Mesothelioma Risk Factors

 Mesothelioma occurs because of changes in the structure of mesothelial cells with the most common risk factors are exposure to asbestos and cigarette smoke:

Mesothelioma Risk Faktor

1. Asbestos

Asbestos is a mineral in the form of hard and flexible fibres that are often used in industrial products such as cement, tile products, brake discs, and insulation products. Fine asbestos particles can be carried by air, especially in the production process, they can be inhaled or swallowed. Asbestos fine fibres can then penetrate the pleura and damage mesothelial cells to trigger mesothelioma. Because there is also a genetic tendency for a person to get mesothelioma, the amount and duration of asbestos exposure cannot be a benchmark someone will later suffer from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can occur in people with little or many, short or prolonged exposure. On the contrary, there were also groups of people who were exposed to asbestos for a long time and many but did not suffer from mesothelioma. Mesothelioma can even occur in family members of people exposed to asbestos because it is suspected that fine asbestos particles stick to their hair and clothes and are carried home. After this disease is increasingly understood, starting in 1970 many governments in the world, have banned the widespread use of asbestos minerals in the industrial world, and advised them to be replaced with other safer materials. However, asbestos is still widely used today.

2. Smoking
Cigarette smoke, whether smoked by smokers or smoked by others as passive smokers, contains carcinogenic substances (cancer-causing) which is undoubtedly one of them is cancer in the lungs and pleura (chest cavity); we discussed this time is mesothelioma. Cigarette smoke will increase a person's risk for mesothelioma.

3. Other Risk Factors
There are several other risk factors for someone to get mesothelioma including:
  • Radiation. It was reported to have happened to people exposed to radiation therapy using thorium dioxide.
  • Zeolite. Is a silicate mineral and a chemical compound similar to asbestos. This zeolite is widely found in soil in the country of Turkey where the incidence of mesothelioma is higher there.
  • Simian Virus 40 (SV40). It is assumed that SV40 which is a virus in monkey species can infect humans and can trigger mesothelioma because this virus is often found in mesothelial cells of the sufferer.
Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Symptoms of mesothelioma occur gradually, but can not appear until 30-50 years of exposure. If the patient complains, the diagnosis can be established. The signs are; difficulty breathing (dyspnea) which is the most common symptom, discomfort or pain in the chest, coughing, fatigue, fever, and weight loss. These symptoms can also occur in other medical conditions, so investigations are needed to ensure mesothelioma. If a person suffers from these symptoms in a row for 4-6 months, he should see a doctor to confirm it.

Enforcement of Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Because mesothelioma symptoms are similar to many medical conditions, investigations must be carried out such as; Blood tests to check general health conditions, chest X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, even up to a Positron Emission Tomography (PET) scan. In possible terms, the doctor can perform thoracoscopy, which is inserting the camera into the chest cavity through a small incision in the skin. Thoracoscopy is also done to do a biopsy of mesothelium tissue which can confirm the diagnosis by up to 98%.

Determine the stage of mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is categorised into two groups; localised and advanced. It is said to be restricted if it is still present on the surface of the mesothelium layer, and it is supposed to be developed if it has spread to the surrounding tissue. Localized mesothelioma is also said to be stage 1. While the advanced stage is further divided into Stage 2 if it has spread to the chest wall and lymph nodes in the chest. Step 3, if it has spread to the mediastinum, diaphragm, and abdominal wall. And stage 4, if it has spread to more distant tissues and organs.

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