Asbestos Exposure and Gastrointestinal Cancers: The Link

Diseases related with asbestos exposure are a common clinical problem and a major health concern worldwide. Several types of cancer have been linked to asbestos exposure, and all asbestos cancer begins with asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that can be found in just about any country around the world. Exposure to asbestos has been linked to an increased risk of lung cancer, mesothelioma, asbestosis, and gastrointestinal cancer.

What is GI Cancer?

Asbestos may cause gastrointestinal cancer when asbestos fibers are ingested through the mouth, swallowed, and become lodged in the stomach, eventually causing the disease. giGastrointestinal cancer is a group of cancers that are contained within the digestive system or intestinal tract, and include pancreatic, liver, gallbladder, colon, rectal and stomach cancer. Collectively, these cancers account for more than 250,000 new cases and over 100,000 deaths each year.

Who’s At Risk?

Gastrointestinal asbestos cancer risk factors include working or living in a place where asbestos is inhaled or swallowed or living with someone who works near asbestos. Workers with the greatest risk of developing gastrointestinal asbestos cancer include those who work in insulation, mining, roofing, textiles and those involved in the manufacturing of asbestos-containing products. While gastrointestinal cancer can also result from genetic factors, contact with toxic chemicals such as asbestos is fairly common. Other risk factors for gastrointestinal cancer include age, race, and history of digestive problems.


Gastrointestinal cancer affects the organs of the digestive system, including the esophagus, gallbladder, liver, pancreas, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. In the early stages of gastrointestinal cancer, there may be very few symptoms, but as the cancer spreads, symptoms may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting.


These types of cases are very difficult and require careful scrutiny prior to filing them.