Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that is associated with prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos can be found nearly everywhere, because from the late 19th century into the 1980s, it was used in insulation, drywall, paint, piping, gaskets, roof shingles, and many other materials found in your typical home or commercial building. Many of us live and work in buildings that contain asbestos, putting us into low-key contact with the mineral on a daily basis. For most, this exposure does not result in developing mesothelioma. Generally, individuals who develop mesothelioma have worked with the mineral directly, such as those in construction, and were exposed to large amounts of it in its powder form.
Although mesothelioma after a career of working directly with asbestos can seem inevitable, new research from Japan shows that this might not be the case. Researchers at Nagoya University have theorized that reducing the amount of iron present in an individual’s body could potentially reduce his or her chance of developing mesothelioma. This came after a series of experiments using rats that simulated the pre-cancerous state of mesothelioma patients. The researchers injected an iron-removing agent into the rats, which decreased the thickening and scarring of the peritoneum, the interior lining of the abdomen, and the level of iron in their tissue, which are precursors to mesothelioma. Although human trials are still a far way off, this finding is important and can be used in future research into how to slow and prevent the spread of mesothelioma.
Exposure to asbestos is directly correlated with the development of mesothelioma, but within an individual’s body, other factors are at play to determine whether he or she will develop the cancer.
The presence of iron in an individual’s body is just one of the factors that can lead to the development of mesothelioma post-exposure to asbestos. Another is the inflammation of the cells where asbestos fibers are trapped. Oxidative stress, the imbalance between free radicals and the body’s ability to combat them, is another potential factor in mesothelioma development that the researchers recorded in the rats they used. The results of this experiment shed some light on how mesothelioma develops, but it does not give us any definite answers. The medical community still does not fully understand how asbestos fibers trigger a mesothelioma diagnosis.
Mesothelioma is often the result of a career working directly with asbestos. If you are suffering from mesothelioma after prolonged asbestos exposure on the job, speak with one of our Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler during your initial consultation with our team. Fill out our online form or call us at 215-569-4000 or toll-free at 800-369-0899 to schedule your consultation in our Philadelphia offices. We proudly serve clients in Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey including Delaware County, Chester County, and Philadelphia County.