November 22, 1985

Asbestos Bodies in Carcinoma of Colon in an Insulation Worker With Asbestosis

Author Affiliations

From the Environmental Sciences Laboratory, Department of Community Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York.

JAMA. 1985;254(20):2932-2933. doi:10.1001/jama.1985.03360200084033

CARCINOMAS involving the gastrointestinal tract, as a group, are the most common forms of cancer in the United States, with the colon and the rectum being the most frequently involved sites.

Geographic pathology suggests that environmental factors play a strong role in the etiology of these tumors. There is an increase in the number of deaths from colon cancer in asbestos workers. In a study of 17,800 asbestos insulation workers, instead of 38.1 expected deaths due to cancer of the colon and rectum, there were 59.1 Other studies support the association between asbestos exposure and colon-rectal cancer.2

Report of a Case  A 66-year-old asbestos insulator had worked for over 32 years putting asbestos around pipes and removing asbestos from old pipes.Dyspnea on exertion, without angina, started about 1967. Clubbing of fingers and bilateral extensive rales were found on physical examination.The clinical diagnosis of advanced asbestosis was