Although there are rarely approximately 3,000 new diagnoses in the United States each year, mesothelioma is still a disease targeted by myths and misconceptions. Scientists may not know everything about mesothelioma, but they are aware of a lot of misinformation or misinformation that is surfacing. Discover below the top 10 myths and misconceptions about asbestos and mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Myths and Misconceptions
1. Mesothelioma is lung cancer
Doctors sometimes mistake mesothelioma for lung cancer because of similar symptoms. There are clear differences proving that mesothelioma is not lung cancer. Mesothelioma most often forms in the chest cavity, but it is not a form of lung cancer. Mesothelioma tumors form in the pleural tissue that surrounds the lungs and diaphragm. However, lung cancer develops inside the lungs. Two different types of cancer develop into tumors in different ways. Lung cancer tumors develop as lumps that can grow up to 7 centimeters or larger. On the other hand, mesothelioma tumors vary in size and spread across an entire network of micro-tumours.
2. Mesothelioma can remain dormant for decades
The time between first exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma can be decades. This time measurement is called the latency period. During the long latency period of 10 to 50 years, the body tolerates the biological and physical changes caused by asbestos fibers. Often a misconception, that mesothelioma develops slowly during the latency period, but is not a cancer that remains dormant.
3. Smoking causes mesothelioma
Smoking by itself does not increase the risk of developing or causing mesothelioma. However, the combination of smoking and exposure to asbestos can increase the risk of developing other types of cancer in the lungs. Some evidence suggests that radiation exposure and genes may cause mesothelioma. The largest risk factor is exposure to asbestos, which accounts for at least 70% of mesothelioma cases.
4. Patients pass quickly from mesothelioma
Researchers have not yet treated mesothelioma, but new treatment options are helping patients live longer. On average, patients survive mesothelioma for about a year with standard chemotherapy. New treatments, including hot chemotherapy (HIPEC) and immunotherapy drugs, have helped patients survive mesothelioma for 10 years or more.
Asbestos myths and misconceptions
5. Asbestos is prohibited in the United States
Myth: The United States has banned asbestos. The misconception that asbestos is outlawed stems from the US government’s ban on new uses for the substance. Some products containing asbestos, including building materials and automotive components, remain legal. Even with extensive legal efforts and tens of millions of dollars spent lobbying for a blanket ban, American citizens still risk exposure.
6. A little exposure to asbestos can not cause mesothelioma
A common myth about asbestos is “a little asbestos exposure won’t hurt”. Even the smallest amount of asbestos can be dangerous. Even minimal exposure to asbestos over a short period of time can still cause mesothelioma. Mesothelioma patients frequently work in industries where prolonged exposure to asbestos occurs. Indirect contact with asbestos, including washing clothes covered in asbestos dust or living in a home built with asbestos products, is just as dangerous.
7. Asbestos wasn’t a known threat until the 1970s
Regulations did not begin to phase out the use of asbestos until the early 1970s when the Environmental Protection Agency classified the material as a hazardous air pollutant. However, asbestos was documented as a threat as early as the late 19th century. In 1924, William Cook published a medical paper on asbestosis, a disease caused by exposure to asbestos. Other studies at the time addressed the rapidly growing health issue among asbestos workers. Even as the industry expanded around the world, documented health issues were not enough to motivate the US government to do so Article organization until decades later.
Myths and misconceptions about mesothelioma
8. Taking legal measures entails waiting years for compensation
The legal process takes several months or more, regardless of the case. Mesothelioma patients in poor health can request an urgent case. Patients can speed up the process by providing evidence that asbestos has caused their health conditions and written notice from their physician stating their diagnosis to speed up the process.
9. Everyone will know that I sued
Asbestos lawsuits require minimal involvement from the mesothelioma patient. Plaintiffs often reach a pretrial settlement with confidentiality terms that keep patient information safe. An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you understand your privacy rights throughout the process.
10. If I were a veteran, I would have to sue the army
If you are a veteran with mesothelioma and were exposed to asbestos while on duty, taking legal action does not mean suing the military. Filing an asbestos claim conflicts with the manufacturers who made the asbestos-containing materials that caused the exposure.