important to understand that asbestos and lung cancer are not the same thing, but rather, asbestos is a major risk factor for lung cancer. In this essay, the difference between asbestos and lung cancer will be explored.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos refers to a category of silicate minerals that are naturally occurring and good electrical insulators while being non-combustible, chemically and biologically resistant, and a hazard to humans. Its attributes led to its broad application in such spheres as well as in fire prevention and protection. The 1970s and 1980s of the 20th century saw a dramatic increase in its popularity.
There is no safe degree of exposure to asbestos dust since it is harmful. There are sharp microfibers in it that can be discharged into the air by abrasion or other means. Asbestos microfibers cannot be expelled from the lungs by coughing or any other means. They're dangerous to your health and can lead to lung illness, some of which are incurable. Asbestos exposure can also affect other bodily systems.
Asbestos has been outlawed in many nations because of the damage it causes to people's health. To be clear, this does not address the issue of asbestos that has already been utilised in construction.
Typical places where asbestos-containing materials may be used include −
Isolation on various facilities, eternite pipes, heating systems with thermal insulation of pipelines and boilers, electrical installations;
Reinforcing materials, roof tiles, cladding tiles;
Flooring, asbestos-paper lining;
Valves, flanges, and gaskets, lined or insulated with asbestos, etc.
Risk activities related to exposure to asbestos are −
Reconstruction and emergency maintenance of water supply and sewerage network;
Renovation or repair of buildings and structures;
Demolition of buildings and dismantling of facilities;
Maintenance of buildings and structures, etc.
The prevention of the harmful effects of asbestos includes −
Fencing the work area and marking with warning signs;
Preventing asbestos dust from spreading;
Access to direct employees only;
No smoking and no consumption of food and drinks;
Suitable service premises, including showers, for dust removal operations;
Work with protective clothing and personal protective equipment;
Regular and efficient cleaning of the work area and equipment;
Proper storage, transportation, and disposal of waste.
What is Lung Cancer?
As lung cells multiply uncontrollably, a tumour forms. This is what we mean when we talk about lung cancer. There are more than ten distinct illnesses under this umbrella, each with its own histology, history, and prognosis. There are several types of cells that make up these structures, and they may be found in many different parts of the lung. Lung cancer can be either small-cell or non-small-cell depending on the histological analysis performed.
In the majority of cases, lung cancer begins in the bronchial mucosa, although it can also begin in the alveoli, trachea, or tiny bronchioles.
The most common symptoms are −
Appearance of a new persistent cough that is not treatable;
Changes in the usual tobacco or chronic cough;
Occurrence of blood in the phlegm;
Whistling in the chest;
Shortness of breath – differently expressed and/or altered than before;
Symptoms and signs after metastasis depending on the location of the metastases;
Paraneoplastic syndromes, etc.
Recognized and proven risk factors are −
Smoking – the risk of developing lung cancer is directly proportional to the number of cigarettes smoked per day and the duration of the habit in years;
Secondary exposure to cigarette smoke;
Radon gas exposure;
Working with asbestos;
Family history of lung cancer;
Emphysema and other inflammatory-destructive diseases of the lungs.
Imagery studies are the first step to diagnosing lung cancer. While radiography is an indicative study, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging, and positron emission tomography give a more detailed image of the structures and processes in the chest. After localizing cancer and evaluating its distribution in the body, the final decisive step in the diagnostic process is the biopsy of an accessible formation and the histological evaluation of the biopsy material.
Treatment may include −
The prevention includes −
Cessation of smoking;
Isolation of buildings against radon;
Consumption of more fruits and vegetables.
Differences: Asbestos and Lung Cancer
The following table highlights the major differences between Asbestos and Lung Cancer −
Asbestos is the common name for a group of naturally occurring non-combustible, chemically and biologically resistant silicate minerals.
Lung cancer is a tumor characterized by uncontrolled proliferation of cells in the lung. This diagnosis includes more than 10 different diseases with different histology, course, and prognosis.
Risk activities related to exposure to asbestos are reconstruction and emergency maintenance of water supply and sewerage network; renovation or repair of buildings and structures; demolition of buildings and dismantling of facilities; maintenance of buildings and structures, etc
Recognized and proven risk factors for lung cancer are smoking, secondary exposure to cigarette smoke, radon gas exposure, working with asbestos, family history of lung cancer, emphysema and other inflammatory-destructive diseases of the lungs.
The prevention of the harmful effects of asbestos includes fencing the work area, preventing asbestos dust from spreading, access to direct employees only, no smoking and no consumption of food and drinks, work with protective clothing and personal protective equipment, cleaning and maintenance of the work area and equipment, proper storage, transportation and disposal of waste.
The prevention of lung cancer includes cessation of smoking, isolation of buildings against radon, prophylactic examinations, consumption of more fruits and vegetables.
Asbestos and lung cancer are two distinct medical conditions, but they are related. Asbestos is a major risk factor for lung cancer and can increase the risk of developing lung cancer if a person is exposed to it for a long period of time.
It is important to understand the difference between asbestos and lung cancer and to take steps to minimize exposure to asbestos in order to reduce the risk of lung cancer. This includes avoiding exposure to asbestos in the workplace, having regular health check-ups, and quitting smoking.
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