Mesothelioma or Asbestos Question?

The History of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that attacks the cells that line different parts of the abdomen, such as the thoracic cavity and the lungs. We know that mesothelioma is almost exclusively caused by exposure to asbestos. Although humans have used asbestos – and thus presumably developed mesothelioma – for thousands of years, only very recently did doctors and researchers recognize mesothelioma as its own form of cancer.

Lung Problems and Asbestos

Both ancient Greeks and Romans utilized asbestos for its ability to resist heat and flames. However, even these civilizations realized that lung disorders seemed to strike those who worked asbestos in asbestos mines with higher frequency than average people.

Later, in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, doctors began to warn various industries and even the military that asbestos contributed to lung problems. Sadly, though, it was not until later research was conducted that we realized the full extent of asbestos hazards.

The Discovery of Mesothelioma

In 1948, the country of South Africa built a hospital near an asbestos mine. When people came in with lung conditions, they were often treated for tuberculosis. While those with actual cases of tuberculosis typically healed, doctors noticed some lung disorders that remained unaffected by the tuberculosis treatment.

Finally in the mid to late 1950s, researchers and doctors began a project to discover the source of these other lung problems. It was found to be mesothelioma caused by asbestos. After the findings were presented to a conference, doctors began to recognize the devastation that can come with asbestos exposure.

For More Information

A mesothelioma diagnosis can seem bleak and difficult to accept. However, if you need more information to help you understand mesothelioma, please fill out the contact form at the top of the page today.

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