Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy

Twenty-six years after Italy instituted a ban on cancer-causing asbestos, the number of people dying of malignant mesothelioma is still rising. Researchers with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome computed the mortality rates from mesothelioma between 2003 and 2014 in each of the country’s 8,047 municipalities and found that more than 16,000 people had died from malignant mesothelioma. Most of those deaths were from pleural mesothelioma and most occurred in areas near industrial asbestos sources. Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestos Bans An estimated 80 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have some type of known exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral that embeds itself in body tissues. Even though scientists were exploring the connection between asbestos exposure and diseases … Continue reading Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy »

New Study: Asbestos May Drive Mesothelioma Progression

A new study suggests that asbestos, the primary trigger for almost all cases of malignant mesothelioma, may do more than cause the disease—it may also play a role in how quickly it grows and spreads. Malignant mesothelioma is typically a disease of old age. Once inhaled or swallowed, it can take decades for asbestos fibers to work their way into tissues and wreak havoc with the DNA of mesothelial cells. But the new joint Italian/American study suggests that that time may be significantly shortened in cases of heavy exposure. Researchers at Duke University Medical Center in North Carolina and the National Tumor Institute in Milan  have found that the younger a person is at the time of their mesothelioma diagnosis, the … Continue reading New Study: Asbestos May Drive Mesothelioma Progression »

BAP1 Not the Only Genetic Risk Factor for Mesothelioma

A new study suggests that the BAP1 gene, which has been linked to several kinds of cancer including malignant mesothelioma, may not be the only genetic risk factor for the asbestos cancer. Mesothelioma, a fast-growing membrane cancer, typically only occurs in people who have a history of asbestos exposure. But scientists have long wondered why some asbestos-exposed people go on to develop pleural or peritoneal mesothelioma while others don’t. Extensive mesothelioma research, much of it focused on a mesothelioma “epidemic” among extended families in a particular region in Turkey, discovered that many family members who contracted mesothelioma shared a mutation on the BAP1 gene. This genetic anomaly has also been associated with an increased risk for uveal melanoma, renal cell carcinoma … Continue reading BAP1 Not the Only Genetic Risk Factor for Mesothelioma »

New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery

Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma

There is some good news and some bad news this week for patients with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma, an aggressive form of cancer that occurs on the lining of the abdomen. Both come from a new article on peritoneal cancer published in the International Journal of Clinical Oncology. The good news is that most patients with peritoneal mesothelioma and other forms of cancer on the peritoneal membrane respond well to the multi-modal treatment regimen that has become the standard-of-care for this form of the asbestos cancer. A combination of cytoreductive surgery (CRS) and heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) allows most peritoneal cancer patients to “achieve long-term disease-free survival”, according to the study from the National Cancer Centre Singapore. But the more disturbing … Continue reading New Study Examines Early Recurrence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma After Surgery »

The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture

Today, most people with access to media are aware that asbestos is dangerous. Even people who are unfamiliar with the rare but deadly asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, have heard that this once commonly-used mineral is toxic. But this was not always the case. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s when asbestos was at the height of its popularity in the US and other Western countries, the media often portrayed it as something of a “miracle mineral”. A naturally-occurring mineral found all around the world, asbestos has high tensile strength and resists heat, fire and corrosion. For decades it was used in insulation, added to building products like floor tiles and concrete, and made into fireproof clothing, ironing board pads, hairdryer … Continue reading The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture »

Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma

On this day when the US honors its fallen heroes, it is important to remember that not all who lost their lives from military service died on the battlefield. In fact, many died decades later of the rare asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos in the military. Others are still battling this aggressive and incurable malignancy. Scientists have suspected a link between the fibrous mineral asbestos and malignant mesothelioma since as early as the 1930s. That was when miners and those who processed asbestos for a variety of uses began to get sick from a mysterious lung-related disease. But many decades passed and many people died—both in and outside of the military—before the Armed Services recognized … Continue reading Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma »

Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos

A new study is shining a spotlight on the disturbing fact that you don’t have to have worked in an asbestos industry to be exposed to asbestos and develop malignant pleural mesothelioma, one of the world’s deadliest cancers. A new study conducted in the Mount Pollino area of Southern Italy, where asbestos is found in abundance in the soil, finds a “significant excess” of mesothelioma diagnoses, hospitalizations, and deaths from asbestos-related conditions. Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma Asbestos is the name for a set of six naturally-occurring silicate minerals that were once prized for their high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Asbestos was used in a variety of building products and insulation materials from as early as the … Continue reading Study Highlights Risk of Malignant Mesothelioma From Naturally-Occurring Asbestos »

Mesothelioma and Laboratory Pads

Studies have shown that fibers of both chrysotile and tremolite asbestos were found in the air where laboratories pads have been used.    Multiple studies have confirmed that, if there is any chance of asbestos fibers entering the lungs, there is a risk of pleural mesothelioma or another asbestos-related condition. This is because it is very difficult for the body to rid itself of these sharp fibers after they have embedded themselves in the tissue. The longer these fibers stay in the body, the greater the likelihood that the person will eventually be facing a mesothelioma diagnosis.  

New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure

A new Turkish study is shining a spotlight on the role of environmental asbestos exposure in the development of malignant mesothelioma, an aggressive malignancy with no known cure. Malignant mesothelioma, which occurs on the membranes around the lungs, the abdominal organs or, more rarely, the heart, is most often associated with occupational asbestos exposure. But a new study in the Archives of Environmental and Occupational Health cautions that “Environmental asbestos exposure is as important as occupational exposure to develop malignant mesothelioma.” In addition, after studying 21 groups of Turkish mesothelioma patients with either environmental or occupational exposure, the researchers concluded that environmental exposure is different from occupational exposure in some notable ways. Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Diagnosis Doctors have known … Continue reading New Mesothelioma Study Compares Different Types of Asbestos Exposure »

Mesothelioma Talcum Powder Case Raises Safety Concerns

The final numbers are in and the New Jersey mesothelioma patient who was awarded $30 million dollars last week will get another $80 million in punitive damages from Johnson & Johnson and its talc supplier. Banker Stephen Lanzo and his wife filed suit against the two companies claiming that Mr. Lanzo’s use of Johnson & Johnson talcum powder products caused his pleural mesothelioma, a fast-growing cancer on the membrane around the lungs. The case represents the first time that a man has won a lawsuit alleging a connection between talcum powder and malignant mesothelioma, and raises serious safety concerns for consumers. Johnson & Johnson and other talcum powder producers have already been brought to court by women who claim their … Continue reading Mesothelioma Talcum Powder Case Raises Safety Concerns »

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