Many consider mesothelioma to be cancer only affecting older generations. For many, this is the case since it can take up to 50 years for this type of cancer to develop. However, research indicates that secondhand exposure along with DIY home projects is exposing the deadly carcinogen to younger generations.
Forming on the protective lining of the lungs and abdomen, malignant mesothelioma is a rare, asbestos-related cancer. When a person inhales or ingests the asbestos fibers, the substance becomes trapped in the body. This is because the immune system cannot expel the durable fibers. Then, the fibers can settle into lung tissue. Currently, there isn’t a cure.
Mesothelioma Rates & Young Adults
Just last month, a doctor diagnosed a 26-year-old with stage 4 pleural mesothelioma. The male patient had experienced some symptoms but waited some time before seeking medical help. He suffered from chest pain, inflammation and swelling, night sweats and fevers. The young man pinpointed his old elementary school as the culprit. The school had asbestos like thousands of other school buildings around America. These diagnoses led researchers to conduct more studies trying to ascertain why more young adults are developing mesothelioma.
It is difficult to pinpoint why and what is causing this cancer since it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years from exposure to develop mesothelioma. People have the same chance of developing cancer if exposed to a small level for a long period or high levels for a brief period. Plus, genetic predisposition comes into play. The asbestos exposure must exist, but those with the gene-environment interaction can develop cancer even with low levels of asbestos.
Coupled with routine screening is not part of a routine yearly checkup, people are not being diagnosed until the cancer is advanced. Screening for rare diseases such as mesothelioma is typically not included in a routine physical examination.
Differences of Mesothelioma in Young Adults
Unlike older people with asbestos, younger individuals with the disease tend to be female. Last year, a study showed that those 35 years old or younger with mesothelioma had the BAP1 protein. This is a mutation that researchers previously identified as a marker for increased mesothelioma risk.
In prior studies, researchers have found a correlation between the presence of BAP1 and increased familial history of mesothelioma or other cancers, as well as an improved prognosis compared to those without the mutation. However, BAP1 isn’t the only mutation linked to mesothelioma. Another study found a variety of possible gene fusions and mutations that could signal an increased risk of mesothelioma among younger individuals.
Across all these studies, researchers noted the clear difference in mesothelioma patients’ genetics when developed at a younger age compared to older patients, making this an extremely important area of study.
After a Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Regardless of age at diagnosis having a Complex Litigation attorney like those found at The Michael Brady Lynch Firm is critical when seeking help to cover your asbestos-related expenses. Identifying when and where the asbestos exposure occurred is crucial to your lawsuit. Experienced lawyers are familiar with companies that used asbestos and know which job sites had a significant amount of asbestos use. Also, they know which products contained high concentrations of the toxic mineral. Consultations are completely free, confidential and have no obligation.
The Michael Brady Lynch Firm has successfully represented thousands of consumers and recovered millions of dollars for their clients. The industry has recognized our team of attorneys as some of the most experienced and successful in the country. Many seek out our award-winning staff for our knowledge of complex litigation, scientific evidence development, negotiation strategies and trial tactics.
Most of all, our law office is resourceful and dedicated to pursuing any compensation. Because of this, we have received a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement, such as inclusion on numerous Plaintiff Steering Committees. We will take whatever legal measures are necessary when fighting for your rights to damages.