Smoking and Mesothelioma

There has been some confusion about the relationship between smoking and mesothelioma. This confusion often stems from the fact that smoking can lead to lung cancer. However, mesothelioma, while also a cancer that attacks the lungs, is a completely separate condition.


Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma is not caused by smoking. Mesothelioma is a very specific kind of cancer that usually only results from an exposure to asbestos. Like smoking-related illnesses, it can severely impact the health of the lungs. However, this cancer can also attack thelining of heart and the abdomen as well. In addition, mesothelioma cannot be the cause of lung cancer. Lung cancer is a kind of cancer that is most commonly the result of repeated exposure to firsthand or secondhand cigarette smoke. In other, less common cases, exposure to carcinogens in the air or radiation may lead to lung cancer. Asbestos exposure and the subsequent development of mesothelioma, however, are not known to cause this disease.


Even though mesothelioma is not directly caused by smoking, there may indeed be some links between smoking and the development of this kind of cancer, although these links are not direct. An indirect link exists because smoking can severely debilitate the normal functioning of the lungs. In this unhealthy state, lungs may be more susceptible to developing a condition known as asbestosis. Asbestosis is a disease that affects the lungs and is caused by the scarring asbestos fibers cause. Asbestosis is not the same condition as mesothelioma. However, the existence of asbestosis in the lungs can, over time, lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer.

Health Risks

Still, a direct causal link between smoking and mesothelioma has yet to be discovered. Smoking, on the other hand, can certainly lead to other very serious health conditions that affect the lungs. People who smoke, for example, have a fifty percent higher likelihood of developing lung cancer. It is for this reason that mesothelioma patients are instructed to quit smoking. The development of smoking-related conditions in addition to mesothelioma can lead to rapid health degeneration. It is also important to note that there are many similarities between the development of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Both conditions are very difficult to detect at an early stage of development. Telltale symptoms may not appear until much later for both illnesses. This is why it is extremely important for all smokers and people who have been exposed to asbestos to receive routine check-ups. If conditions such as mesothelioma and lung cancer are detected early enough, more treatment options exist and their success rates remain higher. References: