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. 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. It is known that a mutation in the BAP 1 gene may predispose some people to certain types of cancer, such as mesothelioma. If the tumor suppressor protein BAP 1 is not present, malignant mesothelioma is more likely to develop. 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. According to the American Cancer Society, 80% of mesothelioma cases are caused by known exposure to asbestos. Studies have shown that radiation treatment for other types of cancer or certain genetic markers may increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. However, asbestos is still the only proven cause of the disease.
Depending on the type of mesothelioma and other factors, patients may undergo several promising treatments. For example, patients with peritoneal mesothelioma may be eligible for a warm chemotherapy wash called HIPEC. Some researchers have reported 10-year survival rates of 45% for patients treated with HIPEC and surgery. We know that asbestos causes most cases of pleural mesothelioma.
This starts in the two sheets of tissue that cover the lungs, called the pleura. Being exposed to large amounts of asbestos for a long period of time increases the risk of mesothelioma. Many people with mesothelioma in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma) have also been exposed to asbestos. The link between mesothelioma and asbestos was found in the 1960s.
This is due to the intensive use of asbestos in industry since the end of the Second World War until the mid-1970s. However, some people with mesothelioma say they have no history of exposure to asbestos. There are 3 main types of asbestos: blue, brown and white. Blue and brown asbestos is strongly related to mesothelioma.
It is now also thought that white asbestos is harmful. Asbestos is made up of tiny fibers. You can inhale these fibers when it comes into contact with asbestos. 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. Smoking also increases the risk of cancer in people who have been exposed to asbestos. Mesothelioma may not develop until 15 to 60 years after you've been exposed to asbestos. That is why we have seen an increase in cases in recent years.
If you worked as a painter, you could have a higher risk of mesothelioma. This is because until the 1990s some paintings contained asbestos. You may also have been exposed to asbestos in workplaces. In Turkey, an asbestos-like mineral called erionite has been shown to increase the risk of mesothelioma.
But this hasn't been found anywhere else. A risk factor is anything that increases a person's likelihood of developing cancer. Although risk factors often influence the development of cancer, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with several risk factors never develop cancer, while others with no known risk factors do.
Knowing your risk factors and discussing them with your doctor can help you make more informed choices about your lifestyle and health care. 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.
If you have respiratory symptoms or other signs of mesothelioma and have a history of exposure to asbestos, talk to your doctor about screening for the disease. Family members of people exposed to asbestos at work may also be exposed because workers can bring home asbestos fibers in their clothing. The relationship between asbestos and mesothelioma is now well known, and most of its use in the United States was stopped several decades ago, but it is still used in some products. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, they cause scarring and inflammation, which can develop into a mesothelioma tumor.
Those who worked with talc products contaminated with asbestos, such as barbers and ceramic workers, also unknowingly brought asbestos fibers home and caused mesothelioma among their children and spouses. Asbestos fibers take an average of 20 to 50 years to convert normal mesothelial cells into mesothelioma cancer cells. An Experienced Mesothelioma Attorney Can Help Applicants Determine What an Employer Knew About Asbestos and Its Dangers. If you know that you are genetically predisposed to mesothelioma and have a known history of exposure to asbestos, you and your doctor can watch for signs and symptoms of mesothelioma, and you may have some imaging tests to check for changes in your lungs.
Peritoneal mesothelioma can form in the abdomen when inhaled asbestos fibers are expelled by coughing and then swallowed. In fact, most cases of pleural mesothelioma have been linked to high levels of exposure to asbestos, usually in the workplace. All types of asbestos cause mesothelioma, but not everyone exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. However, understanding the mechanism behind a particular person's mesothelioma could help doctors select the most effective treatment for mesothelioma.