Mesothelioma is a fatal caused in the inner linings of various organs of the body. The survival rate of Mesothelioma is really low and the patients have to go through a lot of diagnostic processes in order to differentiate Mesothelioma from various other disease. Although there are various factors that causes Mesothelioma, but asbestos exposure is the most important factor that causes Mesothelioma.
How the asbestos enters our body and into the inner lining of the organs
The asbestos fibers are inhaled through the respiratory system and then they get embedded into the inner lining of lungs, abdomen, heart and other organs and cause inflammation. This inflammation leads to the formation of tumours and hence Mesothelioma. Sometimes when asbestos fibres are ingested, they get stuck into the inner lining of abdomen and cause peritoneal Mesothelioma. These fibres also can enter the lymphatic system and travel to the pericardial cavity around the heart and cause pericardial Mesothelioma.
How the asbestos fibres cause damage to the cells of the organ
The asbestos fibres when enters the body, they cause mutation in the cells of the inner lining of the organs that they are embedded in. The asbestos fibres cause damage in the DNA of the particular process and impair the cell division process and hence the cells of these particular organs keep on developing without the older cells dying and hence there is inflammation and the formation of tumours. The person may have been exposed to asbestos about to 10 to 50 years ago and it can develop Mesothelioma after this long period of 10 to 50 years. The asbestos exposure mostly occurs at the work place, mostly factories where asbestos is used, but, asbestos exposure can also occur at home, school or any other place, depending on the environmental pollution by asbestos.
Types of asbestos that cause Mesothelioma
Actually asbestos is not just one chemical, it is the name given to six different type of silicate minerals. Among these six chemicals some are more prone to develop Mesothelioma then others. These six chemicals are divided into two groups, amphibole and serpentine. Amphibole type in particular crocidolite is more prone to cause Mesothelioma compared to serpentine type chrysotile. But, overall both these types of asbestos are highly carcinogenic compared to other chemicals.
Other causes of Mesothelioma
Asbestos is far and large the main causing agent of Mesothelioma. In 80% of cases it is the asbestos exposure that has caused Mesothelioma in any patient. However, there are other factors and environmental pollutants that also lead to Mesothelioma.
§ Asbestos like minerals
§ Simian virus 40
§ Radiation exposure
§ Carbon nanotubes
Asbestos like minerals
Other silicate mineral Erionite has also been associated with the cause of Mesothelioma. This mineral is naturally found in Capadoccia, Turkey.
Simian Virus 40
In most of the cases of Mesothelioma, the patients were also infected with Simian Virus 40, so the researchers feel that this virus may also be the cause of Mesothelioma. But, this is about to be proved yet.
Smoking in itself is not a cause of Mesothelioma. But, people who smoke and are exposed to asbestos are at high risk of developing Mesothelioma, compared to others.
This is yet to be proved, but, in some cases of Mesothelioma, patients have claimed that they were not exposed to asbestos, but to radiation at their work place.
Some studies show that carbon nanotubes and other nanoparticles are potential causes of Mesothelioma, but, this is yet to be proved.