Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral. Asbestos has strong but pliable fibers and is heat resistant, which made asbestos useful for many commercial and industrial purposes including insulation. Unfortunately, asbestos also breaks down into small fibers, and that makes it easy to inhale or swallow asbestos dust.
In 1964, a rare cancer called “mesothelioma” was conclusively linked to asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is an incurable cancer that in most cases is initially found in the lungs or abdomen, but can eventually spread to other vital organs and throughout the body.
Today, mesothelioma is considered a signal tumor because the link between this type of cancer and asbestos exposure is so strong. When a person develops mesothelioma, it is generally assumed that asbestos exposure is the reason that the cancer developed.