What are the common causes of mesothelioma? Basically, mesothelioma is a malignant disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma is a disease that generally begins in the lining of an individual’s organs like the lungs, the abdomen or the chest. The cancer usually manifests after more than 50 years of exposure to asbestos and it takes ten to fifty years before the disease is apparent. Some people who have been exposed to asbestos when they were working at jobs like industrial manufacturing or construction have developed mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can be of two types, pleural mesothelioma or peritoneal mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma causes are different from exposure to asbestos because the primary cancer-causing agent is asbestos itself. Mesothelioma causes can stem from inhalation of microscopic fibers of this mineral during its production. When the fibers come into contact with human tissues, they become malignant. Inhalation of these fibers leads to pleural mesothelioma. And, exposure to these fibers also results in peritoneal mesothelioma.
Asbestos, despite its name, does not only cause cancer but is also known to have other highly hazardous effects on the human body. Because of this, the majority of health organizations around the world have developed multiple risk factors for this disease. Among these risk factors are increasing the odds of developing this disease by being a person who works in a profession where asbestos is used; having a family member with the disease; and having a history of cancer in the lungs, skin, or stomach. Learning about the different mesothelioma causes available will help you determine if there are any risk factors that apply to your loved one.
One of the most common mesothelioma causes identified today involves radiation exposure. This type of radiation exposure is usually through x-rays, gamma rays, or microwaves. There are two types of radiation exposure: external x-ray radiation, which comes from the sun, and internal x-ray radiation, which come from various medical devices. External radiation exposure is linked to the development of tumors in the lining of an individual’s internal organs. Internal radiation exposure is associated with the development of tumors inside an individual’s body. Because of this, it is critical to diagnose a patient’s condition with the help of an Amniologist, who is an expert in the detection of mesothelioma.
The second most common cause of mesothelioma is the genetic makeup of individuals. There are two genes that are primarily involved in the development of mesothelioma: the BRCA1 gene, and the SV40 gene. These genes are passed down from generation to generation, and they determine the chances for an individual to develop mesothelioma. If an individual has a history of developing mesothelioma as an offspring of an asbestos worker, there is a 50% chance that their family member also will have mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma can also be caused by the exposure of the lungs to asbestos fibers. There are fibers that come from the asbestos industry, such as ceiling tiles, insulation, and flooring. When these fibers come into contact with the lining of the lungs, they can become lodged in the mesothelium, which is the tissue lining the lungs and other organs. Over time, these cells can change and become cancerous. This form of mesothelioma is called pleural mesothelioma.