Today, I’m interviewing Alison Grimes from the Mesothelioma Asbestos Awareness Center.
What is Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. Caused primarily by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, mesothelioma is most commonly diagnosed in older individuals who worked with asbestos in an industrial setting. Prognosis for mesothelioma is poor, but early detection and newer treatment methods have given many patients hope for survival.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Asbestos is the only confirmed cause of mesothelioma. When inhaled or ingested, asbestos fibers lodge in pleural tissue of the lungs, heart, or abdomen, causing inflammation and scar tissue that can eventually lead to tumors.
Key Points about Causes of Mesothelioma
- The only proven cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure.
- Work history, duration of exposure, and type of asbestos increase the risk of developing mesothelioma
- Men over the age of 65 who worked in the military are most at risk.
When asbestos is disturbed, the fibers become airborne and may be swallowed or inhaled, eventually becoming lodged in the delicate lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. The fibers cause irritation and scarring, which can mutate, inhibiting the body’s natural cancer defenses. Eventually this scar tissue may develop into tumorous growths.
Symptoms of mesothelioma may appear anywhere from 10 ? 50 years after exposure. While the connection between asbestos and deadly lung diseases was known prior to the 1900s in asbestos mine workers, it wasn’t until the 1960s that an official study linked asbestos exposure with incidents of mesothelioma and other related diseases.