The Causes Of Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma, a form of cancer that attacks the linings of major organs like the lungs, abdomen, and heart, was a rare form of cancer until asbestos products became very popular for industrial and commercial use during the early to mid 20th century. Then, when doctors first linked mesothelioma to asbestos exposure in 1964, it became evident that exposure to asbestos fibers in the air was extremely dangerous and could cause serious, life-changing illnesses.

Biological ChangesBetween 1940 and 1978, an estimated 11 million people were exposed to asbestos in the United States and the number of mesothelioma cases is expected to peak by the year 2020. There are also an estimated 2,000 new cases of mesothelioma every year across the United States. Researchers have determined the primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos, but where does one come in contact with asbestos?

Asbestos was used in homes and businesses around the country in a number of products because of its fire-retardant and insulating qualities until the 1980s. People were at risk of being exposed if they worked at an asbestos plant, lived near an asbestos mine, renovated a home with asbestos, or even served on a military ship where asbestos was used.

Heavy exposure to asbestos puts you at serious risk of mesothelioma, but you can also suffer potentially serious side effects during your first exposure to the material. After inhaling or ingesting asbestos, the fibers then get trapped inside the mesothelial linings of the lungs, heart, or abdomen, causing a number of biological changes that could eventually cause mesothelioma.

When Mesothelioma Develops

There is no absolute answer as to the exact why asbestos causes mesothelioma but there are a number of theories. All of these theories are based on the idea that asbestos disrupts a cell’s natural cycle, eventually leading to the cells dividing and growing rapidly before forming tumors. These theories include:

  • Uncontrolled growth
  • Inflamed cells
  • Genetic changes
  • Cancerous mutations

Even though asbestos has been determined to be the primary cause of mesothelioma, there are some other potential risk factors that could lead to this devastating disease. This includes the following:

Many people believe smoking can cause mesothelioma. And while research has shown this is not the case, smoking can severely weaken the lungs, making it harder for the body to expel asbestos fibers from the lungs. One way you can take action and look out for your health is to inform your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past so he or she is informed of your risk.

There is currently no known cure for mesothelioma; however, there are ways you can help prevent mesothelioma. One of the best ways you can do this is by taking control of your own health and visiting the doctor for a check-up on a regular basis. This is especially important if you know you have been exposed to asbestos in the past.

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