Mesothelioma is a rare, aggressive, and lethal cancer. At a time when new treatments are showing promise, older treatments for other cancers are revealing risks of developing mesothelioma. Caused by asbestos, in a small number of cases, mesothelioma can be caused in other ways. A recent study using data collected by the U.S. National Cancer Institute Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results program (SEER), reveals that radiotherapy may be a cause in certain circumstances.
SEER has been collecting cancer data for decades. A team at the California SRI Biosciences’ Center for Health Sciences used SEER data from 1973 through 2014 to determine if there was a link between mesothelioma and lymphoma. The data included Hodgkin and non-Hodgkin lymphoma patients.
Lymphoma is the most common form of cancer because it develops in the lymph nodes, thymus, bone marrow, spleen, and other parts of the body related to controlling the immune system. Most people who develop lymphoma have non-Hodgkin. The difference between the two is the lymphocyte affected. One of the more common treatments for both types of lymphoma is radiotherapy. The therapy involves using electromagnetic radiation or radioactive ions to kill cancer cells. This can be done using an external beam or with an implanted isotope.
The SRI Biosciences team studied 299,309 patients treated for lymphoma using radiation. They found that a small percentage of those who received this treatment later developed mesothelioma when compared to those who did not obtain treatment using radio therapy.
However, when the team considered age, gender, race, year of diagnosis, and lymph node status, the results were more striking. Lymphoma most commonly affects older persons, but those diagnosed younger than the age of 40, those with a cancer dormancy rate of ten years, and those diagnosed prior to 1995 were found to be at a much greater risk of developing mesothelioma later if receiving radiotherapy. Although the study revealed much about the epidemiology of mesothelioma and raises more questions to be answered, one clear conclusion is that radiotherapy can induce mesothelioma.
Philadelphia mesothelioma lawyers at Brookman, Rosenberg, Brown & Sandler treat each client as an individual. We fight for those who are responsible with vigor and passion. We are here to provide an evaluation of your case and do all we can to see that your family is fairly compensated by those who caused your loved one’s mesothelioma. For more information, please call 215-569-4000. You may also contact us online to schedule a free consultation.