Mesothelioma without Asbestos: A Rare Occurrence

It is rare to find mesothelioma diagnosed without asbestos exposure. Asbestosis exposure is the main risk factor for mesothelioma and the most prevalent underlying cause. There are many possible causes of diagnoses that do not involve asbestos exposure.

What Causes Cancer?

Like most cancers, mesothelioma is a result of a combination genetics and environmental exposures. Some people may be able to have asbestos-related lung disease but not cancer.

Research has shown that mesothelioma can be caused by several genes.

Mesothelioma is most often caused by asbestos.

Mesothelioma strongly associates with asbestos-related long-term exposure. Mesothelioma is strongly associated with asbestos-containing materials.

Secondhand asbestos exposure can increase the risk of mesothelioma. For example, secondhand exposure can include contact with fibers on clothing belonging to a family member.


How can someone get mesothelioma without asbestos exposure?

The highest mesothelioma risk is for those who have been exposed to asbestos for a long time. People diagnosed with mesothelioma without asbestos exposure may have several explanations: 

  • Asbestos exposure. Exposure to asbestos is the simplest explanation. This could be at work, secondhand, or in the environment.
  • Simianvirus 40. Although SV40 does not cause symptoms in humans, it can increase mesothelioma risk. Many people who were given the polio vaccine were unaware that they had been exposed to SV40.
  • Radiation exposure. Radiation therapy can be used to treat cancer and may also cause new types of cancer. Radiation to the abdomen or chest could lead to mesothelioma.
  • Erionite exposure. Researchers discovered erionite, an asbestos-like mineral. It could lead to mesothelioma, according to studies of those who live near the deposits.

Asbestos Exposure and Peritoneal Mesothelioma

The cause of Peritoneal Mesothelioma is another mystery in mesothelioma. Research indicates that half the cases of peritoneal cancer are in those who have not been exposed to asbestos.

Compared to this, at least 80% have had asbestos exposure in their past.

Peritoneal form is more common in women. Secondhand exposure could be one reason for this discrepancy. Women who were exposed to asbestos fibers through their clothing may have been wives of men who worked with it.

Other possible explanations are SV40 radiation treatment, erionite and other environmental exposures. [7] Studies have shown that women who have used talcum powder for many years are at greater risk of developing ovarian cancer or mesothelioma.

A better diagnosis is possible when you understand the causes.

Patients with mesothelioma who are treated early have better outcomes. Researchers uncovering more causes and risk factors allows doctors to make earlier diagnoses. This leads to better treatment options.

It is important to do this research for prevention. Understanding other risk factors like talcum powder and raising public awareness will help prevent mesothelioma cases.

Mesothelioma remains a mystery in many aspects. Get screened early if you have any symptoms that are similar or risk factors. If necessary, you can get a second opinion.

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