It is common to see more than one member of the same family developing mesothelioma. Because of this, some people have concluded that mesothelioma is hereditary. But is it true that mesothelioma is hereditary? No . . . The answer to this question is not as easy as it might seem. The primary cause of mesothelioma remains asbestos exposure. However, outlier researchers suggested that people who inherit a particular type of gene are more vulnerable to developing mesothelioma, especially if exposed to asbestos.
How Genetics Impact Mesothelioma Development
There is an outlier body of research that suggests inheriting a particular type of gene can raise an individual’s likelihood of developing mesothelioma, especially if exposed to asbestos. In other words, the research suggests that genetics is a risk factor for mesothelioma. As a risk factor, the research suggests genetics can increase the risk of mesothelioma development. However, asbestos remains the direct cause mesothelioma.
Other risk factors of mesothelioma include;
- Radiation exposure
So, how do the researchers claim that genetics impacts mesothelioma development? The researchers suggest that if a person inherits a mutated BAP 1 gene, meaning they acquire the BAP 1 from a parent, they may be more likely to develop mesothelioma, especially if exposed to asbestos. Currently, researchers are still investigating genetic links between gene mutations and mesothelioma. Researchers are yet to provide more information on how and why the BAP 1 gene mutation affects the development of mesothelioma.
Secondary Asbestos Exposure
As mentioned earlier, the primary risk of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. This is true whether the exposure is primary or secondary. Primary asbestos exposure occurs, for example, when a construction worker gets exposed to asbestos while at a construction site. On the other hand, secondary or secondhand asbestos exposure occurs when someone, usually a worker, takes asbestos fibers home. For example, a husband might collect asbestos fibers on their clothes when at a construction site and take the fibers home on their clothes.
It might seem as though secondary asbestos exposure is less dangerous than primary asbestos exposure. But, this is not the case. Any amount of asbestos exposure can result in a person developing mesothelioma. In other words, there is no such thing as a safe level of asbestos exposure. Many mesothelioma cases have been found in people who suffered secondhand asbestos exposure.
What Steps Should Those at Risk of Developing Mesothelioma Take?
If a person believes they are at risk of developing mesothelioma because they carry a particular gene or have suffered asbestos exposure, it is crucial that they speak to a medical professional. A qualified medical professional can help determine if there is a risk of mesothelioma development. A medical professional can help diagnose mesothelioma.
It is also crucial to see a medical professional after noticing symptoms that mimic those of mesothelioma. The following are some of the common symptoms of mesothelioma;
- Chest pain
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
- Abdominal pain
- Unexplained weight loss
Nationwide Mesothelioma Lawyers
If you or a loved one were diagnosed with mesothelioma, contact our office to speak to one of our experienced nationwide mesothelioma attorneys about your situation. Our office can help investigate your case and determine if compensation can be sought from negligent parties to help you and your family live a more comfortable life.