Asbestos and cancer – what is the link between the two?

Researchers learning more about the link between asbestos and cancer

We all know that asbestos causes cancer, but what is the link between asbestos and cancer?

Research is still being conducted to understand how asbestos causes diseases such as mesothelioma and other cancers such as asbestosis.

A couple of recent studies have shed light on the link between asbestos and cancer.

These new studies will help us to understand why asbestos exposure is to be avoided.

The research should also pave the way for better advancements in treatment.

What do these new studies reveal about asbestos?

One recent study shows how inhaling asbestos fibers leads to the future development of mesothelioma.

According to the researchers, the asbestos fibers become lodged in the mesothelium causing inflammation in the lining of the lungs.

As the human body cannot dislodge the fibers, the end result is tissue inflammation.

This in turn disrupts the body’s whole immune system, meaning the body is unable to fight off tumor growth.

Research is still in its infancy, but will hopefully give us a better understanding of how we can further develop medicines and treatments for mesothelioma.

asbestos and cancer - scientists are finding out more about why exposure to asbestos causes cancer

More research to be done on links to cancer

Understanding the full extent of asbestos and how it is related to various types of cancer  is complicated.

There’s still lots of research to be done in understanding the link between asbestos and cancer.

Although, lots of research is being conducted and real progress is being made in understanding and treating mesothelioma.

Another recent study for example looked at how malignant mesothelioma can spread in the body.

Researchers tracked ‘exosomes’ which can be excreted by cells, and discovered how they may cause gene-altering effects in cells in other parts of the body.

Two cell groups were used in the study for comparison, with one of them being exposed to asbestos.

Of the two cells tested, those that were exposed to asbestos changed.

The contaminated cells’ exosomes were then exposed to human cells.

These human cells were altered as a result.

So what can we learn from this research?

It could lead to a “biomarker” for mesothelioma and asbestos-related illness risk.

Imagine if doctors could potentially identify risk of mesothelioma from a simple blood test, as in this study.

It could potentially mean earlier diagnosis, meaning patients would have a better chance of survival as treatment could be started earlier.

 

So make sure you contact our Armco office to arrange an asbestos survey, before it’s too late! 

Whether you need an asbestos management survey, or a refurbishment/ demolition survey, contact us on 0161 763 3727 or by visiting https://www.armco.org.uk/

Finally, for all your asbestos training needs call 0161 761 4424 or visit https://www.armcoasbestostraining.co.uk/to book an asbestos awareness training course.

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Published Apr 11, 2018
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