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Polish Study Confirms That Mesothelioma Risk Only Increases With Age

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that is unlike all others in many ways. One of the most notable  – and frustrating – of these is that mesothelioma’s risks continue to rise as more time passes from exposure to asbestos. This is in direct contrast to other types of cancers: for example, when a smoker quits smoking, every day that goes by without a cigarette their risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer decreases. The same is true for those who give up other harmful exposures or who change sedentary lifestyles to more active ones.

This has long been suspected in the mesothelioma research community, and was recently confirmed by a study conducted by Polish scientists at the Nofer Institute of Occupational Medicine. Their study was comprehensive, comparing information from 131 patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma to a control group of 655 patients enrolled over a 14-year period in a health surveillance program specifically targeting asbestos-related diseases like mesothelioma, asbestosis and asbestos-related lung cancer.

The researchers found that the more time went by following asbestos exposure, the higher the risk of a later diagnosis of the disease. The scientists’ report said in part, “The results show that the risk of pleural mesothelioma continued to increase even after 40 years since the last exposure.” The information gathered was also useful in that it identified the types of asbestos that put patients at greatest risk, with “blue” asbestos, or crocidolite carrying the highest levels of danger and workers who had been exposed to a combination of several different types of asbestos being at a risk five times greater than of those who were exposed to chrysotile asbestos alone.

Theories as to why asbestos behaves so differently from other toxins abound, but the most frequently posited notion has to do with the physical properties of asbestos itself. Unlike nicotine or other inhaled chemicals, asbestos fibers are pointy and sharp. They become embedded in the cells of the body and remain there rather than being expelled. This means that they continue to have the potential for causing mutations and inflammation decades after the fiber is originally inhaled or ingested.

If you have been exposed to asbestos and are concerned about your own risk of being diagnosed with mesothelioma, or if someone you love has already been diagnosed with the disease, you need information on signs, symptoms, and resources that are available to you. At Mesothelioma.net, we are dedicated to providing asbestos exposure victims with the help that they need. Call our Patient Advocates today at  1-800-692-8608, or visit our website at mesothelioma.net.



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