WARNING - If you are sensitive to graphic descriptions of biological functions, you may want to skip this article. If, on the other hand, you love slimy talk, read on.
We've all had a bad head cold. Some of us suffer from allergies and the dreaded post-nasal drip. When all that nasty, gooey mucus is flowing, you have a few options, none of which are pleasant. Blowing your nose becomes a hobby and eats up a couple of boxes of tissues. But the post-nasal drip is tricky, and sometimes hacking it up is the best you can do. But then what? My mother always told me it is rude to spit in public, which really limits your options of what to do with a mouth full of goo. But a nasty little secret mother never told you is that swallowing the goo might lead to cancer!
How can this be? Let me quote from Wikipedia.
Deposition of fibres in the parenchyma of the lung may result in the penetration of the visceral pleura from where the fibre can then be carried to the pleural surface, thus leading to the development of malignant mesothelial plaques. The processes leading to the development of peritoneal mesothelioma remain unresolved, although it has been proposed that fibres from the lung are transported to the abdomen and associated organs via the lymphatic system. Additionally, fibres may be deposited in the gut after ingestion of sputum contaminated with fibres.
In other words, if you hack it up, spit it out, don't swallow it.
Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. If you believe you may have mesothelioma risk, talk to your doctor about diagnosis and mesothelioma treatment options. As with any serious disease, early detection and treatment of mesothelioma has a huge impact on the mesothelioma survival rate.
For more detailed information, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mesothelioma