A new study suggests that patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may be at a higher risk of developing a secondary cancer. Mesothelioma, a rare and deadly form of cancer affecting the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, is caused by asbestos exposure and currently has very limited treatment options. Now it seems that the disease itself may be a causal factor in contracting another form of cancer.
An international team of researchers examined data from 5,000 mesothelioma patients. Of this group, 3,672 survivors of pleural mesothelioma and 895 peritoneal mesothelioma survivors had developed a second form of cancer. Researchers observed a pattern of kidney cancer diagnoses within a year of patients being diagnosed with mesothelioma. Most other types of cancers took a year or more to appear after the mesothelioma diagnosis.
Researchers also observed the inverse, with 431 patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and 88 diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma after being diagnosed with a different primary type of cancer. In this group, there also seemed to be a strong correlation with kidney cancer, with many mesothelioma diagnoses coming within a year of a kidney cancer diagnosis. The mesothelioma diagnosis came later for those suffering from other types of cancer.
Causal Link Between Mesothelioma and Other Cancers
The next step is to determine what the causal relationship is between malignant mesothelioma and other types of cancer. According to the research team, the correlation between mesothelioma and kidney cancer suggests that germline BAP1 mutations may be a factor. Genetic or environmental factors may also play a role in the development of these cancers alongside each other.
Researchers are also exploring the link between asbestos and other forms of cancer. Asbestos is known to cause malignant mesothelioma and has been linked to lung cancer, and asbestosis, but it may also be a factor in gastrointestinal, colorectal, prostate, breast, gallbladder, and kidney cancers, as well as some blood cancers. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure, and symptoms of asbestos-related diseases may not appear for 10 to 50 years after the initial asbestos exposure.
Philadelphia Asbestos Lawyers at Shein Law Advocate for Asbestos Exposure Victims
If you or a loved one is suffering from mesothelioma or other asbestos-related diseases, call the Philadelphia asbestos lawyers at Shein Law. We have the knowledge and experience to help you get the compensation you deserve. With offices conveniently located in Pennsauken and Philadelphia, we help mesothelioma patients and their families throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Call us today at 1-877-SHEINLAW (743-4652) or contact us online to review your case.