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Industrial Lung Cancer

By Maxwell Fitch


There are many known chemical and physical causes of industrial lung cancer. Their common feature is a long latent period—usually ten to 40 years—between initial exposure to the carcinogen and clinical recognition of the lesion. Occupationally induced lung cancer is indistinguishable from lung cancer of unknown etiology or that caused by cigaret smoking. Smoking alone is responsible for a very large proportion of all lung cancer and it potentiates the effect of most other carcinogens. Most cases of lung cancer in the next 20-30 years will be the result of exposures which have already occurred. In these cases, early diagnosis of pre-invasive resectable lesions offers the only hope for prolonging life

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