What are some types of asbestos-related diseases?

Asbestos-related diseases can be:

  • Non-cancerous Asbestosis is scarring of the lungs. It is typically caused by very high exposure levels over a prolonged period of time, as seen in work-related asbestos exposure. Smoking increases the risk of developing asbestosis. Some late stage symptoms include progressive shortness of breath, a persistent cough, and chest pain.
  • Pleural changes or pleural plaques include thickening and hardening of the pleura (the lining that covers the lungs and chest cavity). Most people will not have symptoms, but some may have decreased lung function. Some people may develop persistent shortness of breath with exercise or even at rest if they have significantly decreased lung function.
    cancerous
  • Lung cancer is cancer of the lungs and lung passages. Cigarette smoking combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the likelihood of lung cancer. Lung cancer caused by smoking or asbestos looks the same. Symptoms for lung cancer can vary. Some late stage symptoms can include chronic cough, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and coughing up blood.
  • Mesothelioma is a rare cancer mostly associated with asbestos exposure. It occurs in the covering of the lungs and sometimes the lining of the abdominal cavity. Some late stage symptoms include chest pain, persistent shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss. Coughing up blood is not common.