Mesothelioma is atype of lung cancer. About 2.000 new cases are discovered every year only in theUnited Statesand there is no gender difference – mesothelioma affects both men and women. These patientsusually led a healthy life and never suspected to have mesothelioma. Doctorsknow that this type of cancer can grow silently in the lungs for severaldecades, showing no symptoms whatsoever. People have been diagnosed after 30 or40 years after the initial exposure to asbestos and after having some flu-like symptoms they discovered to suffer from mesothelioma. You don’thave to smoke to get mesothelioma, because it is not related to active orpassive smoking. However, smokers exposedto asbestos are at much higher risk to develop mesothelioma. They have 3 timeshigher chance to develop this type of lung cancer than some non-smoker.
The real cause ofmesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. People may breathe the air containing asbestos or swallow some asbestos particles. In either way, thisexposure develops into lung cancer known as mesothelioma many years after theinhalation or swallowing of the substance. Because of such long term development ofthe cancer, there are more cases of mesothelioma now than ever before. Consequencesof asbestos use in the 20th century are now clearly visible andpeople are becoming more aware of theexposure to toxic materials.
For decades,asbestos has been used for various things and objects. It was one of thematerial used for isolation of houses, because it is strong and fire resistant.Also, asbestos can’t corrode. The same substance was used heavily in insulation of the boilers and thermal pipes, but also as covering for thefloors or ceilings and sometimes for the roofs as well. Many have used asbestosto ensure sound and fire proof of different rooms in their homes.
Mesotheliomausually affects the men working around asbestos. These might have been workerson the building with asbestos but it can also happen to someonere-decorating an old apartment full of asbestos.Indirect exposure to asbestos is also known to lead to mesothelioma in severalcases. This exposure includes family members of workers with asbestos. Fibers ofthis material may stuck on their clothes so anyone from the family could inhale or eat them with the food, even without any notice.
Since the 70s, asbestos is not used in the United States, but it can be found in some oldhouses. Since many materials used in building are now imported, it is crucialto know that asbestos is still in use in some other countries of the world andpeople can come in touch with it.