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What Is Mesothelioma?
    - Symptoms
    - Causes
    - Types
    - Diagnosis

Mesothelioma Treatment
    - Treatment Options
    - Treatment Centers
    - Mesothelioma Specialists

Mesothelioma Risk Factors

Mesothelioma Risk Factors
While nearly everyone is exposed to asbestos at one point or another during their lifetime, arguably the most common and serious risk for mesothelioma is direct contact and work experience in or around asbestos. Exposure to asbestos for extended periods are known to increase the risk of mesothelioma, as well as, lung cancer, asbestosis (a noncancerous, chronic lung disease), and other cancers such as kidney and throat.
In nearly 80% of all reported mesothelioma cases, an exposure to asbestos at work was initially documented. Health hazards from asbestos fibers have been long recognized in certain occupations and trades such as shipbuilding, US Naval veterans, building and construction trades, plumbers, carpenters and more, even including brake repair. While today the threat of exposure is reduced through the enforcement of US government regulations, the risk of asbestos-related disease still looms.
While significant exposure is often the most common risk, there have been many cases of disease in individuals with no known direct exposure to asbestos. Other significant risk factors include:
Co-habiting with someone who works with or is exposed to asbestos: Evidence indicates that family members of those working with or around asbestos run a risk of contracting mesothelioma. This type of exposure is called paraoccupational exposure. People who are exposed to asbestos may carry the fibers home on their skin, clothing, hair, and shoes, potentially subjecting their loved ones to respiratory diseases. To decrease these exposures, people exposed to asbestos at work should be required to shower and change their clothing before leaving the workplace.
Smoking: Many studies have demonstrated that the combination of asbestos exposure and smoking can significantly raise a person's risk for developing cancer. This hazardous lifestyle can lead to lung cancer and respiratory disease. There is evidence that quitting smoking will reduce the risk of lung cancer among asbestos-exposed workers, and people who believe they may have been exposed should not smoke. Although there is a heightened risk for lung cancer, there is no connection between smoking and mesothelioma.
While there are countless risk factors, it is important to note that not all workers exposed to asbestos will develop diseases. The risk of developing asbestos-related diseases varies with the type of industry and extent to which the exposure occurred. Nonetheless, when asbestos fibers are inhaled, exposed individuals are at risk of developing an asbestos-related disease.

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