How Asbestos Causes Cancer
Various medical experts have testified in great detail about the chemical and biological processes that link asbestos exposure to causing cancer, including the rare but deadly form of cancer known as mesothelioma. The main purpose of lungs is to exchange oxygen and carbon dioxide. A normal, healthy lung contains alveolar walls and air spaces. Bronchioles bring air down to the lungs. In the 20th century, asbestos-containing materials were put in newly constructed buildings. Exposure to asbestos causes thickening of the alveolar walls, with increased connective tissue (scarring), inflammation and fibrosis. The scar tissue intrudes on the alveolar walls.
Asbestos Is A Silent Killer
Asbestos fibers coming down the bronchiole get stuck in the large airways, and some reach the region where the conducting airway (lined with cilia) meets the gas exchange airway. This is known as the bronchiolar-alveolar junction, a very sensitive site. This is how the asbestos-related disease begins. Most breathed-in air is cleared of debris by cilia in the large airways. However, some asbestos fibers get past the cilia, and arrive at the region where gas exchange takes place. As there are no cilia in that region, there is no mechanism to clear those fibers. Concentrations of the fibers develop in connective tissue and cause scar tissue to form. This scar tissue continues to form around the site where the fibers have accumulated. Lung disease of this type is progressive, worsening over time, even if the person never breathes asbestos again.
Asbestos Is Carcinogenic And Life-Threatening
Red blood cells try to digest the asbestos, but they cannot. Asbestos is very durable and will not break down in the lung. As a carcinogenic, asbestos remain in victims’ body for the rest of their life. Cells called macrophages and fibroblasts act as defense mechanisms, causing the alveolar walls to thicken as they try to attack asbestos. The presence of asbestos in cells triggers an abnormal number of chromosomal changes, leading to the formation of cancer. The lungs are covered by two very thin pleura membranes. Mesothelioma is a cancer of this lining. Symptoms include shortness of breath caused by a pleural effusion — a collection of fluid in the visceral pleura, which covers the pleural fluid and compresses the lung. Mesothelioma is incurable. Doctors treat it primarily by trying to help patients manage symptoms, including significant pain. Death often occurs slowly.
Protect Your Rights And Contact Our Law Firm Today
There is no obligation in consulting with our attorneys at Savinis, Kane, & Gallucci, L.L.C. If we represent you in a mesothelioma case, we will do so on a contingency basis. That means you will pay no attorney fees unless and until we win monetary compensation for you. Call our Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, law offices at 412-567-4931 or complete our contact form to schedule your free initial consultation with an experienced lawyer.