Mesothelioma may be a rare and deadly cancer caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. When these tiny asbestos fibers occupy the liner of the lungs, they will cause cellular changes that cause the event of cancer. Any workplace or household exposure to asbestos results in a greater risk of developing mesothelioma.
Asbestos is that the only definitive explanation for mesothelioma, accounting for a minimum of 90% of mesothelioma cases. However, researchers have identified a spread of other risk factors which will increase the danger of developing mesothelioma, sort of a history of smoking. Better understanding the explanation for mesothelioma can help prevent the disease, promote awareness and improve detection and coverings .
Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma develops within the mesothelium, a skinny membrane encompassing the body’s internal organs and cavities. It often takes 10 to 50 years for symptoms to manifest, making it difficult to pinpoint the cause and challenging the likelihood for early detection. within the majority of cases, the cause is exposure to asbestos.
Where Does Asbestos Exposure Occur
Asbestos exposure is commonest during a workplace environment, though exposure also can happen through secondary exposure in homes, in schools, at construction sites and lots of other locations.
With occupational exposure, there are many cases of secondhand exposure also , like relations coming into contact with clothing and materials that have collected microscopic asbestos fibers. Asbestos has also been found in common home items , like talcum , potting soils and paint. It’s important to remember of all asbestos products and understand once you could be at high risk for exposure.
Asbestos Causes Cancer
In the commonest scenario, asbestos fibers are inhaled and eventually become embedded within the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart, causing harmful inflammation that eventually results in the formation of mesothelioma tumors. Peritoneal mesothelioma is related to the abdomen, pleural mesothelioma with the lungs, and pericardial mesothelioma with the guts .
Other Potential Causes of Mesothelioma
Around 90% of all mesothelioma cases are tied to known asbestos exposure. However, there are other factors that patients claim might be a possible cause or influencing factor to their malignant mesothelioma cancer.
Zeolites and Mesothelioma
Asbestos-like materials are thought to be another explanation for mesothelioma. Zeolites are absorbent minerals containing silicone and aluminum. Erionite may be a certain sort of zeolite that has drawn an outsized amount of attention with its reference to cancer. The fibrous material is of course occurring and sometimes found in volcanic ash. Evidence has shown a reference to the event of cancer, especially in regions where populations are exposed to erionite in their natural environment, like Turkey.
Radiation Exposure and Mesothelioma
Some malignant mesothelioma patients claim that they were never exposed to asbestos and instead believe that the explanation for their cancer was radiation exposure. While radiation may be a potential secondary factor for mesothelioma, there are limited reports in establishing this connection.
Simian Virus 40 and Mesothelioma
Some mesothelioma cases show possible connections between mesothelioma and simian virus 40 (SV40). Studies have shown a robust correlation between people who have the virus and development of mesothelioma, though further investigation is required .
High ratio Nanoparticles and Mesothelioma
Commonly referenced as HARNs, high ratio nanoparticles even have a suggested link with mesothelioma. HARNs are nanoparticles that have a length that’s multiple times the width. Particles of this nature are proven to be harmful to human health. Like other non-asbestos causes of mesothelioma, evidence is lacking and more research is required .
Pre-Existing Factors in Malignant Mesothelioma
Aside from asbestos exposure and other potential causes and contributors to the event of mesothelioma, there are a spread of pre-existing factors that play a task in mesothelioma.
Age: Elderly and Mesothelioma
One common misconception of mesothelioma is that it occurs only within the elderly. 91% of these diagnosed are 55 years old, or older. However, it’s important to notice the long latency stage before mesothelioma symptoms emerge. Though many are diagnosed at an older age, younger adults also are being diagnosed. Studies are continuing to seem at a possible link between young adults, their genetics and mesothelioma, which could change age-related statistics for the disease.
Gender: Men and Mesothelioma
Some cancers are gender-specific, like ovarian cancer and carcinoma , affecting one gender quite the opposite . Mesothelioma isn’t gender-specific, but has been seen in higher rates in men. One potential reason for this correlation is that occupations that exposed workers to asbestos years ago were male-dominated. for instance , with more men working in mining and oil refineries, more men are now developing symptoms of mesothelioma. However, in recent years, research has shown that mesothelioma rates among women also are on the increase as they’re increasingly exposed on the work and thru secondhand exposure.
Genetics: BAP1 and Mesothelioma
BAP1 may be a tumor-suppressing gene, and if there’s a mutation of the gene, tumors are more likely to develop. Individuals in families with a mutation of the BAP1 gene could also be more vulnerable to developing mesothelioma as their tumor-suppressing capabilities are hindered.
Health: Illness and Mesothelioma
Poor health means an increased risk of developing any quite disease, not just mesothelioma. When the body’s system and defenses are down, it makes it harder to repel foreign substances. For people who have already been diagnosed with mesothelioma, poor health also can complicate treatment options and therefore the body’s ability to reply .
Smoker vs. Non-Smoker: Smoking and Mesothelioma
Currently, there’s no proof that smoking is directly linked to mesothelioma. However, many studies have shown that smokers are 50 – 90% more likely to develop asbestos-related carcinoma . Similarly, smokers exposed to asbestos are twice as likely to develop mesothelioma.
The relationship between smoking, lung disease and various sorts of cancer – especially carcinoma – is well established. there’s little evidence that smoking alone increases a person’s chance of developing mesothelioma, but it’s possible that smoking can cause conditions within the lungs that make it easier for asbestos to become embedded and cause inflammation, resulting in cancer. These include:
Weakening of lung tissue: Asbestos fibers can more easily become lodged within the linings of the lungs.
Decrease in overall health: Smoking can cause a number of other medical problems and may significantly reduce a patient’s mesothelioma treatment options and anticipation .
Increased mucus production: Irritation of the air passages causes them to supply more mucus. This blocks the passage of air and affects the lungs’ ability to cleanse themselves.