You may be asking yourself questions such as “is mesothelioma hereditary” and “is it contagious.” It’s good to ask questions, to grasp how people develop mesothelioma so you can know if you or a loved one is at risk. The chances of surviving mesothelioma depend heavily on an early diagnosis, so understanding the risks and taking preventative measures are the two best actions you can take to protect yourself and/or a loved one from the threats associated with mesothelioma.
Is Mesothelioma Hereditary?
The answers to the questions “is mesothelioma hereditary” or “is mesothelioma a genetic condition” are complicated. The BAP1 gene, when mutated, may make the body less able to protect itself from many cancers. One of those cancers is mesothelioma.
A genetic predisposition to developing cancer may be one risk factor for developing mesothelioma. This means it is possible, although extremely rare, to develop mesothelioma with no other risk factor. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, or ASCO, one percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma inherited a higher risk of developing the disease than found in the general population. The more risk factors one has, the greater the chance that the person will develop mesothelioma.
The BAP1 Gene
The BAP1 gene controls how the body creates the protein ubiquitin carboxyl-terminal hydrolase BAP1. This protein impacts how the body regulates other proteins that control cell growth. Because cancers come from the growth of abnormal cells, the body’s tendency to grow cells has a definite effect on the development of cancer.
A healthy BAP1 gene inhibits cancer growth, but there are mutations that are heritable that make the body unable to perform this function as it should. If one inherits this mutated gene, he or she has an increased risk of developing mesothelioma and other cancers.
Most people develop the disease from being exposed to asbestos. A person with both a mutated BAP1 gene and exposure to asbestos is at a higher risk than a person with only risk factor. If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and carries a mutated BAP1 gene, it is important to be even more proactive with screenings and to be watchful for symptoms.
Is Mesothelioma Contagious?
No cancer is contagious because cancers cannot be transmitted from one person to another. People may get confused about whether mesothelioma is contagious because one can develop mesothelioma from secondhand asbestos exposure. For instance, if a family member who lives with you frequently brings asbestos home on his or her clothes, you are also being exposed. This means contact with that person can cause you to develop mesothelioma, but this is due to a shared exposure to a cancer-causing substance, not because it was “caught” from the other person.
Inherited Risk for Mesothelioma and Lawsuits
Is mesothelioma hereditary? A genetic predisposition for developing cancer is one of the risk factors for mesothelioma, but a mesothelioma lawsuit rests solely on the fact that a person developed the disease due to asbestos exposure. Regardless of your risk factors, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or another asbestos-related disease, call the mesothelioma lawyers at Nemeroff Law Firm via the contact form on our website or by phone at 866-342-1929 to schedule a free evaluation. If an employer exposed you to asbestos, you may be entitled to compensation.