Genetics may explain, in part, why some people develop mesothelioma and others don't. Inherited mutations of certain genes, such as the tumor suppressor gene BAP, cause a genetic predisposition to developing the disease. Mesothelioma is incredibly rare compared to the number of people who have been exposed to asbestos over the years. For example, two people may work together and find themselves with the same level of asbestos exposure for years, and one person will develop mesothelioma and the other person will not.
There are many different reasons for this, one of which is the mutation of the BAP1 gene. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they cause scarring and inflammation, which can develop into a mesothelioma tumor. Research has shown that 80% of all cases of mesothelioma are caused by known exposure to asbestos.
The risk of developing mesothelioma is closely related to the amount of asbestos a person is exposed to and the duration of exposure. People exposed at a young age, for a long time, and at higher levels are more likely to develop this cancer. Even so, most people exposed to asbestos, even in large numbers, do not get mesothelioma. Other factors, such as a person's genes or having had radiation therapy in the past, may make them more likely to develop mesothelioma when exposed to asbestos.
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 incidence reached about 4% in a large series of mesotheliomas. In some studies, patients with mesothelioma showed higher prevalence of additional malignancies compared to controls. This indicates a particular vulnerability to cancer in people with mesothelioma. It is not uncommon for very old people who are highly exposed to asbestos to be free from asbestos-related cancer, a fact that indicates 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 demonstrates 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. The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers or asbestos dust. It usually takes 20 to 60 years after exposure to asbestos for a person to develop mesothelioma.
For eight out of 10 people who have pleural mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos is the cause. However, most people who have been exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma. Rarely, high levels of radiation, such as treatment for another cancer, can cause pleural mesothelioma. Most people exposed to asbestos never develop mesothelioma.
This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining if a person has mesothelioma. For example, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk. When asbestos fibers are airborne, people who work with asbestos can inhale particles that remain in their lungs. Although some people with mesothelioma have no known risk factors, many people who develop mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos.
However, even elderly and very old people, with a history of old exposure to asbestos and with large pleural plaques, can remain mesothelioma free. Family members of people exposed to asbestos at work may also be exposed because workers can bring home asbestos fibers in their clothing. However, most people who are diagnosed with mesothelioma have no known predisposition to the disease and no amount of exposure to asbestos is reported to be safe, and some cases of mesothelioma occur after a short exposure. People who are involved in the manufacture of products containing asbestos or who install or maintain these products may inhale or swallow asbestos fibers.
The study sheds some light on the possible origin of some cases of mesothelioma, but there is still no known way to prevent mesothelioma in people who have been exposed to asbestos. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos while doing certain manual labor or serving in the military. Others at risk include people who clean work clothes with asbestos fibers or people who alter asbestos during home renovation or maintenance. In addition, millions of people highly exposed to asbestos in the past are at high risk of developing mesothelioma in the coming years.
Some people with peritoneal mesothelioma that has not spread may have an operation called a peritonectomy, which involves the surgeon removing the parts of the peritoneum where the mesothelioma is growing. Most people who develop pleural mesothelioma have had high levels of exposure to asbestos for a long time. . .