Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that develops in the mesothelium, a thin layer of tissue that lines the internal organs. The primary cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in construction, manufacturing, and other industries until the 1980s.
While anyone who has been exposed to asbestos can develop mesothelioma, there are certain groups of people who are at higher risk than others. In this article, we will take a closer look at who usually gets mesothelioma and why.
Occupational exposure to asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma. People who worked in industries that used asbestos, such as construction, shipbuilding, and automotive manufacturing, are at the highest risk. This includes workers who handled raw asbestos or asbestos-containing products, as well as those who worked in buildings or ships where asbestos was present.
Military personnel are also at an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, particularly those who served in the Navy or worked on military bases. Many ships and buildings used by the military were constructed with asbestos-containing materials, which put service members at risk of exposure.
While direct exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of mesothelioma, family members of people who worked with asbestos can also be at risk. This is because asbestos fibers can be carried home on clothing, hair, and skin, which can then be inhaled by family members. This type of exposure is known as secondary or household exposure.
In rare cases, people who live in areas with high levels of asbestos in the environment may develop mesothelioma. This can occur if there are asbestos-containing deposits near a person’s home or if they live in a region with naturally occurring asbestos.
Age and Gender
Mesothelioma is more common in older adults, with most cases occurring in people over the age of 65. Men are also more likely to develop mesothelioma than women, which is likely due to the fact that men were more likely to work in industries that used asbestos.
While most cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos, there may be a genetic component as well. Some studies have suggested that certain genetic mutations may increase a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. While anyone can develop mesothelioma, certain groups of people are at a higher risk than others. If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to speak with your doctor about your risk of developing mesothelioma and to undergo regular screenings to detect the disease early.