Risk Factors for Mesothelioma

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Individuals often assume a person with Asbestos Cancer was directly exposed to this mineral at some point in their life. Although this is the most common cause of this type of cancer, other factors may also play a role in its development. Following is more information on these factors and how they play a role in mesothelioma.

Working Around Asbestos

A job that involves working around asbestos puts a person at higher risk of developing mesothelioma. As asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, why is this the case? Asbestos has been used in many products over the years, thanks to its resistance to heat and its durability. However, when it is broken up, dust comes about. This dust, when swallowed or inhaled, settles in the stomach or lungs. This leads to irritation which may develop into cancer over an extended period of time. The vast majority of individuals don’t develop the disease, yet some people do so with only minimal exposure. As a result, researchers believe other factors must also play a role.

Residing With Someone Who Works Around Asbestos

Why would living in the same house as someone who works around asbestos put a person more at risk of developing this type of cancer? The asbestos fibers can be carried into the home on the worker’s skin and/or clothing. This asbestos is then present in the house where it may be breathed in by family members. With repeated exposure to these fibers, the person’s risk of developing mesothelioma increases. For this reason, anyone working in an industry that involves asbestos products should shower and change their clothing before returning home.

Genetics

Some people appear to be more prone to developing this cancer based on their family history. Anyone who has a relative who has developed mesothelioma should alert their doctor. Doing so helps to ensure the patient is monitored for any signs or symptoms.

Thankfully, the number of asbestos cancer cases reported each year is fairly small, although one is one too many. Individuals who have mesothelioma often aren’t diagnosed until the cancer has spread, reducing their chances of long-term survival. If you or a loved one has worked around asbestos, talk to your doctor today. The more one knows, the more they can work to protect their health.