Exposure to asbestos causes mesothelioma. However, there are cases where a mesothelioma diagnosis does not stem from asbestos. Exposure to erionite and the simian 40 virus are potential causes of mesothelioma other than asbestos.
Overview: A Typical Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Mesothelioma diagnoses most commonly occur amongst workers who experience asbestos exposure, such as construction workers, miners, and firefighters. After inhaling the fibrous mineral, it settles, and remains in the lungs, abdomen, heart, or testes. This mineral may remain dormant for decades, often up to 40 years or longer.
While it is unclear why some people develop mesothelioma and others do not, at some point, there is a cellular reaction to this mineral. The cellular reaction takes place in the lining of the different areas of the body causing a formation of cancerous cells.
Mesothelioma Without Asbestos Exposure
When patients with no known exposure to asbestos received mesothelioma diagnoses, researchers began seeking what causes mesothelioma other than asbestos.
Erionite, a fibrous material chemically linked to asbestos, acts very similar to it. This volcanic mineral may be a cause of mesothelioma other than asbestos. The initial connection between erionite and the development of mesothelioma occurred in Turkey. Patients in a small area of Turkey that contained erionite developed mesothelioma. Multiple places in the United States contain the mineral erionite.
Research published in Archives of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine links other minerals to the development of mesothelioma, as well. Some minerals with a possible connection to mesothelioma include nickel, silica, and beryllium.
Other Medical Conditions
The same article published in Archives indicates that severe scarring or certain types of severe inflammation could be associated with the development of malignant mesothelioma. It also discussed a connection between mesothelioma and chronic empyema or peritonitis, tuberculosis, and Familial Mediterranean Fever.
Simian Virus 40
Research shows conflicting data regarding whether the simian virus 40 causes mesothelioma. Recent scientific evidence indicates that the original research linking the simian virus 40 with mesothelioma led to false positives, possibly disproving this connection.
Patients who receive a diagnosis of mesothelioma with no known exposure to asbestos are referred to as idiopathic or spontaneous. However, scientists explain that the patient may have suffered unknown exposure to asbestos or erionite, which caused the development of mesothelioma.
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Symptoms of Mesothelioma
There are several symptoms of mesothelioma you should look out for if you suffered exposure to asbestos. They include, but are not limited to:
- Chest pain
- Difficult breathing
- Losing weight without trying
- Pain below the rib cage
- Abdominal pain or lumps
If you are suffering from any of these symptoms, we suggest going to the doctor for a physical. Many symptoms of mesothelioma are also symptoms of other conditions that doctors may overlook.
Treatment for Non-Asbestos Mesothelioma
Treatment for mesothelioma does not differ by cause. Treatments for mesothelioma patients may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, and possible clinical trials.
Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney
If you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis, regardless of whether you experience asbestos exposure, we can help you. You may have the right to monetary compensation for your injuries. Contact the attorneys at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm at (800) 794-0444. We can help you understand your rights and your next legal steps.
The initial consultation is free and we recover no fees unless you win your case.