Asbestos and Laryngeal Cancer

On Behalf of | Apr 24, 2024 | Asbestos |

Asbestos is a mineral fiber that was commonly used in construction materials for its strength and heat resistance. It was once praised for its versatility, found in products like insulation, roofing and flooring.

Although the link between asbestos and serious lung conditions is widely known, your voice box can also experience damage due to exposure.

Health impact

When asbestos-containing materials are disturbed, tiny asbestos fibers make their way into the air. If inhaled or swallowed, these fibers may become trapped in the body for a long time. Over years, they can cause serious health problems, including lung cancer, mesothelioma and other respiratory diseases.

Inhaled asbestos fibers also tend to travel down the windpipe and settle in the lungs. These fibers irritate and scar lung tissue, making it harder to breathe. But did you know that your voice box, also called the larynx, sits right at the top of your windpipe?

The risks

If asbestos fibers settle in the larynx, they can cause irritation and inflammation. This often leads to changes in your voice, making it hoarse or raspy. In some cases, it causes difficulty swallowing or breathing.

Even more concerning is the link between asbestos exposure and an increased risk of larynx cancer. The asbestos fibers can irritate the cells lining the larynx, leading to abnormal changes that may develop into cancer over time. Laryngeal cancer typically affects your ability to speak and swallow, and if not diagnosed and treated early, it can be life-threatening.