Asbestos and Lung Cancer: Article Review

Article Link:

Citation: Ngamwong Y, Tangamornsuksa W, Lohitnavy O, Chaiyakunapruk N, Scholfield, N, Reisfeld B, Lohitnav M. (2015) Additive Synergism between Asbestos and Smoking in Lung Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS ONE10(8): e0135798

Summary of Article

Health bodies classify asbestos as a human carcinogenic. Moreover, they argue that exposure to the material increases the likelihood of lung cancer. Studies also show that lung cancer is among the leading types of cancers that affect people. The World Health Organization estimates that about 125 million people are exposed to asbestos at their places of work (Villeneuve, Parent, and Harris).

This article Additive Synergism between Asbestos and Smoking in Lung Cancer Risk focuses on the relationship between asbestos and lung cancer. It offers a systematic review that provides the quantitative evaluations of lung cancer that springs from asbestos exposure. The article reviews five digital databases that conducted studies on cancer of the lungs. The authors examined studies that were in peer-reviewed journals and focused on human studies. They also targeted observational reviews that had a link between asbestos and lung cancer.

Glossary of Terms

Asbestos: Natural and fibrous minerals such as the chrysotile. Asbestos is also carcinogenic that helps the development of the cancer cells.

Lung Cancer: Lung tumor that results in excessive growth of cells in the lungs

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Aspect of Cancer Cues In Article

Inhalation of the asbestos fibers causes them to attach themselves to the mucus in the respiratory system from the throat to the windpipe and the bronchi. When the fibers reach the lungs, they stick to the airways or move to the linings of the lungs. Asbestos fibers have polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon that results in the breakage of the DNA strands. The rupture takes place in the epithelial cells of the respiratory tract leading to cancer of the lungs. The higher the concentration of the asbestos levels the higher the possibility of developing lung cancer.

Asbestos stimulates chronic swelling that causes tumorigenesis and reduces immunity. Asbestos is inflammatory to the activation of Nod-like receptor-family protein 3 (NLRP3) of the inflammasomes in macrophages (Ngamwong, Tangamornsuksa, and Lohitnavy). The material attacks the macrophages for constant activation. Consequently, it affects the immune cells causing lung cancer. The article reveals that there are high numbers of lung infection cases among asbestos workers.

Relevance to Human Health Issues

The article is relevant to human health issues because it highlights the dangers of the asbestos material to the respiratory system. Moreover, it confirms that continual exposure to asbestos is the leading cause of cancers among employees in asbestos factories.

Next Steps in the Research

Researchers on the subject should focus on the establishing the end-stage pathology in future. Moreover, the researchers should ensure monitoring by various independent public health bodies for accurate reporting. Although personal tracking offers best indications of exposure, the process may give a subjective report. The public health bodies provide unbiased data on asbestos exposure. Future researchers should also evaluate the specific airway exposure to the carcinogen.

Personal Experiences with Risks Associated with Cancer

Asbestos is a dangerous material that damages DNA strands in the respiratory tracts of humans and different animals. Personal experiences with the material have shown me the effects of the content. I have friends who used to work in an asbestos factory and stopped working after getting the advice of the medical providers. They would complain of chest pains on a regular basis. A medical examination indicated that they had inflamed lungs. One got diagnosed with lung cancer.


Works Cited

Ngamwong, Yuwadee , et al. “Additive Synergism between Asbestos and Smoking in Lung Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” PLoS ONE (2015).

Villeneuve, Paul J., et al. “Occupational exposure to asbestos and lung cancer in men: evidence from a population-based case-control study in eight Canadian provinces.” Biomedical Central (2012).