Pleural Mesothelioma (Causes)

In this article, we will discuss about Pleural Mesothelioma (Causes). So, let’s get started.

Causes

Most cases of malignant mesothelioma are caused by asbestos fibres with ~85% of cases directly related to occupational asbestos exposure. Asbestos, meaning indestructible in ancient Greek, is a naturally occurring mineral that was previously mined extensively throughout the world for its insulating properties. High-risk
occupations include shipbuilders, construction workers, railway engineers, plumbers, boiler makers, electricians, joiners, and those involved with asbestos product manufacture and construction. Malignant mesothelioma may also occur due to ‘para-occupational’ exposures such as in those who laundered clothes contaminated with asbestos. There is considerable variation in the latency period between exposure to asbestos and death from mesothelioma. with a British study reporting a mean (SD) latency of 40 (12) yr. Cases developing within 15 yr of exposure are rare. The blue coloured crocidolite is the most lethal form of asbestos. However, chrysotile, the white asbestos, is the most extensively used and therefore attributed to the most health problems. Exposure to other substances can also induce mesothelioma with evidence suggesting the Turkish rock entonite as one such cause. Additionally, there is a rate of spontaneous mesothelioma of one per million per year in the UK, that is, cases that would have occurred without the mass industrial use of asbestos. Mesothelioma is not associated with cigarette smoke, intrapleural tale, or with exposure to other building materials including fibreglass.

Epidemiology

Recording of malignant mesothelioma cases began in 1968, and its incidence has been increasing: currently standing at 4.1 per 100,000. It is five times more likely to occur in men than women, which is attributed to its link with asbestos exposure and the male dominance in occupations where this occurs. Mesothelioma currently accounts for almost 1% of all deaths of men aged 75-79 yr, and the latest UK figures show that the overall number of mesothelioma deaths per year has increased from 153 in 1968 to 2347 in 2010. The annual number of deaths is due to peak at almost 2500 by the year 2015, following which it should decrease rapidly. Deaths resulting from malignant mesothelioma must be reported to the Coroner in order to accurately record cases, and a Coroner’s post-mortem is nearly always required. The 5 yr survival rate for patients with malignant mesothelioma is 8%, with a median survival time of 8-14 months from the onset of symptoms.

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