what causes mesothelioma cancer

What exactly causes mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma cancer is a type of cancer which is very rare and has a very poor survival rate. It is very aggressive and appears in the thin layer of lining called mesothelium, that covers the heart, lungs and abdomen.

What causes mesothelioma?

Asbestos, a naturally-occurring mineral, has many industrial applications. It is used in insulation, flooring, brakes and other products. It is unclear how the process kickstarts, but asbestos is a primary risk factor for mesothelioma. Many people exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma, while some who are exposed to the substance for a short period of time do contract the disease.

It may also take between 20 and 40 years since exposure to asbestos for mesothelioma cancer to develop. It has been concluded that other factors, like genetic predisposition, play an important factor on whether or not a person develops mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.

What are the risk factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma?

  1. History of exposure to asbestos – personal exposure to asbestos at work or at home, especially when it is inhaled in the form of dust.
  2. Second degree exposure to asbestos – living with someone who is regularly exposed to asbestos. The person may bring home with him asbestos fibers and exposure to these over the course of several years increases the risk for mesothelioma.
  3. Family history – like many other forms of cancer, genetics plays a big role in developing this type of cancer.

What are the types of mesothelioma?

Three types of mesothelioma

Pleural Mesothelioma

This type of mesothelioma affects our lungs and happens to be the most common variety. It is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers. Symptoms may include:
  •  Chest pain
  • Pain when coughing
  • Difficulty breathing/shortness of breath
  • Strange or unusual lumps under the skin on the chest
  • Inexplicable weight loss

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Occurring in the abdomen, this type of mesothelioma cancer happens when asbestos fibers get inhaled or swallowed and become trapped on the abdominal lining.

Symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and swelling
  • Lumps in the abdominal tissue
  • Inexplicable weight loss

Pericardial Mesothelioma

The rarest type, pericardial mesothelioma, happens when the asbestos fibers become lodged or trapped in the heart lining.
Signs of this type of cancer include:
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pains
A tiny percentage of mesothelioma patients develop mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis. This affects the lining of the testicles and the first telltale sign is a lump on one of the testicles.

Prevention and treatment of mesothelioma

The best way to prevent mesothelioma cancer is do determine whether or not you are being exposed to asbestos. Ask your employer if you are exposed at work and if you are, make sure that you follow safety regulations. Consult your physician on what safety precautions you can take to lessen your risk of exposure to asbestos at work.
If you think asbestos is present in your home, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Contact and hire a professional who is equipped and experienced in safely removing asbestos.
Treatment for mesothelioma cancer is about the same as for other forms of cancer. Depending on the severity of the case, this may include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. There are also newer treatments, in the form of clinical trials, that may be available to patients who do not respond to traditional treatments.

Thomas Thompson

I spent the 80’s developing wooden horses in Tampa, FL. Spent several years testing the market for magma in New York, NY. Set new standards for supervising the production of catfish in West Palm Beach, FL. Won several awards for creating marketing channels for karma for fun and profit. My current pet project is researching wooden horses in Tampa, FL. Spent 2001-2007 selling tar in Pensacola, FL.