Almost all mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. However, according to one study conducted in 2005, in approximately 20% of mesothelioma cases, the patient reported having no history of asbestos exposure. That may be because they simply didn’t realize they had been exposed to asbestos, but that isn’t always the case.
Researchers have speculated that it may not be the asbestos itself that is causing the mesothelioma, but instead, the asbestos is acting in conjunction with another factor that then causes this deadly condition. This link is speculation at this point and it has not been proven.
In Turkey, Ministry of Health reported that the incidences of mesothelioma in 2015 were 1.1 per 100,000 and 0.6 per 100,000 males. This is comparable to rates in the United States, which has 0.58 to 1.65 per 100,000. The Turkish cases that did not involve asbestos exposure have been linked to a type of fiber called erionite.
A virus called the polyoma simian virus 40 has also been linked as a potential cause of mesothelioma in animals, though a link to human mesothelioma has also not been proven.
How Asbestos Causes Mesothelioma
At this point, the link between asbestos and mesothelioma has been proven with overwhelming evidence. As far as doctors are researchers in the United States are concerned, almost all mesothelioma is caused by asbestos exposure. But how does asbestos cause the condition?
Mesothelioma happens after microscopic fibers found in asbestos are inhaled, which causes pleural mesothelioma. When these fibers are ingested, the result can be peritoneal mesothelioma. Your body cannot expel these fibers, so tumors may form around them.
How Often Mesothelioma Is Diagnosed
Mesothelioma is diagnosed in only 10% to 20% of people who had heavy asbestos exposure. Even if you are afraid you’ll develop the condition because you were an asbestos removal worker, there is no reason to panic. You have an 80% to 90% chance of remaining healthy.
Currently, approximately 8 out of 10 people with mesothelioma are known to have been exposed to asbestos. This can happen in three ways:
On the Job
The most common way people are exposed to asbestos is at work. The following are some of the occupations that can result in asbestos exposure:
- Construction workers
- Asbestos miners
- Industrial workers
- Asbestos plant workers
- Boiler workers
- Asbestos installment workers
- Factory workers
If you believe you were exposed at work, you may want to consider speaking to an attorney to learn more about how you may be able to get mesothelioma compensation.
If you live with someone who works with asbestos or you spend time with them in another setting, you could be exposed. Asbestos fibers in their hair, on their skin, and on their clothes can make their way into your lungs or abdomen.
Asbestos mines can release asbestos fibers into the air, which can then make their way into your body if you are in the area where the mine is located. In Turkey, there are natural rocks that are believed to potentially be a source of asbestos exposure.
If You’ve Been Diagnosed
The most important thing to do if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma is to get the best possible medical care. At this time, there is no known cure for the condition, but you may be able to live for longer if you have a skilled and experienced medical team on your side.
Don’t give up hope, no matter what the doctor tells you your life expectancy may be. With treatment, you may be able to manage your symptoms and enjoy the best possible quality of living.