Asbestos Related Disorders
John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
John P. Cunha, DO, is a U.S. board-certified Emergency Medicine Physician. Dr. Cunha's educational background includes a BS in Biology from Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, and a DO from the Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in Kansas City, MO. He completed residency training in Emergency Medicine at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, New Jersey.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
- Asbestos related disorders facts
- What is the definition of asbestos?
- What are the types of asbestos-related lung disease?
- What are the types of asbestos fibers?
- What does fiber size have to do with asbestos-related lung disease?
- What is asbestosis?
- What are symptoms and signs of asbestosis?
- What tests and studies are used to evaluate asbestosis?
- How is asbestosis treated?
- What is pleural disease?
- Does asbestos exposure cause lung cancer?
- What is malignant mesothelioma?
- What other cancers have been linked to asbestos exposure?
- How can exposure to asbestos be reduced?
- What kind of asbestos is used today?
- Find a local Pulmonologist in your town
Asbestos-related disorders facts
- Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been linked to human lung disease.
- All forms of asbestos increase the risk of lung disease.
- The three types of asbestos-related lung disease are scarring (asbestosis), non-cancerous disease of the tissue of the lining of the surface of the lung (pleural disease), and lung cancer (of the lungs or their outer lining tissue [mesothelioma]).
- Asbestosis is a process of lung tissue scarring caused by asbestos fibers.
- Asbestos is the only known risk factor for malignant mesothelioma, a cancer that affects the tissue lining the lung (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum).
- The time between exposure to asbestos and the development of cancer can be anywhere from 10 to 40 or more years.
- Smoking appears to increase the frequency and/or the rate of progression of asbestosis.
- Diagnosis of asbestosis or asbestos-related lung diseases and cancer is often made using chest X-rays or CT scans of the lungs.
- Treatment of asbestos-related diseases includes appropriate vaccinations, treatment of lung infections, smoking cessation, and the use of oxygen if necessary.
- If asbestos is suspected in a building, an expert in asbestos abatement should be consulted for inspection, correction, and maintenance.
What is the definition of asbestos?
Asbestos is a family of naturally occurring silica compounds (similar to, but not the same as, the silica of window glass and computer chips). These substances form fibers with varying shapes and sizes and are found throughout the earth. There are three commonly available types of asbestos:
- chrysotile (white asbestos),
- amosite (brown asbestos), and
- crocidolite (blue asbestos).
All three have been associated with cancerous and non-cancerous lung disease.
Asbestos has been used frequently in a variety of building materials for insulation and as a fire retardant, and in brake pads in cars. Today, it is found most commonly in older homes - in pipes, furnaces, roof shingles, millboard, textured paints, coating materials, and floor tiles.
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