Malignant mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer affecting the sac lining the chest or abdomen. It typically develops 20 or more years after initial exposure to airborne asbestos. It can be contracted with as little as one or two months of asbestos exposure. Family members of asbestos workers can also develop this disease as a result of contact with contaminated work clothes.
Small cell and non-small cell cancer which occurs when malignant cells originate inside the lung. Evidence of asbestosis is not necessary to attribute lung cancer to asbestos exposure. Smoking is a more common cause of lung cancer; however, there is a synergistic effect between smoking and asbestos exposure such that the risk of lung cancer is more than doubled.
Scarring of the lung tissue caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Excessive scarring of the lung can result in restrictive lung disease. Asbestosis can progress to lung cancer or mesothelioma.
Pleural Plaques / Pleural Disease
Scarring of the pleura (lining of the lungs). Can be an early sign of asbestosis. The lung walls become thicker as the macrophages attempt to remove the asbestos from the lungs.