Tag Archives: asbestos exposure

The Link Between Pleural Plaques and Mesothelioma

Fibrous thickening of the lung lining known as pleural plaques are a good indicator of asbestos exposure but they don’t necessarily mean that a person will development mesothelioma. That is the finding of a risk analysis released by a Princeton, New Jersey-based consulting firm. The firm studied the medical literature on pleural plaques to better understand the relationship between this common asbestos exposure side effect and the development of mesothelioma, the most deadly disease associated with asbestos. Pleural plaques typically develop two or three decades after asbestos exposure. They can grow on either the outer (parietal) pleura or the inner (visceral) pleura. While they can make breathing uncomfortable as they calcify over time, pleural plaques are not cancerous and have … Continue reading The Link Between Pleural Plaques and Mesothelioma »

How Much Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma?

Avoid exposure to asbestos – especially if you are a smoker. That is the central message in an article by two Dutch cancer researchers who have some good news and some bad news about the link between asbestos exposure and malignant pleural mesothelioma. Pulmonologists Dr. Paul Baas and Dr. JA Burgers of AVL/NKI Cancer Center in Amsterdam analyzed a study of 58,279 Dutch construction workers from 1986 to 2007. The study, published by Offermans et al in the January 2014 issue of the Journal of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, confirmed what past research has found – that the risk of lung cancer, laryngeal cancer, and mesothelioma increased as asbestos exposure increased. “The risk of development of … Continue reading How Much Asbestos Can Cause Mesothelioma? »

Can Mesothelioma Be Genetic?

A new study out of Italy suggests that a person is more likely to be diagnosed with mesothelioma if a sibling has the disease. That is especially true if both siblings were also exposed to asbestos. Scientists from Sapienza University and the Lazio Regional Health Service in Rome, as well as industrial disease experts from Viterbo, Italy searched a database including 10 percent of the Italian population to find familial clusters of mesothelioma cases. Among the 997 cases of mesothelioma recorded between 1980 and 2012, the team found 34 familial cases and 13 clusters. Together, these clusters accounted for 3.4% of all mesotheliomas in the database. “The most common clusters were those with affected siblings and unaffected parents,” reports Associate … Continue reading Can Mesothelioma Be Genetic? »

Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania

asbestos

Workers and their families have won a victory in Pennsylvania after the state Supreme Court ruled that they could sue former employers over late-manifesting industrial diseases like mesothelioma. The decision focused on a provision in Pennsylvania’s Workers’ Compensation Act that says workers cannot sue an employer if their occupational disease occurred more than 300 weeks after their on-the-job exposure. While many occupational injuries and diseases occur within weeks or months of exposure to a toxin, asbestos diseases like mesothelioma are a notable exception. Believed to be caused by chronic irritation from inhaled or ingested asbestos fibers, mesothelioma does not usually begin to cause symptoms until at least a decade after exposure. Expressing the opinion of the majority, Supreme Court Justice … Continue reading Mesothelioma Victims’ Victory in Pennsylvania »

Mesothelioma Risk High if Raised Near Asbestos

There’s more evidence that exposure to asbestos early in life increases the risk of mesothelioma and a host of other cancers. A team of Australian researchers have released the results of a study of more than 2,400 adults who lived in an asbestos mining town during their childhoods (under the age of 15). The study participants all lived in a town where crocidolite, also known as blue asbestos, was present. Crocidolite is the most common type of asbestos found in Australia. Among the 2,460 people evaluated, there were 217 (93 female) incident cancers and 218 (70 female) deaths. Compared to other Australians women, the women who had lived around asbestos as children were more likely to have mesothelioma, ovarian, and brain cancers. … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk High if Raised Near Asbestos »

Mesothelioma May Masquerade as Ovarian Cancer

Some cases of ovarian cancer in women with a history of asbestos exposure may actually be misdiagnosed peritoneal mesothelioma.  That is the conclusion of scientists from the University of Western Australia who are trying to evaluate a possible link between asbestos and ovarian cancer. Doctors have known of the link between mesothelioma and asbestos for decades.  Over the years, other cancers, including gastrointestinal, kidney, throat and gallbladder, have also been associated with exposure to this toxic mineral.  But, because fewer women traditionally work in industrial jobs and, thus, have less occupational asbestos exposure, the link with ovarian cancer has been harder to prove. Adding to the challenge is the possibility that some cases of peritoneal mesothelioma may have been misdiagnosed as … Continue reading Mesothelioma May Masquerade as Ovarian Cancer »

Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized

A respected team of mesothelioma experts predicts that treatment for this aggressive cancer will become increasingly personalized in the next five to ten years. A malignancy in the lining around the lungs and other organs, mesothelioma is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure. Although its occurrence in the U.S. is believed to have leveled out at about 3,000 cases per year, the number of cases around the world is continuing to increase. Because the disease is so difficult to treat, many patients succumb within a year of diagnosis, even with the best therapies now available. For this reason, researches continue to look for ways to predict which treatments are most likely to work for which patients. In a recent article … Continue reading Mesothelioma Treatment Becoming More Individualized »

Mesothelioma Causes Turkish Village To Be Evacuated

The Associated Press is reporting that an epidemic of mesothelioma cases is forcing the evacuation of a small Turkish village. Turkey has long been a favorite setting for researchers around the world studying mesothelioma.  A prevalence of a mineral in the soil called erionite appears to dramatically increase the risk that some residents will get the cancer most closely associated with asbestos exposure. According to the AP report, the town of Tuzkoy has a rate of mesothelioma that is 600 to 800 times higher than it is elsewhere in the world.  About 48 percent of deaths in that town, as well as in the nearby villages of Sarihidir and Karain, are from mesothelioma. Tuzkoy was declared a hazardous zone in 2004 and … Continue reading Mesothelioma Causes Turkish Village To Be Evacuated »

Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk

The death of an electrician from mesothelioma is making headlines in Great Britain.  An inquest has concluded that a British electrician who helped build a Nuclear Power Station in Gloucestershire died as a direct result of asbestos exposure.  UK newspaper The Gazette reports that Gerald Brown, who died in November of mesothelioma, was an apprentice with NG Bailey of Yorkshire when the power station was built. According to the results of the inquest, Brown died as a direct result of the large amount of asbestos used at the plant.  Although he did not work directly with asbestos, Brown claims to have seen clouds of the mineral dust throughout the plant while he worked there and even remembered going home from work covered … Continue reading Electrician’s Mesothelioma Death Highlights Asbestos Risk »

Mesothelioma and Virotherapy

A recently published study* suggests that virotherapy may be a viable treatment option for mesothelioma, as well as for other cancers. Virotherapy is the use of biotechnology to convert viruses into cancer-fighting agents by reprogramming viruses to only attack cancerous cells An agent of change for patients with “no real treatment alternatives” “Normally, viruses replicate to increase their number, and by virtue of that process, healthy cells are killed,” explains David T. Curiel, MD, PhD, director of the Division of Human Gene Therapy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “Virotherapy is about engineering viruses so that they replicate only in tumor cells – and kill only tumor cells.” In order to engineer an effective virus, scientists must first understand … Continue reading Mesothelioma and Virotherapy »