The link between smoking and lung cancer is so prevalent in our minds that it is easy to wonder: Does smoking cause mesothelioma? Some people think that it does, but that is not true. Read on to learn about the complex relationship between smoking and mesothelioma.
The Truth Behind this Question: Does Smoking Cause Mesothelioma?
The short answer is no.
The National Cancer Institute reports that smoking “combined with asbestos exposure does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma.”
Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that forms predominantly in the lining of the lungs, but it can also appear in other locations, such as the lining of the abdomen or heart. The disease has only been proven to be caused by asbestos. While smoking can cause many detrimental health effects, no one has evidence at this time that smoking causes mesothelioma.
How Smoking May Impact Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer
Now that the answer to the question, “does smoking cause mesothelioma?” has been answered, we’re left to explore a more complicated question: How can smoking impact the development of mesothelioma or other lung disease?
Healthy lungs have cilia, tiny hair-like structures in the lining, to force impurities out. Smoking is associated with damage and shortening of cilia, making it harder for the lungs to remove threats like asbestos fibers. For this reason, if smokers are exposed to asbestos, their lung cancer risk increases substantially.
In addition, asbestos and tobacco smoking cause inflammation in the lungs, and inflammation can lead to cancer. The double exposure to inflammatory substances is troublesome, but smoking also weakens the body’s immune system, potentially worsening inflammation.
Most Important Take-Away About Smoking and Mesothelioma
Anyone who has worked in a high-risk job involving asbestos should maintain regular checkups because early detection is essential. Because smoking damages the lungs and their protective cilia, a smoker in a high-risk job should be especially proactive about checkups.
It is also important to be familiar with symptoms of the onset of mesothelioma and to not try to treat them at home. Many people confuse the symptoms of mesothelioma with other less serious conditions and wait too long for treatment. This cancer is very aggressive and is too often discovered when the disease is advanced and prognosis is grim.
Does smoking cause mesothelioma? No, but it does weaken the lungs and can contribute to lung problems, including lung cancer. Everyone who has worked in a high-risk job should be proactive about their health, and smokers are no different.
Smokers, in particular, must be especially watchful when it comes to lung diseases such as mesothelioma and lung cancer. It is crucial to have regular checkups and seek treatment for symptoms of mesothelioma as soon as they appear.
The bottom line is that asbestos can be harmful to everyone, including smokers. Just because a person smokes does not mean that he or she cannot be compensated for contracting mesothelioma.
When you have questions about asbestos exposure and your legal rights, contact the asbestos attorneys at the Nemeroff Law Firm. We’ve handled many cases for clients who were smokers and who developed mesothelioma. Contact us today for a free case consultation.
Malignant Mesothelioma Causes
Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that forms in the mesothelium, a tissue that surrounds some our internal organs. Learning about mesothelioma causes is an important step in protecting your rights if you or a loved one suffers from this disease. Our law firm is nationally acclaimed for helping mesothelioma victims hold responsible parties accountable for causing this life-changing condition.
Mesothelioma Causes: The Altering of Genetic Information
Just like all cancers, mesothelioma causes originate with the altering of genes, strands of DNA responsible for our hereditary traits and for making proteins in our body. Genes are also important in controlling cell growth and reproduction. When particular genes are damaged, uncontrollable cell growth is caused in two ways:
- The cell stops producing a protein that is capable of ending cell division, or
- It produces too many proteins, causing a continuous cell division
The continuous growth of unwanted cells is what leads to cancer.
Mesothelioma Causes Include the Fibrous Mineral Asbestos
Of all mesothelioma causes, the most prominent is the long-term exposure to asbestos, a microscopic fiber that, when inhaled or ingested, can penetrate the mesothelium, the tissue lining of our organs. This damage the cell’s DNA. Asbestos can damage the mesothelium of different organs:
- The lungs, leading to pleural mesothelioma
- The heart, leading to pericardial mesothelioma
- The abdominal cavity, leading to peritoneal mesothelioma
- The testes, leading to testicular mesothelioma
The most common of these types is pleural mesothelioma.
Other potential causes of mesothelioma include:
- Zeolites, a mineral with a similar chemical composition as asbestos
- Radiation due to other cancer treatments
- SV40 virus (Although it has not been confirmed, in certain lab studies, researchers have found that this virus can alter genes associated with cancer.)
Where Can Someone be Exposed to Asbestos, the Leading Cause of Mesothelioma?
Asbestos is a material largely used for electrical and housing insulation and fireproofing. Hence, it fills many houses and businesses. Most asbestos products are not harmful unless its particles are released into the air. Exposure generally occurs in the following places:
- In the workplace: Asbestos miners, carpenters, firefighters, and many others are at a high risk of exposure as they are in direct contact with the material.
