Lung Cancer, Smoking and Asbestos

I’d like to mention something about lung cancer first because, if someone develops mesothelioma after many years of exposure, there’s not much that they could do or could have done to avoid it, except to have avoided the exposures. In terms of lung cancer, if a person knows that they were exposed to asbestos, let’s say in the early years of their career, the best thing they can do to lower the risks of them developing lung cancer is to stop smoking if they’re a smoker. That is for sure something that they have control over. The statistics are that if somebody is exposed to cigarettes but not asbestos, they have about 10 times the risk of developing lung cancer as say a nonsmoker. For asbestos exposure, the risk is about five times for the asbestos-exposed individual over the non-asbestos-exposed individual. But when you combine the two together, asbestos exposure and smoking exposure, now you raise that risk geometrically to about 90 times the risk of a non-smoker, non-asbestos-exposed individual. So you can see the statistics are rather dramatic.

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