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Lung Cancer



Silicosis and Lung Cancer

Other Silicosis Related Diseases

Victims of silicosis are known to be susceptible to tuberculosis. The reason for this is debated by scientists but it appears likely that silicosis weakens the defense system of the lungs to bacterial infection and tuberculosis (TB) is the result.

Lung Cancer
Although the exact cause is not known, individuals with silicosis have an increased risk of developing lung cancer.

Heart Attacks
With severe silicosis, in addition to the direct effects on your lungs, the presence of scar tissue in the lungs also affects the heart. Your heart must work harder to move blood to all the areas of your body. This type of strain on the heart increases the risk of heart failure. Many victims of silicosis will actually die from heart attacks, rather than silicosis.

Connective Tissue Disease
Rare disorders caused by changes in the immune system may be increased in individuals with silicosis. Scleroderma (a skin and organ disease) and Systemic lupus erythematosus sclerosis is reported to occur more frequently in individuals with silicosis.

Rheumatoid arthritis
Rheumatoid arthiritis is more common in men with silicosis than in the general population, most the arthiritis is likely related to the effect of silica on the immune system.

Caplan syndrome
Caplan syndrome originally described in coal workers, is characterized by pulmonary nodules with cavitation in silica workers with seropositive rheumatoid arthritis.

Other Factors/Cigarette Smoking
Cigarette smoking and lung conditions such as asbestosis can cause an additive crippling effect on your lungs when combined with silicosis. Because of this, a worker who has an existing lung disease should never be assigned to an area where there are high silica exposures. Additionally, a worker with silicosis should not be placed in an environment or be exposed to other agents that might cause other damage to the lung.

Summary of other silicosis related diseases:

Tuberculosis or TB
Lung Cancer
Heart Attacks

Connective Tissue Disease

   Systemic lupus erythematosus sclerosis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Caplan syndrome



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