Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer

An overwhelming body of scientific and medical evidence has proven that the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. The exact method by which asbestos causes mesothelioma is still being researched, but medical professionals have a number of theories:
  • Asbestos causes irritation and inflammation of mesothelial cells, which results in irreversible scarring, cellular damage, and eventually cancer.
  • Asbestos fibers enter cells and disrupt the function of cellular structures that are essential for normal cell division, causing cellular changes that lead to cancer.
  • Asbestos causes the production of free radicals. These molecules damage DNA, and cause cells to mutate and become cancerous.
  • The presence of asbestos causes cells to produce oncoproteins. These molecules cause mesothelial cells to ignore normal cellular division restraints, and s can lead to the development of cancer.
The element that ties each theory together is the fact that asbestos results in cellular damage. This causes cells to lose control over normal cell cycles and results in uncontrollable division. Healthy cells follow cycles of cell division that ensure tissues do not grow and duplicate beyond normal conditions - in cancerous cells, these restraints are lost.

In cases of mesothelioma, the result of the cellular damage is that membranes in the affected location begin to thicken, and fluid builds up in the spaces between membrane layers. As cancer cells continue to divide and pile on top of one another, tumors begin to form. The uncontrolled division of cancer cells results in the impaired function of the body's organs and systems (primarily due to factors such as internal pressure caused by the growth of tumors, and the reduction of essential nutrients for organs), resulting in a number of symptoms.


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