A recent study of asbestos’s role in naval veterans’ lung cancer relied on mesothelioma statistics to assess exposure levels onboard Australian and British ships. Using the high incidence of both mesothelioma and asbestosis as an indication of high levels of exposure, researchers confirmed that the carcinogenic material played an outsized role in the veterans’ elevated cases of lung cancer.
Mesothelioma, Asbestosis, and Lung Cancer Are Common Among Naval Veterans
The study of asbestos’ role in lung cancer among British and Australian naval veterans was conducted by Dr. Richie Gun, former Australian parliamentarian and semiretired University of Adelaide GP, and Dr. Gerry Kendall, a renowned cancer researcher from Oxford University.
The two decided to collaborate to identify the cause of the high rates of lung cancer among their nations’ naval veterans. Though their initial study investigated the effects of radiation exposure during nuclear testing in the 1950s, they could not attribute the heightened rate of lung cancer to radiation. That was when they noticed that all four cohorts they’d studied demonstrated an elevated incidence of mesothelioma among naval veterans.
Elevated Rate of Mesothelioma Among Naval Veterans Drives Lung Cancer Asbestos Study
The researchers noted that though lung cancer incidence was higher among naval veterans than was true of army personnel, the same was not true of the rates of heart disease and pulmonary disease. This suggested that lung cancer was caused by something other than smoking. They also noted that the same veterans had an excess of rates of malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Based on the widespread use of asbestos-containing materials in ship construction during the years that the veterans served, the researchers were able to conclude that the environments the naval veterans worked in exposed them to high levels of the carcinogenic material, and attributed the excess of lung cancer to asbestos exposure.
If you or someone you love has been exposed to asbestos and diagnosed with lung cancer or mesothelioma, the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net can help. Contact us today at 1-800-692-8608.FREE Mesothelioma Packet