Thursday, October 16, 2008

Asbestos Cancer: Laryngeal Cancer and Asbestos- Does Asbestos Exposure Lead to Laryngeal Cancer?

Asbestos Cancer

A very rare disease, laryngeal cancer or cancer of the larynx is believed to have been caused by exposure to asbestos. However, recent medical literature suggests that asbestos exposure is a possible risk factor but no substantial data that can prove the exact relation of asbestos with laryngeal cancer. But this still does not change the fact that in the future, certain data could establish the possibility that asbestos could really lead to laryngeal cancer.

There are a number of asbestos-related diseases that might develop once an individual is exposed sufficiently to high degrees of asbestos fiber. This is because exposure to asbestos works on the dosage-response principle where only a certain quantity must be met before one's health reaches the hazard point. Otherwise, the person is safe, at least for a while. But continuous exposure even to low levels of asbestos fiber might still end up developing diseases.

The latency period of most asbestos cancer, including laryngeal cancer, is somewhere between 20 to 50 years. The minimum length of time is 5 years. So this means that symptoms of laryngeal cancer or any cancer, will only surface after several years of the first infliction. This is the main reason why most patients of asbestos-related cancers are not aware of their diseases in the early stages of it.

Everyone who has close contact with asbestos may possibly inhale asbestos fiber. But those who are most exposed will likely develop diseases faster. However, exposure alone is not reason enough for a person to contract a disease. As we have earlier said, one should be exposed to a relatively high level of asbestos fiber before his or her body begins to react. With continuous exposure one's at a greater risk of being ill 20 to 50 years ahead. Even families of the person who were directly in contact with asbestos fiber might suffer from risk factors.

Laryngeal cancer begins from the infection of the larynx. This is the passageway of both air and food during breathing and swallowing. Anyone who is exposed to asbestos-filled air runs the risk of taking in asbestos fiber which might be trapped in the larynx and the succeeding passages of the air or the food. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove the asbestos fiber from the body of the victim once it has entered.

Asbestos kills some thousands of people every year. Most of these have worked in mines, shipyards, factories, and construction sites and many come from people who have family embers working in these industries. Every year, however, there are around 10,000 people diagnosed with laryngeal cancer and almost half of them die due to the cancer. Because laryngeal cancer and asbestos are considered as occupational diseases, men are likely to develop the disease more than women since nearly all occupations using asbestos are dominated by men.

The average age of individuals diagnosed with laryngeal cancer is somewhere around 50 years old to 70 years old and above. This further establishes the relationship between asbestos and laryngeal cancer since both require nearly the same period of latency. Period of latency is the length of time for the full maturation of the disease. Also, it has been noted that asbestos can also increase the risk of developing lung cancer alongside the more dominating ill effects of smoking.

Further, other asbestos diseases and larynx cancer have the same symptoms such as hoarseness of the voice, lumps in the affected areas due to tumors, observed development of cancerous cells, ear pain, difficulty of swallowing and breathing, persistent coughing and sore throat.

Several treatment options for laryngeal cancer and asbestos are chemotherapy for more aggravated diseases, radiation therapy that removes immature cancer cells and small tumors, surgery for both small and large tumors, combination of CAMS or Complementary and Alternative Medicines, and life modification practices.

To know more of your options for treatment it is wisest to seek more comprehensive medical advice. Seek a specialist in asbestos or laryngeal cancer to know more about your disease.