Risk Factors for Mesothelioma

A risk factor raises a person’s chance of getting cancer. Although risk factors frequently influence cancer development, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with many risk factors never get cancer, whereas others with no known or minor risk factors do. It is crucial to know about your risk factors, and also, discussing them with your medical practitioner may help you make better lifestyle and health care decisions. 

Some mesothelioma risk factors, such as the family history, may not be in one’s control. But certain things can help you lower the risk. Knowing the risk factors can help you make calculated decisions that might help reduce your risk of the disease. For instance, if an unhealthy diet is a risk factor, you may eat healthy foods. If excess weight is a risk factor, you may decide to lose weight.

Asbestos poisoning

Asbestos has been implicated in the deaths of 70 to 80 per cent of those diagnosed with mesothelioma. It is a class of natural minerals present on the earth’s surface. Asbestos was historically and widely used in cement, insulation, roof shingles, and other items due to its strength, flexible fibres, and fire-resistant characteristics. Workers who manufacture, install, or repair asbestos-containing items can easily inhale or swallow asbestos fibres. These fibres can also be carried in asbestos dust on clothing or personal objects, potentially exposing employees’ families to excessive minerals. According to the safety requirements, asbestos workers must now wear protective clothing or equipment and shower before leaving the workspace. 


Smoking does not enhance the risk of mesothelioma on its own, but the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure can increase the risk of some types of lung cancer. 

Radiation exposure

Mesothelioma can be caused by radiation exposure, such as when a patient has previously received radiation therapy for lymphoma. 


About 1% of patients with mesothelioma have inherited the condition, which means that the risk of developing the cancer was handed down from parent to kid within a family. It is usually caused by a mutation or alteration in the BAP1 gene. 

Older age

The risk of this cancer goes up as you get older. It’s very common in people of 65 and above.

Zeolite exposure

The minerals similar to asbestos are Zeolites. They are much more common in areas where soil and rocks are abundant in certain parts of the world. Nevada, Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Montana, and South Dakota are a few places where one can commonly find them. Breathing in these fibres without any safety equipment or gear can increase the risk of mesothelioma.

Even though some patients with mesothelioma have no recognized risk factors, asbestos has been implicated in the development of the disease in a large number of cases. As a result, it is critical to wear protective equipment and safety precautions constantly when working with asbestos. 

What are your risk factors?

Consult and discuss your risk factors for this type of cancer with your medical practitioner and health care team. 

What can be the process moving forward? Some of the risk factors are entirely out of one’s control, such as the person’s age. But we can do certain things to reduce its risk. It is vital to limit or reduce your asbestos exposure. As most people who work in specific industries get the exposure, safety gear plays a crucial role in limiting the amount of exposure. Houses that are a decade long, might have materials that contain asbestos. 

In general, this isn’t a concern as long as the fibres aren’t under distribution, such as during remodelling.

Should you be screened for mesothelioma?

Screening is the first process of looking for cancer in people who don’t show any symptoms. In the United States, no significant medical organization advises or recommends screening for mesothelioma for the general public. It will be vital to talk to your health provider if you’re exposing yourself to significant amounts of asbestos. Some medical healthcare centres might recommend tests and examinations to look for early signs of this type of cancer. These will include CT scans or X-rays of the chest or specific blood tests. On the other hand, not all medical healthcare centres agree that these tests are beneficial.