Thursday, August 12, 2010

Mesothelioma Risk

Asbestos-related deaths have increased fourfold in the past three decades. We want to help those that have been at risk. Although asbestos exposure causes mesothelioma, the latency period after exposure could last 15 to 50 years. This means if you worked in a job with asbestos 40 years ago you could be developing mesothelioma now. If you were exposed to loose asbestos fibers, you should be tested regularly for mesothelioma.

Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are related to inhaling of asbestos fibers. There are about 3,000 cases per year (mostly men over the age of 40) and there will be about 300,000 cases before 2030. Mesothelioma usually spreads rapidly through the mesothelial cells to the heart and abdominal organs. The life span is typically 24 months after diagnosis, but it depends on what stage the cancer is detected, the health of the patient and other factors.

The onset of mesothelioma symptoms usually takes a long time. The first symptom is often a constant chest pain. This pain is later accompanies by difficulty breathing due to an accumulation of fluid in the chest. Other symptoms include coughing, fever and weight loss. Mesothelioma can be diagnosed by your doctor with a chest CT-scan.

Risk factors are the most important elements which are looked into when a disease is studied in detail. Risk factors are essential to know when a disease is being diagnosed in a person as they help locate a disease if the patient has been suffering from a set of symptoms and in studying the causes of these symptoms.
In short, risk factors increase your chances of diagnosing any disease following exposure or contact with any harmful agents. As with any other disease, risk factors are also taken into consideration when mesothelioma is diagnosed in a person.

It is a proven fact that the biggest risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring fibrous mineral. It has been established that previous exposure which took place 20-50 years back could eventually cause mesothelioma. Even short term exposure to low doses of asbestos can lead to mesothelioma. Here we have discussed all the mesothelioma risk factors in detail which will give you an insight how this deadly cancer is contracted.

Asbestos exposure is the main risk factor for developing mesothelioma. Asbestos belongs to a family of fibrous minerals made of silicate. Its usage was very common in numerous products like insulation, floor tiles, door gaskets, soundproofing, roofing, patching compounds, fireproof gloves and ironing board covers and even brake pads due to its fire retardation properties. It was found that people working in asbestos industry developed mesothelioma by inhaling asbestos. Asbestos particles settle in the lining of the lungs, chest and abdominal cavity and cause cancer.
Mesothelioma can occur in any person who has been directly or indirectly exposed to asbestos regardless of trade, age, sex or race. Even people who inhale asbestos particles from the clothing or other items of affected people can get mesothelioma.
However, with recent studies, it has come to light, that it is not solely asbestos exposure which is a risk factor for mesothelioma. There are some other risk factors for mesothelioma too.

Tobacco as a Risk Factor
Although, no direct link between tobacco and mesothelioma has been established, yet it has been found that a combination of smoking tobacco and inhaling asbestos can be a huge mesothelioma risk factor. It was found that people who worked in asbestos industry and also smoked were 50 to 90 times more likely to develop pleural mesothelioma or lung cancer. Also, according to researches, more asbestos workers are known to die of lung cancer rather than mesothelioma.

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