Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which affects people who are exposed to asbestos at work for a long time. It is a very rare type of cancer, but recently it has become increasingly common. Mesothelioma is of two types depending on the area where it affects. Pleural mesothelioma affects the chest region whereas peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdomen. Both require treatment. Efficient asbestos cancer treatment is very important to avoid complications.
According to www.survivingmesothelioma.com, mesothelioma diagnosis is not a death sentence to anybody. The right approach can help you survive the disease. Let us see what the factors which lead to mesothelioma are.
Asbestos is the primary reason behind Pleural Mesothelioma. The risk is more when the time duration and the amount of exposure is more. Studies in patients with Peritoneal Mesothelioma also indicated a connection with asbestos exposure. Asbestos had been linked with lung diseases since early 1800. But the connection with mesothelioma was found out only after 1950.
Asbestos is mainly used in construction, ship building, manufacturing industry, power stations, etc. Blue, white and brown asbestos are there. Out of these blue and brown are considered more hazardous and hence is banned in some countries.
How mesothelioma is connected to asbestos?
The tiny fibers in asbestos are the culprits. You breathe those fibers in, and they reach the pleura of your lungs. The pleura lining gets irritated by the fibers and may lead to gene mutations which ultimately increases the risk of cancer. Not all the fibers get deposited in the lungs, some find their way down and those are the reasons for peritoneal cancer.
Who is at highest risk?
Two groups of people are at higher risks- Those who work in the construction and manufacturing industry using asbestos and those who have used asbestos for the construction of their property. The age also acts as a deciding factor here. The risk is higher in cases where asbestos exposure occurred before the age of 30. Mesothelioma may not develop immediately after asbestos exposure. It may take about twenty to sixty years for the symptoms to appear.
Radiation, SV40 virus, and other chemicals
The chemical Thorium dioxide which was used in X-Ray tests in the past has been connected with pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in some cases. People who have undergone radiotherapy also have a slightly more chance of getting mesothelioma. Though the number of such cases is less, this is a factor which cannot be neglected completely.
Another factor which may increase the chance for mesothelioma in those who are already exposed to asbestos is SV40 virus. Studies about this are happening, and more clarity is yet to come in this area.
Another chemical which increases the risk of mesothelioma is a category of zeolite fiber known as erionite. Certain chemicals in paints also enhance the risk of mesothelioma.
Studies in this field are still going on. There are many other causes which are being researched. Proper awareness can prevent the dangers to a large extent. So, be cautious while dealing with the suspected agents of this disease. Be safe!