Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure The people who use products that contain asbestos are at risk of ingesting or inhaling asbestos fibers. These fibers penetrate the chest cavity's lining or abdomen, also known as the pleura and peritoneum. Exposure to asbestos can result in a lifetime risk of malignant mesothelioma that is peritoneal or pleural. Although the risk is believed to decrease after more than 40 years of exposure, even the smallest asbestos exposure is dangerous. Age The older a person is when they are exposed the more likely they are to develop mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium which is a thin layer of tissue surrounding major organs in the body. The cancerous cells multiply rapidly and create tumors. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed in those who have been exposed to asbestos either in their work or as a family member of someone who was exposed to it. Asbestos exposure can cause mesothelioma due to irritation of the mesothelium. Pleural mesothelioma is typically found in the linings of the lungs but it can also affect the abdomen's lining and peritoneum as well as the heart lining. Asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral is extremely durable and heat-resistant. It was used in construction as well as insulation and other industrial purposes up to the 1980s. During this time, millions of Americans were exposed to asbestos because of their jobs or because they were close to a loved one. When asbestos is disturbed, it releases fibers in the air. They are too difficult for the body's systems to break them down or process. The fibers may be trapped in the lungs, causing irritation that can lead to cancer. Symptoms of mesothelioma usually do not manifest for a long time after asbestos exposure. The symptoms are similar with other cancers, and may be fatal without treatment. Mesothelioma is more common in men than women, and is most often diagnosed in those who are over 45. Miners, shipbuilders, railroad workers, and people who handled asbestos-containing products are at most risk of developing mesothelioma due to workplace asbestos exposure. Family members of these individuals are also at greater risk since asbestos could be found on their clothing. Smoking The longer an individual is exposed to asbestos, the greater the risk of developing mesothelioma. This is due to the long latency time that can last between 20 and 60 years from initial exposure to the disease until it is diagnosed. asbestos attorney mesothelioma can occur in different parts of the body depending on the type and amount of asbestos present. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in the lung's lining cavity and the chest wall (the pleura). Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the abdominal lining, also known as the peritoneum. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos are most often develop mesothelioma in their chest or the lungs. The most at the risk are those who worked in the fields of shipbuilding, power production and construction. Mesothelioma is also a possibility for those who were exposed at home or at school to asbestos. This is because children and spouses of workers who were exposed to asbestos may bring the fibers to their clothing hair, skin and even their hair which can put them at risk of developing the disease. Mesothelioma patients are typically white and older than 65. They are more likely to have a blue-collar occupation or military background. The United States Navy and other branches of the military used asbestos extensively due to its ability to withstand flames. millions of veterans may have been exposed to it. Mesothelioma may develop when DNA of an individual undergoes changes that cause cells to multiply uncontrolled. This results in the development of tumors, which then transform into mesothelioma. The disease can be affecting any part of the body, but typically, it is found in the chest or abdomen. Smoking cigarettes does not cause mesothelioma. However it may increase the risk of getting this cancer by increasing the amount of asbestos people breathe in. Therefore anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should consider abstaining from smoking. The treatment plan of a patient with mesothelioma must also include a doctor who is well-versed in asbestos exposure and risk factors. A mesothelioma expert can assist determine the best treatment for this rare cancer. The doctor will determine if the patient is eligible for immunotherapy or other experimental treatments. Asbestos Exposure Asbestos is a natural mineral that is used in a variety of different products such as flooring, roofing, and insulation. Workers who handle asbestos-containing materials, manufacture them or work with them face a significant chance of being exposed. Exposure to asbestos fibers in the air can cause cancer and illness. Many asbestos diseases are not recognized until it is too late because there is a long latency period between exposure and the onset of symptoms. Mesothelioma is the most dangerous asbestos disease. Symptoms of mesothelioma can develop between 20 and 60 years after exposure to asbestos. The most common way people are exposed to asbestos is through occupational exposure. Manufacturing, construction, electrical and auto mechanic jobs all involve the handling of asbestos-containing components and materials. However, individuals can also be exposed to asbestos through home activities, such as smoking cigarettes or renovating older houses that contain asbestos. Most mesothelioma cases are caused by asbestos inhalation. Inhaling asbestos fibers can lead to the lung, where they cause irritation to the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. This irritation can lead to thickened pleura patches (pleural plates) and fibrosis in the lungs. As the disease advances, it could cause to the accumulation of fluid within the chest cavity and eventually lung cancer. Mesothelioma may also affect the tissues of other organs, such as the heart or abdomen. People who are exposed to asbestos at work are at the highest risk for developing mesothelioma. But people who have an ancestor with mesothelioma or other asbestos-related illnesses are at risk as well. The risk for a person is higher if they've been exposed to asbestos in multiple jobs throughout their life. Smoking cigarettes doesn't increase the risk of mesothelioma but it can make the condition worse for those who have already been diagnosed. If you have a history of exposure to asbestos and have mesothelioma symptoms quitting smoking may prolong your life and improve the outcome of your treatment. It is essential to inform your doctor about your exposure to asbestos and any new symptoms, such as shortness of breath or abdominal pain, because they can treat the condition by undergoing surgery or medication. Genetics Many cancers have a genetic link that means genetic factors could increase their risk of getting a specific disease. Mesothelioma, however, does not have a genetic component. In fact asbestos exposure is the main cause. Asbestos fibers may enter the body via swallowing or inhalation, and then stick to the linings of the abdomen, chest or heart. Over time, these loose fibers can damage or mutate the cells that compose these tiny linings, which can result in mesothelioma's development. However, mesothelioma does not affect everyone who is exposed. Researchers believe that other factors can determine if a person develops mesothelioma following exposure to asbestos. This includes the person's gender and age and their family history of mesothelioma or other diseases, and whether they have other risk factors, such as smoking. Men are more likely than women to develop mesothelioma. This is because men were more likely than women to have been directly exposed asbestos while at work. Mesothelioma can develop between 20 and 60 year after the first exposure to asbestos. A faulty gene is a second risk factor for mesothelioma. In a study that looked at two families with high levels of mesothelioma, researchers discovered that almost every person in the family had a defective gene located on their short arm of the chromosome 3. The gene is known as BAP 1 and regulates the way calcium moves through cells. With a faulty gene the process is affected and calcium levels drop. This allows asbestos to mutate healthy cells into cancerous ones and cause mesothelioma. A mutated gene can also increase the chance of developing mesothelioma as a result of asbestos exposure. People with this mutated gene have lower levels of white blood cells which are the cells that fight cancerous cells. The kind of asbestos to which a person was exposed and the work they performed can also increase the mesothelioma-related risk. The polio vaccine, given to children between 1940 and 1950, may also increase a person’s risk of mesothelioma by exposure to cancer-causing SV40.
Member since less than 1 year