Exposed: Various Causative Agents of Mesothelioma

Do you have any mesothelioma-related questions? Do you want to know the causes of mesothelioma? If yes, then i must say ipodr is the right page for you to be. From scratch, I will walk you through the causes of mesothelioma and how it develops into cancer in the human body.


Mesothelioma is quite unlike many other types of cancer. Sometimes, health professionals refer to it as a unique cancer type. Well, this is true, given the fact that the primary cause of it is asbestos exposure. Generally, cancer has no reason, but of course, there are risk factors. Mesothelioma, on the other hand, has a primary cause as well as risk factors.

Truth About Causes of Mesothelioma

Several people diagnosed with mesothelioma disease have the causes traced back to exposure to asbestos. In most cases, they were exposed while doing specific jobs that involved handling products that contained asbestos. Some got exposed while they served in the military. 


The truth about Mesothelioma is that it was discovered very late, and the term never existed until its discovery. The first confirmed mesothelioma case was found in the 20th century. Due to the lack of cure and increased usage of asbestos-containing products, the incidence rates rose.


How does Asbestos cause Mesothelioma?


Now that you know the causes of mesothelioma, you might begin to wonder how this happens right from the start. Well, I’m here to help. Here, I will show you how cancer enters the body and how it develops before being diagnosed as mesothelioma. 


Asbestos begins in the mesothelial tissues. The mesothelium has a primary function to provide a slippery, non-adhesive, protective surface in several organs of the body, especially the lungs. When asbestos is inhaled or swallowed, these mesothelial cells and tissues trap it.


Due to the restriction, the trapped asbestos fibers will cause inflammation, which will later result in cell damage, hence causing mesothelioma. As I mentioned earlier, asbestos exposure is the primary cause of mesothelioma. It also means that your risk of developing the disease will increase with every asbestos exposure. 


However, everyone has a unique amount of fighter cells. There are cases whereby two persons exposed to the same amount of asbestos will not test the same for mesothelioma. One might test positive, while the other, negative. Still, this does not dispute the risk increases with each exposure.


Now, you might wonder how this disease spreads around the body. Mesothelioma is a type and cancer, and just like any other kind of cancer, they are known for spreading to different body organs very fast. Mesothelioma can travel from the digestive tract to the lungs in no time.


There are, however, several types of mesothelioma, depending on its location. When the asbestos fibers are stuck in the pleura (a mesothelial tissue), it can result in pleural mesothelioma. Also, when these fibers are stuck in the abdominal cavity, it can result in peritoneal mesothelioma.


In addition, there are cases whereby the asbestos finds its way into the bloodstream and heads towards the heart, testes, or other body organs. The mesothelioma that develops in the heart is called pericardial mesothelioma, while that of the testes is called testicular mesothelioma. 


Causes of Mesothelioma vs. Risk Factors 


There is a wide gap between the risk factors and causes of mesothelioma. Firstly, a cause is simply the contributing factor that results in a disease. On the other hand, a risk factor is any factor that increases the chance of developing a disease. Therefore, there are risk factors and there are causes of mesothelioma. 

Causes of mesothelioma1
Mesothelioma word and stethoscope icon- vector illustration

Basically, we are aware that exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, so what are the risk factors? Imagine a laborer working in a construction company that involves asbestos products; they already risk developing mesothelioma.


Since the primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, the risk factors revolve around various sources of exposure. However, some risk factors are dependent on family history and exposure to a virus known as simian virus 40. But, the virus has not been proven a cause of mesothelioma. 


So, if you have a family member who has had mesothelioma, there is a chance of inheriting the genes already stained with traces of mesothelioma. However, most people around the world are at risk of exposure to asbestos in their workplace. It remains the most common risk factor for the disease.


What are the Primary Risk Factors for Mesothelioma?


Now that we know the causes of mesothelioma let’s find out the primary risk factors for the disease. There are several risk factors, but I will only mention the most important ones.


The first, though not the most significant risk factor, for mesothelioma, is military asbestos exposure. There is a percentage of those with mesothelioma who have served in the military. The military uses some weapons that contain asbestos products and will endanger the health of members when exposed to them.


The second, occupational asbestos exposure, is the most common risk factor for mesothelioma. There are several asbestos companies around the world with thousands of workers. These workers have a very high chance of developing the diseases as they get exposed to asbestos.


Also, living with someone who has worked/works with asbestos is a risk factor for mesothelioma. Many people refer to such cases as second-hand exposure to asbestos. Once you live under the same roof with someone already a potential patient, you also risk yourself.


Other risk factors for asbestos exposure are environmental asbestos exposure and DIY automotive and home renovation projects. Aside from these, there are other potential risk factors for mesothelioma that have not been proven. These include exposure to radiation, zeolite materials, simian virus 40, and genetic factors.


Contrary to the opinion of many, smoking is not a risk factor for mesothelioma. Smoking is only a risk factor for developing lung cancer but is not related to causing mesothelioma, nor does it increase the risk of having the disease. However, smoking cigarettes while also getting exposed to asbestos can make you develop lung cancer.


High-Risk Occupations for Mesothelioma

  • Shipyard workers
  • Construction workers
  • Power plant workers
  • Chemical plant workers
  • Industrial workers
  • Insulators
  • Boiler workers
  • Auto mechanics

Image Credits: iStockphotos



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