What is the role of asbestos exposure in the etiology of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC)?

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
  • Author: Winston W Tan, MD, FACP; Chief Editor: Nagla Abdel Karim, MD, PhD  more...
  • Print
Answer

The silicate type of asbestos fiber is an important carcinogen. Asbestos exposure has been shown to be strongly associated with the causation of lung cancer, malignant pleural mesothelioma, and pulmonary fibrosis. Asbestos exposure increases the risk of developing lung cancer by as much as 5 times.

Tobacco smoke and asbestos exposure act synergistically, and the risk of developing lung cancer for persons who currently smoke tobacco and have a history of asbestos exposure approaches 80-90 times that of control populations.


Did this answer your question?
Additional feedback? (Optional)
Thank you for your feedback!