Whether you have been diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma or are concerned about being diagnosed in the future as a result of a know exposure to asbestos, a recent report in the International Journal of Cancer is warning against taking Vitamin B12 supplements. The study, which was conducted by researchers from the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Society in collaboration with scientists from Harvard Medical School, the University of Pittsburgh and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, has determined that blood levels of Vitamin B12 may in fact increase an individual’s risk for lung cancer of any kind.
Mesothelioma is a type of lung cancer
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer, albeit an extremely rare one. The condition is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral that was widely used in the 20th century in myriad industrial and construction settings. When asbestos fibers become embedded in cells as a result of inhalation or ingestion, they cause cell death and eventual mutation into cancerous tumors that remain hidden in the body for decades until they finally begin causing obvious symptoms: by the time the disease is diagnosed, it is often too late for physicians to provide effective treatment.
Study shows link between high blood levels of Vitamin B12 and higher lung cancer rose
While mesothelioma is different from typical lung cancer in many ways, the researchers warnings about Vitamin B12 and its apparent role in the development of cancer are suggesting that people who are at risk should take heed, particularly because so many people take the vitamin as a supplement to boost energy and brain function, or as a treatment for anemia. The study compared blood samples from thousands of lung cancer patients with those from people who were healthy, as well and found that those who had higher levels of circulating vitamin B12 to be at higher risk for lung cancer, regardless of whether they were taking supplements or whether they were genetically inclined to have higher levels of the vitamin in their system, writing, “We found circulating vitamin B12 to be positively associated with overall lung cancer risk in a dose response fashion. Considering the consistency of these two independent and complementary analyses, these findings support the hypothesis that high vitamin B12 status increases the risk of lung cancer.”
If you have a known exposure to asbestos that puts you at higher risk for mesothelioma, studies like this one are essential to your continued health. For more information on the resources available to you whether you are at risk or have already been diagnosed with this rare and deadly disease, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net at 1-800-692-8608.