Mesothelioma is typically thought to be a type of lung cancer whereas it is a type of cancer that targets mesothelium, the shielding membrane that protects internal organs. So what are the mesothelioma causes?
Though relatively rare with only about 2000 new diagnoses per year, mesothelioma is one of the most lethal forms of cancer, resulting in death typically within a year following diagnosis. While most people with the disease lose their lives due to respiratory failure, if the tumor spreads to the heart, they may also die due to a heart event.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
The main cause of mesothelioma is too much exposure to asbestos, which was commonly used in a wide array of industries, from construction to automotive. The accidental inhalation of asbestos particles can result in the development of this aggressive and deadly cancer.
Nearly 80% of people with mesothelioma get the disease due to occupational exposure, and some can also be exposed to secondhand asbestos, such as residing near mines or construction. When you know there might asbestos present in the air, it is vital to wear a mask to avoid inhaling any.
Another possible cause of mesothelioma can be exposure to zeolites. Zeolites are also a type of mineral found in soil that is alike asbestos in nature.
There is also a genetic component. Typically, cancer develops due to cellular genetic mutations that grow and replicate irregularly and uncontrollably. However, though there are genetic factors that increase the risk of this type of cancer, the genetic mutation that causes mesothelioma has not been unearthed.
Just as other types of cancer, mesothelioma is likely also a result of a combination of factors such as genetic, environmental, and lifestyle.
While mesothelioma treatment entirely depends on the stage and the overall health of the patient, treatments such as surgery and options like chemotherapy and radiation are usually only effective if caught at an early stage since this is a very aggressive type of cancer.
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