Up to 9 out of 10 cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos. Approximately 80% of patients with mesothelioma cancer have had some occupational exposure to asbestos.A possible mesothelioma - causing link has been found between asbestos fibers and a monkey virus, SV40, that infects people in the U.S., as reported in a study in the Aug. 31 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Since Asbestos fibres are very fine and if Asbestos are breathed in Asbestos can make their way into the smallest airways of the lung, so Asbestos cannot be breathed or coughed out. Once the Asbestos fibre are in the lungs the body’s defence mechanism tries to break them down and remove them, which leads to inflammation in the lung tissue.The asbestos fibres can also penetrate through the lung tissue to settle in the pleura (the membrane around the lung). Over many years they can cause mesothelioma or other lung diseases to develop.The lungs, heart, and some abdominal organs are each surrounded by a mesothelium. The one that surrounds the lungs is called the pleural mesothelium, the one that surrounds the abdominal organs is called the peritoneal mesothelium, and the one that surrounds the heart is called the pericardial mesothelium. mesothelium is these linings that are affected by mesothelioma. So once Asbestos reaches to mesothelium they causes mesothelioma cancer.But Occasionally, mesothelioma develops in people who have never been exposed to asbestos. The other causes of the disease are not fully understood, but in rare cases the development of mesothelioma has been linked to exposure to radiation.Mesothelioma is not contagious and cannot be passed on to other people. Mesothelioma is not caused by inherited faulty genes and so family members do not have an increased risk of developing Mesothelioma, unless they have been in contact with asbestos.
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