Mesothelioma Causes and Risks

Updated on May 29, 2020

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. Those fibers are microscopic, and they get logged in the linings of the abdomen and lungs. That causes damage to the cells, and those cells develop into mesothelioma. While there are other factors that cause mesothelioma, asbestos inhalation is still the leading cause, and it is often caused by working with it, as opposed to being near it without disturbance.

How Do You Get Mesothelioma

As we have already stated, asbestos exposure is the leading cause. However, the different places in the body that those fibers go change the type of mesothelioma. There are three main categories that it falls under:

  • Pleural
  • Peritoneal
  • Pericardial

Wherever those fibers get lodged, your body will trigger an immune response that causes inflammation and scarring, thus damaging the DNA in those cells.


The first step after diagnosis is to gain control of your finances. Talk to any of your lenders or providers and explain your situation to them. It is likely that they will give you some sort of assistance. The reason for that is because your finances are at risk with any type of cancer, and mesothelioma is no different. 

You may want to find a specialized lawyer to help you gain the compensation, too. However, some of the trust funds that were available are now inactive; here is a list of those mesothelioma financial compensation.

Risk Considerations

There are various risk factors that come into play in developing mesothelioma. The primary risks are:

  • Working directly with asbestos, either in a mine or processing plant. 
  • Working with machinery that contains or used for mining and construction.
  • Working with products that contain asbestos.
  • Living near asbestos mining sites, or other water sources, not freshwater biomes

There are, of course, other factors, but most of the people who are at risk are those who worked in the following industries twenty years or so ago:

  • Shipyards
  • Construction
  • Industrial
  • Insulators
  • Power plants
  • Chemical plants
  • Boiler engineers
  • Auto mechanics

Furthermore, there are other, more recent industries that workers can become exposed to it. For example, Firefighters and construction workers are still at risk. That is because they often need to work in areas where precautions can not be taken. Old buildings are more likely to contain asbestos, and in emergencies and disasters, there is no way of containment. 

Secondhand exposure is also a significant risk. If you are in the direct family of people working in those industries, you get exposure through fibers being transported in hair, clothes, tools, etc. 

What to do if You Have Been Exposed to Asbestos

Not everyone who gets exposed to asbestos develops mesothelioma. However, if you have ant of the symptoms of it, and you have had exposure, you should certainly contact your doctor. The main symptoms that you should look out for are:

  • Coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest Pain

Always check with a medical professional if you have any of these symptoms. However, if you have had exposure to asbestos, or think that you may have, you should also tell them that you have been exposed. 

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