Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer

Cancer, the name itself evokes a mixture of emotions since it is associated with pain, discomfort and even death. Cancer affects various parts of the body and is caused by many different factors. Here you will find the causes of mesothelioma cancer.
| Monday, January 14, 2013

Mesothelioma cancer is a rare type of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the lining of the abdomen and chest, also known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is of three kinds:

  • Pleural Mesothelioma - As the name suggests this form of cancer begins in the lining of the lungs, better known as the pleura. This form of cancer is the most common.
  • Peritoneal Mesothelioma - This is another form of mesothelioma cancer. This occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum.
  • Pericardial Mesothelioma - This last form of mesothelioma cancer begins in the pericardium, the lining of the heart.

Mesothelioma Staging

This form of cancer can be divided into two stages

  • Localized: In this stage, the mesothelioma cancer is confined to the area it affects in the beginning. For e.g. for localized it is confined to the mesothelium, while in the pleura in the case of pleural mesothelioma and the peritoneum in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma.
  • Advanced : This form of cancer is considered in the advanced stage if it has spread to other parts of the body; like the lymph nodes or any other organs like the lungs.

Mesothelioma Cancer - It’s Causes

The main cause of mesothelioma cancer according to experts is the prolonged exposure to asbestos. This dosage of asbestos is closely linked with the chances of developing mesothelioma as it clearly depends upon how much asbestos has been inhaled along with how long the person has been exposed. The reason is that when asbestos gets damaged, particles or fibers go into the air, this kind of environment then becomes hazardous to human health. The fibers present in the air is eventually breathed in or swallowed and then get imbedded in the tissues which eventually leads to cancer. In some cases, second hand exposure from an asbestos worker’s soiled clothes can also result in a family member being affected.

Asbestos is a material commonly used for sound proofing, insulation, roofing, fireproofing and ironing board covers. Steel mills, construction sites, shipyards, oil refineries and power plants are places where the workers are at risk of developing this type of cancer.

Other Factors

Apart from the above, other factors that might also cause mesothelioma cancer in conjunction with asbestos exposure are:

Exposures to Radiation - There are a few rare cases where patients have named exposure to radiation rather than asbestos for their condition. The effect of radiation is that it transforms and mutates cell growth patterns. This is commonly linked to brain and blood cancers.

Smoking - Though commonly associated with lung cancer, people who smoke and also exposed to asbestos are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma cancer.

A Few Facts about Mesothelioma Cancer

  • Mesothelioma cancer cases are expected to increase worldwide around the year 2020.
  • 50 percent of mesothelioma cancer patients can expect to be involved in clinical trials.
  • Erionite, another asbestos mineral has also been linked to mesothelioma. In Tuzroy, which is a Turkish village over half of the villagers have died due to respiratory malfunctions which also include mesothelioma.
  • It was in the year 1964 that the first diagnosis of mesothelioma was conclusively linked to exposure to asbestos.
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