No, not everyone who is exposed to asbestos is diagnosed with mesothelioma. Even for people who have been exposed to large amounts of asbestos, mesothelioma is rare. Although asbestos is the cause of mesothelioma, there are a number of risk factors that make certain people more likely to develop this cancer. Malignant mesothelioma develops when inhaled asbestos fibers cause inflammation, scarring, and cell damage.
All types of asbestos cause mesothelioma, but not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. There is some evidence that families of people exposed to asbestos are at increased risk of developing mesothelioma. This is because you can wear asbestos fibers home in your clothes. Who is at risk for an asbestos-related disease? Asbestos is the main agent in the etiology of malignant mesothelioma.
However, a small proportion of people exposed to asbestos develop mesothelioma. This suggests the role of host factors in tumor genesis. Genetic susceptibility is suggested by the occurrence of more cases of mesothelioma among members of a single blood-related family. This appearance reached about 4% in a large series of mesotheliomas.
In some studies, patients with mesothelioma showed higher prevalences of additional malignancies compared to controls. This indicates a particular vulnerability to cancer in people with mesothelioma. It is not uncommon for older people who are highly exposed to asbestos to be free of asbestos-related cancer, indicating absolute resistance to the oncogenic effects of asbestos. Relative resistance can be recognized in people severely exposed to asbestos who develop mesothelioma only after 60 years or more from the onset of exposure.
Prolonged survival, rarely seen among patients with mesothelioma, has been attributed to high efficacy of immune mechanisms. Mesotheliomas have been reported in people with severe immune impairment, such as patients with acquired immune deficiency syndrome or recipients of organ transplants. The natural history of mesothelioma shows that there is resistance to the oncogenic effects of asbestos. Probably, such resistance is due to efficient immune mechanisms.
Strengthening defense mechanisms may represent a way to prevent mesothelioma among people exposed to asbestos. Because asbestos-related diseases affect the lungs, smoking increases the risk of lung cancer in people who have been exposed to asbestos. People who have been exposed to asbestos should be especially careful not to smoke. Prognosis and prognosis depend on how asbestos affects the lungs.
It may take several years for any sign of asbestos-related illness to be detected. Lung or pleural scarring may not affect your overall health, but severe scarring, lung cancer, or mesothelioma will. It all depends on the severity of your condition, your general health, and other risk factors. If you have been exposed to asbestos during your work, talk to your healthcare provider.
Asbestos can cause several health conditions, including lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare cancer. You may not have symptoms for decades after exposure. Even if you're feeling well, talk to a provider so you can take steps to protect yourself and reduce your health risks. If you have an asbestos-related condition, your healthcare provider will help you get the treatment you need.