In the past, mesothelioma was a type of cancer that was predominantly found in men. The disease is associated with exposure to asbestos, which was often used in industrial settings. Men were more likely to be exposed to asbestos than women because they were more likely to hold jobs in these settings.
Women have started to be diagnosed more frequently with mesothelioma in recent years. This indicates that these women have been exposed to asbestos.
Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the ground. People have mined asbestos because it is resistant to heat and therefore useful for many industrial purposes. This substance was often used in commercial buildings and in the military.
When asbestos fibers become airborne, they can become lodged in people’s lungs. While there is some indication of a possible genetic link to the disease, it has also been theorized that parents who worked around asbestos may have brought home the fibers from their places of work which were then breathed in by their children, thereby mimicking a genetic correlation.
In recent years, another possible cause of asbestos exposure has surfaced. Talc is another mineral that is also found in deposits in the ground. In some instances, asbestos is located near talc deposits creating an opportunity for the raw talc to become contaminated with the carcinogenic substance.
Many women use talc-based products for personal hygiene. The practice could be linked to the development of mesothelioma if the talc is contaminated with asbestos and the women are frequently breathing in the powder as part of their daily routine. Women should potentially consider using alternative products.
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