Mesothelioma awareness day.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive type of cancer that is preventable. It is caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers. The asbestos fibers lodge in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or heart. The fibers cause inflammation and scarring. Asbestos exposure is the most common cause of mesothelioma.

All types of asbestos are cancerous. Exposure to asbestos accounts for at least 90% of all cases of mesothelioma.

In Australia, 10,000 deaths have been attributed to mesothelioma since the early 1980s. The country continues to have the highest incident rate of mesothelioma in the world.

While safety laws require the location of asbestos in public places to be recorded, with strict rules on how it is handled and removed, there are currently no regulation that identifies the presence of asbestos in residential areas.

The average mesothelioma life expectancy after the diagnosis range from 18 to 31 months. However, mesothelioma lifespans may be longer based on the type, stage at diagnosis, location, overall health and other contributing factors. Treatment advances have led to more reports of patients living 10 years or longer.

Occupations With High Risk of Exposure

  • Asbestos miners
  • Auto mechanics
  • Construction and demolition workers
  • Firefighters
  • Insulation installers
  • Machinists
  • Miners
  • Oil refinery workers
  • Power plant workers
  • Rail road workers
  • Roofing, carpentry and floor installers
  • Ship yard workers

Secondhand exposure commonly occurs when asbestos fibers are brought home on asbestos workers’ hair, skin and clothing.

Risk Factors for Mesothelioma

  • Advanced age
  • Presence of BAP1 gene
  • Gender
  • Poor overall health
  • Smoking

Additionally poor health results in an increased risk of developing diseases, including mesothelioma. A weakened immune system hinders the body’s ability to fight the the cancer and its side effects.

 Currently, there is little evidence that smoking alone increases a person’s chance of developing mesothelioma. However, many studies have shown smokers are 50 – 90% more likely to develop mesothelioma.

According to research, it is possible, that smoking makes it easier for asbestos to become embedded in the lungs and lead to cancer.


Prevention of Mesothelioma

Avoiding asbestos exposure is the most effective way to prevent mesothelioma.

If asbestos exposure is suspected, individuals should speak with their doctor and monitor for any symptoms of mesothelioma, such as shortness of breath, weight loss and chest pain. It may be difficult to identify the symptoms because mesothelioma usually manifests decades after exposure occurs. However monitoring for symptoms enables early intervention, which is a key factor in improving life expectancy.

In conclusion, prevention of exposure, not smoking, and keeping a healthy lifestyle will help to prevent development of mesothelioma and improve the outcome if it does occur, by decreasing inflammation and improving person’s immune function.



Call Now Button