Asbestos, a much used construction material for its heat and fire resistant properties is now looked at with shame because it is the main cause for cancer called as mesothelioma. Exposure to asbestos dust particles and fibers has caused cancer in millions of people in the past century. Asbestos cancer is exclusively caused due to exposure to asbestos. It is because of this reason that asbestos is banned for usage in construction and mining industry in various countries.
It has been found that asbestos causes mesothelioma cancer which is an aggressive type of cancer that affects mesothelial cells in the body. These mesothelial cells spread across the entire body forming a protective layer for organs and body cavities. Asbestos fibers, dust and particles rupture these mesothelial cells which aggravates to cancer. The exact way asbestos affects mesothelial cells resulting in asbestos cancer is still unknown, but the researches have uncovered dangers caused by asbestos.
Irritation and inflammation of mesothelial cells results in irreversible damage and scarring. This eventually leads to asbestos cancer. Asbestos fibers affect normal cell division resulting in cellular changes. Moreover, these fibers encourage growth of cancer causing free radicals in the body. These free radicals affect DNA resulting in abnormal cell mutation. Asbestos also causes over production of oncoproteins which overrule normal cellular division restrains.
Types Of Mesothelioma
As mesothelial cells are spread across all body organs, cancer is categorized based on where cancer cells are found. Pleural mesothelioma is the most widespread asbestos cancer affecting pleura layer of the lungs. About 75% of mesothelioma patients suffer from pleural mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is also found in the abdominal region and it is named as peritoneal mesothelioma. Abdominal cavity and abdominal organs are affected by this kind of asbestos cancer.
Heart is also affected by asbestos particles and it results in pericardial mesothelioma which affects membrane surrounding the heart. A rare form of mesothelioma is found in lining protecting testicles. It is called as testicular mesothelioma.
Presence of asbestos fibers in the body can affect any organ. Gastrointestinal cancer and colorectal cancer is also found to be caused due to asbestos exposure. This cancer is also found in several patients in kidney, esophagus, throat and gallbladder. Breast cancer, prostrate cancer and leukemia are also caused by asbestos exposure. It has been found that asbestos affects ovarian lining resulting in ovarian cancer.
Diagnosis Of Asbestos Cancer
Mesothelioma, commonly called as cancer doesn’t show symptoms until later stage. The disease has a long latency period and more than one diagnostic test is conducted to confirm cancer. X rays, CT and MRT scans and biopsy tests are conducted to diagnose cancerous growth.