What causes mesothelioma ? Question 5

Exposure to asbestos is the link to the development of mesothelioma. People who end up with this disease usually have had some type of previous exposure to asbestos. 


How this works is not fully understood. It is thought that asbestos fibers are inhaled and first travel through the upper air passages, which include the throat, the trachea (windpipe), and the large bronchi (large breathing tubes of the lungs). 


These airways are lined with mucus, and therefore most of the fibers are cleared from these upper airways by sticking to this mucus and being coughed up or swallowed.


When the fibers continue to travel and reach the small airways (the alveoli), the body’s immune system is able to surround, engulf, and remove the smaller fibers by a process known as phagocytosis.

The large, long, thin fibers cannot be cleared as easily and may eventually reach the pleura (the lining of the lung and the chest wall), where they may irritate and injure the cells and lead to the development of calcium containing platelike structures on the pleural lining (pleural plaques), fibrosis (scar tissue formation), or mesothelioma. 


These same asbestos fibers can also damage cells in the lung itself, which can lead to asbestosis (scar tissue in the lung) and/or lung cancer. Patients with these pleural plaques seem to be at highest risk for developing mesothelioma.

  
What causes mesothelioma ? Question 5 What causes mesothelioma ? Question 5 Reviewed by Ari on 10:10 PM Rating: 5

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