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Investigating The Causes of Mesothelioma

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Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that affects the thin tissue lining the lungs, abdomen, and heart. This cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries throughout the 20th century. In the United States, mesothelioma affects more than 3,000 people every year, and it is estimated that up to 15,000 Americans will die of mesothelioma by 2020.

In order to better understand mesothelioma and its causes, it is important to investigate the primary cause of this cancer: asbestos exposure. Additionally, it is important to look at other potential causes of mesothelioma, as well as genetic factors and ways to prevent this deadly cancer.

Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma

Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries throughout the 20th century. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers can become lodged in the mesothelial tissues, which line and protect vital organs. These fibers can cause inflammation, scarring, and cell damage, which can lead to the formation of cancerous mesothelioma cells.

The risk of developing mesothelioma increases with every exposure to asbestos. People who are most at risk of asbestos exposure are those who worked in jobs that required handling asbestos products, such as construction workers, firefighters, industrial workers, power plant workers, and shipyard workers. Additionally, family members of asbestos workers may be at risk of asbestos exposure, known as secondary exposure, if fibers become stuck on the asbestos worker’s clothing, tools, hair, or skin.

What Are The Risk Factors of Mesothelioma?

The primary risk factors for mesothelioma include asbestos exposure, genetics, age, gender, and lifestyle choices. Asbestos is the primary risk factor for mesothelioma, as research links known asbestos exposure to 80% of all cases. Additionally, people with a family history of mesothelioma are more likely to develop the cancer, and the risk increases with age and is higher in men than women. Other lifestyle factors, such as smoking, may also increase the risk of mesothelioma.

Other Causes of Mesothelioma

In addition to asbestos exposure, there are other potential causes of mesothelioma. These include exposure to radiation, certain genetic markers, and contamination from the polio vaccine between 1955 and 1963.

Genetics and Mesothelioma

Recent research has suggested that genetics may also play a role in the development of mesothelioma. Studies have found that some people with a family history of mesothelioma are more likely to develop the cancer, although the exact genetic factors involved are still not fully understood.

Prevention of Mesothelioma

The best way to prevent mesothelioma is to follow workplace safety regulations and be aware of the potential dangers of asbestos exposure. If you or a loved one has a history of asbestos exposure, it is important to talk to a doctor and be aware of the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma. Additionally, it is important to be cautious of old homes containing asbestos materials, and to hire a professional asbestos abatement company to test and remove asbestos materials.

What are the Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma?

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on the type and location of the cancer. The most common symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath, chest or lower back pain, dry and persistent cough, and difficulty breathing. Other symptoms of mesothelioma may include swelling and pain in the abdomen, blood clotting abnormalities, bowel obstruction, anemia, and fever. If you experience any of these symptoms, it is important to talk to your doctor as soon as possible.

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