- At home: Those who work directly with the material may carry asbestos particles on their clothes or in their hair, causing secondhand exposure to those who live with them.
- In the environment. This occurs when asbestos fibers are released into the air during mining or natural disasters. There have been some cases of asbestos-caused mesothelioma reported in people living near asbestos mines or near areas with high quantities of asbestos in the soil.
The risk of asbestos-caused mesothelioma is significantly increased when a person is exposed to high concentrations of asbestos for prolonged periods of time. A limited exposure may not be harmful.
If you or a loved one have been exposed to one of the mesothelioma causes and developed this disease, Nemeroff Law Firm will fight for your right to fair compensation. Call or complete our Contact Form today and schedule a free case evaluation. We proudly serve mesothelioma victims and their families nationwide.
On Friday, October 7, 2016, a New Orleans jury returned a verdict awarding $12 million in favor of Donald Mueller and against Ameron International and others for Mueller’s asbestos-related mesothelioma. Mueller died of the disease, leaving behind a wife and daughter.
Nemeroff Law Firm Gets New Orleans Mesothelioma Verdict for Victim’s Family
After a two-week trial, during which the jury heard from world-renowned asbestos experts Dr. Richard Lemen (a former Assistant United States Surgeon General), Dr. Richard Kradin (pathologist), and Dr. William Longo (materials scientist), the jury found that Ameron’s asbestos-containing Bondstrand Pipe was a substantial contributing factor in causing Donald Mueller’s mesothelioma and death. Ameron called no witnesses in its defense.
New Orleans Mesothelioma Case a Benchmark for Asbestos Victims
According to lead counsel, Mesothelioma Attorney Rick Nemeroff of the Nemeroff Law Firm, “the jury got it right when they found that Ameron should be held responsible for putting asbestos product sales ahead of research, testing and warning. It’s a shameful tragedy that Donald Mueller didn’t live to see his day in court and to receive the justice he deserved—and while his widow and daughter were there to receive the verdict, it was a cold feeling without Donald present.”
Louisiana Mesothelioma Victim Was Survived by Family
Donald Mueller was diagnosed with asbestos-related mesothelioma in October 2015 after being exposed to asbestos beginning in the 1950s until the early 1980s while working at a variety of locations in Louisiana. Donald lost his battle with mesothelioma in January 2016, just days shy of his 90th birthday, leaving behind his wife of 67 years, Elizabeth, and his daughter, Pam.
This $12 million dollar verdict is just one of the many mesothelioma legal success stories in New Orleans by Rick Nemeroff, his law firm, and his co-counsel, Landry and Swarr. Two of the team’s recent mesothelioma verdicts were for $12 million and $7.5 million.
Assistance Available for Mesothelioma Victims Nationwide
Are you or a loved one a mesothelioma victim due to asbestos exposure? Are you concerned you may have an asbestos-related condition like mesothelioma? The Nemeroff Law Firm serves mesothelioma victims nationwide, including those in New Orleans and surrounding areas. For a free consultation, call us at 866-342-1929 or complete our online contact form.
More than 50 Speakers and 500 Attendees Set to Explore Current Trends Driving Asbestos Litigation at the 2013 National Overview & Outlook
Rick Nemeroff, owner of The Nemeroff Law Firm and leading representative of mesothelioma victims, was selected to return as co-chair and moderator for the 2013 Asbestos Litigation Conference: A National Overview and Outlook. The event gives thought leaders in the asbestos field an opportunity to discuss how trends in litigation may impact future cases.
The event, hosted by Perrin Conferences, brings asbestos insurance, legal, corporate and scientific leaders together to review the direction and climate of asbestos litigation. Topics for discussion include emerging and specialized claims, recent verdicts, decisions and events, as well as strategies on litigating cases in particular states and leading jurist’s perspectives.
“We’re proud to have Rick Nemeroff chair our National Asbestos Conference once again,” said Lynnsey Perrin, founder of Perrin Conferences. “Rick’s vast experience in this highly competitive field and enviable record of results place him at the forefront of asbestos litigation.”
Practicing since 1993, Nemeroff has established himself as a leading trial lawyer, combining compassion with aggressive litigation skills to fight for individuals and families who have been harmed by the actions of negligent corporations. He is a sought-after speaker and presenter for all aspects of asbestos litigation.
“I’m honored to return as co-chair and moderator for this year’s conference,” said Nemeroff. “It’s a great opportunity for us, as representatives of victims and their families, to discuss industry and legal developments and what those might mean for our clients.”
Established in 2009, the National Asbestos Litigation Conference offers a vibrant and open forum to help attendees understand the trends currently driving asbestos litigation and what the future will present. The conference will be hosted at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco on Sept. 16-18.