Mesothelioma Causes and Risk Factors
For a long time, the prevailing view was that mesothelioma was a disease caused by asbestos exposure. However, this has been changed over the past few years. Although asbestos exposure is still considered to be the primary cause, some studies have suggested that exposure to other materials may also lead to the development of this disease. Since this condition can be diagnosed after a period of clinical trial, the exact cause remains unknown. However, mesothelioma causes remain largely a mystery.
One of the major mesothelioma causes is genetic changes in the human cell. Asbestos exposure has been known to cause genetic changes in various parts of the body, including the mesothelium. Some studies have indicated that genetic changes may also occur due to exposure to other chemical toxins and environmental agents such as radon gas. Since mesothelioma is a disease in which the mesothelial lining is replaced by the blood cells, these findings provide biological evidence linking these conditions and the development of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma causes can also be traced to certain treatment options. Treatment options are often directly linked to mesothelioma causes. Medications used for treatment may cause changes in cells or in the mesothelium lining. This can lead to either increased risk of cancer or increased intensity and duration of symptoms experienced by those with this condition.
Mesothelioma causes can also be traced to certain risk factors. People who were exposed to asbestos while working with this material during the past 20 years are at increased risk of developing this condition. Additionally, people who were exposed to asbestos products that contain this substance in the past five years are also at risk. The age of the worker when asbestos exposure occurs is not an insignificant factor in regards to increased risk.
DNA mutations have also been linked to the development of mesothelioma over time. As noted above, these DNA mutations can occur due to exposure to certain chemicals or radiation. It has been hypothesized that the genetic mutation associated with mesothelioma is caused when these cells try to repair damaged DNA. However, it is unclear as to whether these cells actually repair the DNA or if they merely repair portions of it that have already been affected by mutation.
Other factors that have been linked to the development of mesothelioma include an increase in the genetic mutations that affect the functioning of the cell’s natural killer cells. These cells help the body in the fight against infections and cancerous tumors. If these cells become abnormal, mesothelioma develops. In addition to this, exposure to radiation can also cause genetic changes, which in turn can lead to the development of cancerous tumors in mesothelial cells.