Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Learn more about the facts surrounding this serious disease.
Medical research studies showed around 3, 000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed every year in the United States. Most of these are said to have been caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos in the workplace. This is known as the Pleural type which accumulates on the lungs’ tissue layers and inner part of the chest. The bad news is cancer can eventually develop around the heart or stomach lining.
How Asbestos Can Lead to Cancer
What some people do not know is cancer does not develop immediately after being exposed to asbestos. Symptoms may begin to appear only after two decades or even 50 years. Likewise, only oncologists can come up with conclusive findings. Through the years, medical researchers have made a lot of progress in studying cancer diseases like mesothelioma but no cure has been found until the present.
Recent clinical findings revealed that around 80 percent of mesothelioma victims were subjected to asbestos while working in factories, shipyards and other industrial areas. This lethal mineral can produce severe health complications once the person inhales or ingests the microscopic fibers that hover around. The human body finds it very difficult to expel these contaminants. The fibers cause biological changes which ultimately lead to irritation, blemishes and genetic impairment. When these fibers lead to biological damage, the next stage is a prolonged latency period and the growth of malignant mesothelioma.
Keep this in mind: “Naturally-occurring asbestos” indicates the mineral as a natural part of rocks and soils. This is different from asbestos found in mining, commercial products or processing facilities. This is not a health hazard for as long as fibers are not disturbed and released airborne. Then, you will not have to worry about cases of mesothelioma or any other sickness related to asbestos exposure.
The common symptoms of asbestos are the following:
Enlargement of the neck or face
Difficulty in swallowing
Hypertension or high blood pressure
Blood in a mixture of mucus and saliva
Shortness in breathing
Deformity of the fingers
However, it does not always follow that you contract mesothelioma by getting exposed to asbestos. As a precautionary measure, visit your doctor who will definitely suggest the usual tests which include lung or pulmonary examinations, CT-scan or computed tomography and ordinary chest x-rays. The methods cannot detect the fibers but early indications of lung ailments arising from asbestos exposure. Symptoms of mesothelioma may be confusing since the disease can rarely be seen even by medical professionals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) revealed that asbestos is the principal cause of ½ of all fatalities from occupational cancer. More than 125 people have been exposed to this dangerous mineral all over the world resulting in around 107, 000 deaths annually from mesothelioma, asbestosis and lung cancer.
Asbestos can be identified using a special microscope. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends that it is advisable to have materials supposedly containing asbestos to be checked by experts.