According to iarc there is sufficient evidence that asbestos causes mesothelioma a relatively rare cancer of the thin membranes that line the chest and abdomen and cancers of the lung larynx and ovary although rare mesothelioma is the most common form of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos and cancer risk what is asbestos asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers these fibers are found in soil and rocks in many parts of the world they are made mainly of silicon and oxygen but they also contain other elements there are 2 main types of asbestos. The most recent report from the international agency for research on cancer iarc confirms asbestos causes four types of cancer mesothelioma and lung laryngeal and ovarian cancers of these tumor types asbestos risk is most pronounced for mesothelioma and lung cancer although all of these diseases are known asbestos cancers. Exposure to asbestos can lead to a number of serious conditions including cancer asbestos cancer often refers to mesothelioma specifically but may also be referring to other asbestos related diseases like asbestosis and asbestos lung cancer asbestos has also been linked in some cases to other more common types of cancer like breast cancer. Unsurprisingly asbestos can also lead to lung cancer the lung cancer caused by asbestos is not the same type of cancer as mesothelioma but it causes it the same way when asbestos fibers are inhaled they can also cause mutations in the cells of the actual lung tissue asbestos related lung cancers account for about 4 of all lung cancers
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