A study of 354 women diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma has revealed valuable information about the differences in how the disease manifests in women compared with men, as well as about how the majority of women are exposed to the asbestos that caused their disease.
Duke Study Provides Remarkable Details About Malignant Mesothelioma
The study of malignant mesothelioma in women was conducted by researchers from Duke University, and represents a landmark in understanding how the disease occurs, women’s survival, and more. The study found that 78% of cases of mesothelioma in women involved tumors in the pleural region, with median age of diagnosis 65, while 22% of the women were diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma tumors at a much younger median age of 52.
In both types of mesothelioma, the epithelioid cell type was far more prevalent and was a predictor of longer survival, though this effect was magnified in peritoneal mesothelioma. In women, the fiber analysis conducted on the women revealed that tremolite asbestos was the most common, though amphibole asbestos was also found in equal levels of commercial and noncommercial types.
Exposure in Women Largely Arises from Household Contact
One of the most notable aspects of the Duke mesothelioma study was the available detail regarding the women’s asbestos exposure, and in almost all cases household contact was the only known source. Those with household contact exposure were largely (77%) diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma: 49% were the wives of people who had worked with asbestos, 27% were daughters, and a smaller percentage could have been exposed through one or both parents and/or a spouse.
Where wives were diagnosed with mesothelioma at a median age of 67, those who were exposed to asbestos through their fathers were diagnosed at a median age of 48, . Those who were diagnosed before the age of 39 had been exposed to either a grandparent or parent, while those who were diagnosed after the age of 70 had been exposed to either a husband or a son. The occupations that the household contact arose from were most commonly insulation work, followed by shipyard, construction, and the automotive industry.
Whether you are a woman with mesothelioma or a man, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can provide you with the resources you need to manage your disease. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.