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Asbestosis is caused by long-term, repeated exposure to asbestos, a natural fiber that is used for various industrial purposes, such as insulation and car brake linings. Fibers of asbestos in the air are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs. As a result, lung tissue is scarred and lungs are unable to contract and expand normally. Asbestosis also increases a person's chance of developing asbestos lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer almost always caused by asbestos.

Our Approach to Asbestosis

UCSF provides comprehensive evaluations and care for work-related lung diseases, such as asbestosis. We offer a wide range of pulmonary function tests as well as flexible bronchoscopy to examine the airways.

When treating asbestosis, the first step is to avoid any further exposure to asbestos. Because tobacco use greatly increases asbestosis patients' risk of developing lung cancer, it's critical to stop using any form of it. UCSF offers a program dedicated to helping tobacco users quit, led by specialists in tobacco addiction. We also recommend getting flu and pneumonia vaccines, and may prescribe medications used to treat asthma. Our goals are to slow the disease's progression and help our patients feel better.

Awards & recognition

  • usnews-neurology

    Among the top hospitals in the nation

  • usnews-pulmonology

    Best in Northern California for pulmonology & lung surgery

UCSF Health medical specialists have reviewed this information. It is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider. We encourage you to discuss any questions or concerns you may have with your provider.