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Why does asbestos exposure lead to cancer in some patients?

Asbestos exposure can lead to cancer in some patients. There is a direct link between exposure to these fibers and cancer of the mesothelium and other parts of the body, largely due to the scarring they cause.

In 2018, a scientific study finally determined why asbestos fibers often cause cancer in those who have been exposed. The Swiss National Science Foundation determined that the long, pointed asbestos fibers would continue to irritate the area around them. That irritation would then lead to chronic inflammation and a higher risk of cancer.

Asbestos causes cancer: It's undisputed

It is undisputed that asbestos causes cancer. Chronic exposure creates a higher likelihood of cancer, because the immune system falls out of balance. It works so hard to fight off the fibers for so long that chronic inflammation occurs. The immune system is then weakened, which leads to an inability to fight off the formation of tumors.

Asbestos causes a series of micro-injuries that can lead to cell proliferation. As asbestos passes through the lungs and into the layer that surrounds the organs, known as the mesothelium, the lymphatic system is no longer able to remove those sharp, pointed fibers. In the mesothelium, the asbestos fibers get stuck, causing regular and persistent damage to the tissues. Over time, this leads to cancer.

What you may not realize is that asbestos is chemically harmless. Despite that, the injuries caused by the small fibers trigger an inflammatory response and promote the development of tumors through T-cell proliferation. RNA also goes on to mutate, which makes it difficult, if not impossible, for the body to fight off the formation of tumors. This results in cancer developing.

Recognizing the early signs of inflammation in the body and developing therapies to prevent mesothelial cancer are both options, based on the study.

Mesothelioma is difficult to deal with, and it can have a lasting impact on your life. If you develop it, remember that the party that exposed you to asbestos may be liable for your injuries. It's a good idea to talk to your attorney and medical providers about all the options open to you.

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