According to decades of medical research, the conclusion is that most smokers do not develop lung cancer, and not all lung cancer patients are former smokers.
There are too many variables to consider, which makes it very difficult to predict and pinpoint who and why is getting sick with lung cancer. In fact, most people who get lung cancer today have either stopped smoking for decades or, at least years earlier or they never smoked.
Does Smoking Marijuana Cause Lung Cancer?
Studies show conflicting results because of the following reasons:
- marijuana use was illegal throughout the United States until recently and is legal only in a few states
- there is very limited data to work with because people are either underreporting how often they smoked or simply not admitting that they did, to avoid any legal issues
- another issue is that people are not smoking marijuana as often as they would regular cigarettes
The health effect of cannabis (marijuana) is mainly determined by how it's consumed. Most people are smoking it in paper-wrapped joint form. Other ways include using pipes, and other devices including those that heat or vaporize cannabis.
Most medical reports are saying that they need more reliable data to be able to draw a conclusion. It is generally acknowledged that tars of any smoke, wood, tobacco, or marijuana are harmful to our lungs.
No Matter If You Smoked or Not, Your Long-Term Asbestos Exposure Is a Fact
Signs and symptoms of asbestos-related lung diseases and their severity depend on a lot of variables from your life, including how much the asbestos fibers have damaged your lungs.
If you served in the US Navy and have the following symptoms:
- dry, persistent cough
- shortness of breath
- crackling sounds while inhaling
- chest pain
- voice hoarseness
- visibly diminished breathing capacity
- loss of appetite with weight loss
These are the signs that you have an asbestos-related health condition. You need to contact your healthcare provider right away and request a diagnosis. Please tell your doctor about your history of asbestos exposure.
Imaging Tests Are the Easiest Ways to Diagnose Asbestos-Related Lung Diseases
- Chest X-ray: in people with prolonged exposure to asbestos, doctors can diagnose an asbestos-related disease with a chest X-ray that shows characteristic changes. For example, advanced, severe asbestosis appears as excessive whiteness in your lung tissue. It gives a honeycomb appearance and can affect both lungs. In the X-ray, they can see the scarring, nodules, or spots in your lungs caused by the sharp, needle-like asbestos fibers
- CT scans: computerized tomography (CT) scans are a combination of multiple X-ray images taken from different angles to produce cross-sectional images of the bones and soft tissues in your body. These scans provide greater detail and are more effective in detecting asbestosis even before it shows up on a chest X-ray
Pulmonary function tests can be also useful. These tests measure how well are your lungs functioning by measuring how much air your lungs can hold, and measuring the airflow in and out of your lungs. The asbestos fibers can remain in your lung tissue for a very long time and may cause scarring and inflammation only decades after you inhaled them. You can wake up 10 to 40 years later with one of the several types of asbestos-related lung diseases and lung problems, including but not limited to:
- asbestosis - a disease where the lung tissue becomes scarred by the asbestos fibers
- lung cancer
- mesothelioma - cancer that forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart
- pleural effusion - asbestos-related pathological changes of the pleura also include pleural effusion - the build-up of excess fluid between the thin membranes that line the lungs and the inside of the chest cavity
- pleural plaques - hard structures around the lungs and diaphragm and may develop prior to mesothelioma or lung cancer
Mesothelioma, Lung Cancer, and Cannabis Use
There is no doubt - mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer caused by long-term asbestos exposure. In the last few years a lot of cancer patients are turning to alternative therapies for the relief of their symptoms and to complement the traditional treatments. Medical marijuana and CBD oil gained the most popularity in alleviating symptoms and side effects of chemotherapy by reducing:
- nausea and vomiting
- loss of appetite
Finding relief for these side effects and symptoms can improve an individual's perspective and quality of life. It also helps them get through easier the full cycle of chemotherapy and radiation more. Luckily, today the use of asbestos is largely restricted because of its well-known adverse health effects.
We Are Here to Help
If you are a Navy veteran and you have an asbestos-exposure-related cancerous diagnosis, you are entitled to VA benefits and compensation. For more information, please call us at 760.621.6147.