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What are the risk factors for mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lungs caused by exposure to asbestos. Unfortunately, there is currently no cure for the condition, only ways to manage it. Chest and/or abdominal pain, shortness of breath, bloating, wheezing, fever, night sweats, weight loss, fatigue, difficulty swallowing, body aches, coughing up blood and other uncomfortable and painful symptoms characterize mesothelioma. Most people do not know they have mesothelioma until 15 to 70 years after exposure. That said, you can help your Louisiana doctor make an informed diagnosis by understanding the risk factors of mesothelioma and knowing to which you have been exposed.  

According to Cancer.Net, there are four main risk factors for mesothelioma. The first and greatest risk factor is exposure to asbestos. Approximately 70 to 80 percent of individuals who receive a mesothelioma diagnosis have exposed themselves to asbestos at one point or another. Durable, flexible fibers and fire-proof properties make up the harmful chemical. 

Radiation exposure may also result in mesothelioma. However, the risk for developing this cancer from radiation is much slimmer than the risk posed by asbestos exposure.

Genetics are another risk factor. According to Cancer.Net, approximately one percent individuals who have mesothelioma inherited the cancer. This may be due to a mutation or change in the BAP1 gene. 

Smoking in and of itself does not cause mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure may increase one's odds of developing the disease.

The information in this post is meant to be purely educational. It should not be construed as legal advice. 

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