Lung cancer in a female non-smoker with occupational exposure to asbestos: a case report

La Medicina del Lavoro. 2006 Jul-Aug;97(4):581-5. [Link]

Mazzetti L, Murer B, Quintavalle S, Zeni E, Miotto D, Mapp CE, De Rosa E, Boschetto P.

Dipartimento di Medicina Clinica e Sperimentale, Sezione di Igiene e Medicina del Lavoro, Universita degli Studi di Ferrara.


Background: Until recently, asbestos was widely used in a variety of industrial processes. Workers exposed to asbestos may develop lung and pleural diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer, benign pleural effusion, pleural plaques and mesothelioma.

Objectives: To describe a clinical case of lung cancer in a female non-smoker with occupational exposure to asbestos.

Methods: The clinical and occupational history was based on the information kindly provided by the Occupational Unit of the National Health Service and on the case history of a hospital admittance in 2001, when the patient underwent surgery for lung cancer.

Results: The patient worked for 6 years in an asbestos manufacturing industry where she was exposed to high concentrations of asbestos, and then worked for 14 years in a sugar refinery only during the summer. She had benign pleural effusion, pleural plaques, asbestosis and lung cancer.

Conclusions: We concluded that a six-year exposure to high doses of asbestos may induce lung cancer and asbestosis in a female non-smoker.