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Articles Posted in Secondary or Take Home Asbestos Exposure & Mesothelioma

A recent Duke University study published in The American Journal of Surgical Pathology examined hundreds of women diagnosed with diffuse mesothelioma, looking to an analyzing trends among the group which could eventually shed light on new treatment and detection methods. One of the key findings in the mesothelioma cancer study found that women with objective markers were diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and that their average age of diagnosis was older compared to those diagnosed with another common type of the cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma.

The mesothelioma cancer study, which was a continuation study of an ongoing study by Duke University, examined 354 female mesothelioma patients of which the overwhelmingly majority were known to have been exposed to asbestos. The authors state that this exposure came from household contact, primarily from a family member who would have been exposed to asbestos fibers in an industrial setting. Of those studied, 275 patients had a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis which corresponds to linings of tissue surrounding the lungs and 79 cases were those of peritoneal mesothelioma which affects tissue linings around the abdominal cavity.

The researchers found that survival rates were longer for those with epithelial subtypes of peritoneal mesothelioma, though their average age of diagnosis was younger at 52 years of age compared to 62 years of age for those diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma. Further, researchers found that tremolite asbestos was a common form of the mineral which the patients were exposed to, followed by amphibole asbestos – considered one of the most deadly forms of the mineral. Some of these types of asbestos are found in cosmetics products such as talcum powder.

It is commonly known that asbestos is a dangerous substance that has been the cause of diseases and cancers such as mesothelioma. Due to its fire-retardant properties, the mineral was considered very useful to many industries, such as fireproofing or insulating for construction.

Even after regulations were put in place to severely restrict and in some instances, discontinue its use in the 1970s, people continued to get sick. It can take years for the long-term effects of asbestos exposure to be realized.

If you have a family member who worked in an environment where asbestos was present before regulations were in effect, you may have also been exposed. How did it happen?

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