Women and Mesothelioma

Posted on Thursday, March 17th, 2016 at 12:25 pm    

Most women develop mesothelioma through three ways:

  1. Occupational exposure – through on-the-job exposure for women who worked with products that contain asbestos materials in them
  2. Secondary exposure (take home exposure) – asbestos fibers are taken home by those who work with asbestos
  3. Environmental exposure – living in asbestos mining towns, inhalation through exposure to airborne fibers

Recent studies show that women tend to have a better outlook on mesothelioma than men do, as treatment is more effective on women than men. However, women who develop mesothelioma from secondary exposure are at a legal disadvantage. This is due to it being harder to prove which company is responsible for the asbestos exposure.

Most women are diagnosed with one of three types of mesothelioma:

  • pleural mesothelioma – affects the lining of the lungs
  • pericardial mesothelioma – affects the lining of the heart
  • peritoneal mesothelioma – affects the lining of the abdomen

All the above types of mesothelioma are in/directly associated with asbestos exposure.

 Women and Mesothelioma

Non-asbestos exposure

In rare cases, young women develop mesothelioma without asbestos exposure. Well-differentiated papillary mesothelioma is a subtype of epithelial mesothelioma. It is a far less aggressive cancer which affects the abdomen. It is commonly found in women in their 30s but has no strong link to asbestos exposure.

Medical Treatment

Medical Treatment

Women and Mesothelioma Treatment

Depending on one’s diagnosis, women basically receive the exact same treatment choices as men do. Such treatment is:

  • chemotherapy
  • radiation therapy
  • surgery

A recent study of the life expectancy of women and men after surgery on epithelial tumors revealed that after surgery, women have a longer life span than men. This showed that on average women lived upon to about twenty seven months after surgery while men lived up to sixteen months. However, this cannot be generalized in respect of surgery on different types of tumors.

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