Wednesday, May 30, 2018

What causes malignant mesothelioma

What causes malignant mesothelioma?

What causes malignant mesothelioma?

Years of research have revealed that a number of factors are responsible for increasing the chances of getting mesothelioma; however, it is unclear how the factors cause cancer specifically.  Most cancers, including mesothelioma, occur when the cell’s DNA suffers from damage.

DNA refers to the chemical that is found in all our cells, which make up our genes. Genes are not just responsible for your physical appearance; they are responsible for controlling when certain cells grow and when they die; they also ensure that cells are divided into new cells.  When changes occur in the genes, it may cause the cells to grow exceedingly and out of control, which typically leads to cancer, which in this case, refers to malignant mesothelioma. 


Risk factors for malignant mesothelioma

A risk factor is anything that increases your chances of getting cancer. Various cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors such as smoking can be changed while others such as genetics or family history cannot.  Having one or several known risk factors does not necessarily mean that you have the disease; some people who have malignant mesothelioma sometimes do not have any known risk factors. Common risk factors for malignant mesothelioma are:


Exposure to high levels of asbestos is by far the main risk factor for pleural mesothelioma.  The risk is greater if one is exposed to large quantities for a long time.  Asbestos refers to an insulating material that consists of tiny fibers, which is both resistant to heat and fire. Asbestos was used widely in construction, shipbuilding, telephone exchanges, power stations, motor industry and in the manufacture of various household appliances.

Asbestos cause mesothelioma when the fibers work their way into the lining of your organs. These fibers irritate the lining and may cause gene mutations, which lead to the growth of cancerous tumors. Asbestos use is banned in most countries today.

SV (simian virus) 40 virus

Between 1955 and 1963, injectable polio vaccines were known to be contaminated with the SV40 virus which has been linked to mesothelioma.  This is why the peak age range for diagnosis of mesothelioma is 50 to 70 years; young people are less likely to suffer from SV 40 exposure.


Zeolites are mineral components that are linked to asbestos.  Large exposure of Zeolites like erionite, commonly found in Turkish rocks and soil, may cause mesothelioma.


A few reports also claim that radiation is a mesothelioma risk factor. Although the risk of mesothelioma is higher in patients that have received radiation treatment, mesothelioma is still rare in these patients.



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