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risk of mesothelioma


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It takes a long time to develop

mesothelioma is characterized by having a long latency period, which means that symptoms don’t develop for 20–50 years after environmental exposure. The average age at which symptoms usually begin to appear is around 60 years old.

It is a relatively rare disease

An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the US. In other countries, the number of cases differs. Overall, the number of cases reported each year appears to be increasing.

It occurs in men more than in women

Mesothelioma affects men about three times more often than women in the US. Incidence rises steadily with age. In other parts of the world, where exposure comes primarily from other environmental sources, such as in Turkey, mesothelioma occurs about equally in men and women.

It develops mostly on the lungs

The most common place for mesothelioma to develop is on the lungs. About two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases develop in the pleural mesothelium. This mesothelioma on the lungs is called malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The remaining cases develop in the peritoneal mesothelium in the abdomen. A tumor in the abdominal mesothelium is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Rarely, mesothelioma occurs in other mesothelial tissue, such as on the heart or on the reproductive organs.

Occupations At High Risk of Asbestos Exposure

Asbestos exposure is the only known risk factor for developing mesothelioma. The majority of individuals with this rare condition have been employed at jobs where they inhaled asbestos fibers through the production and use of this material. Although the danger of contracting mesothelioma is dependent upon the measure and duration of exposure, even low amounts of asbestos exposure can result in mesothelioma.

Family members of those exposed to asbestos are also at risk for mesothelioma and related conditions. Asbestos fibers can be inhaled after being transported home on the clothes, skin, and hair of workers. Workers at risk of asbestos exposure include factory workers, ship builders, construction workers, brake repair workers, insulation manufacturers and installers, and asbestos miners. Other occupations that pose a risk of asbestos exposure can be found below. People with certain occupations are considered at higher risk for developing mesothelioma than others:

Construction Workers













Asbestos was so prevalent in the United States at one point that almost everyone has had some contact with asbestos. However, most mesothelioma victims are exposed to asbestos over a prolonged period of time. This level of exposure does not have to be very high. Medical professionals now know many victims developed mesothelioma through secondary exposure, known as paraoccupational asbestos exposure. This means that a person who had regular contact with an asbestos worker can be exposed to the lethal fibers by inhaling the residual particles stuck to the asbestos worker’s clothing. In other words, the child or spouse of an asbestos worker is also at heightened risk for mesothelioma.

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Meso is caused from asbestos exposure. If you have meso, it was caused from asbestos exposure. While it does take a long time for meso to develop, it can be caused from a relatively short period of exposure.

Plumbers and pipe fitters, Navy personnel (ships through the 80s were filled with asbestos), construction workers, and shipyard workers are most often at risk, as well as asbestos miners, of course. Family members of those who worked in these fields are also at high risk as the fibers were often carried home on workers clothing.

Asbestos is still used widely in third world countries.

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All this info is accurate. If you have a specific reason why you think you were affected talk to your doctor to see if you can get first, chest x-rays yearly but more importantly, CAT scans yearly. When caught quickly you can sometimes fight it. If you get a bad cold and can't get rid of it, make sure you see a doctor, and tell them your concern. If you have any unusual chest pain, rib pain, back pain that lasts for a while and you can't get rid of it, go to the doctor. It does take years to incubate and the average age you discover it is 50-60 however there have been babies and teenagers with this disease. Hope this helps. Stephanie P.S. Go to the MARF site and just keep doing research. They have come a long way with research. There isn't a definite way to predict early detection but keep informed to see if they come up with something. I am thirty three and I am at risk. My mom has it and my dad was around it for years. We did his laundry. It is scary!!!

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All of the above is great info . Exposure to asbestos can even happen at home. We have a young member here, jodi page, who I also know from our local face to face lung cancer support group who was diagnosed with mesothelioma at 26 years of age. She joined this group Jan 29 2003. She is not here too often , she has gotten on with her life. She is a survivor! She must have been exposed crawling around the house or something.


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks for the info on the support group. I am a part of another established support group. I hope we can get this one established and get many people to join. It helps so much. I have met wonderful people and made some great friends, who we e-mail, and talk on the phone. I will give you links to the support group and other sites where you can read stories about people with meso. You can keep friends and family updated so you can limit phone calls and repeating yourself. It is wonderful.





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