Radiation therapy independently linked to developing mesothelioma

31 Jul 2017 by Sarah Mahan under Research/Treatment

120131 F ML202 100 1 100x100 Radiation therapy independently linked to developing mesotheliomaPeople who have received radiation to treat lymphoma have a greater chance of developing mesothelioma later in life, according to a new study conducted by Stanford Cancer Center and scientific consulting firm Exponent Inc.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of internal organs that usually is caused by exposure to , a group of six silicate minerals previously used in a variety of construction and manufacturing processes and products. However, the study, which included 47,219 patients with either Hodgkin’s or non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma using the U.S. Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) database, found radiation was an independent risk factor for “second primary mesothelioma, especially in lymphoma patients diagnosed before 1995,” according to Surviving Mesothelioma.

The study noted “a statistically significant increase in mesothelioma among men with (Hodgkin’s lymphoma) who received radiation, but no women survivors were identified who had a diagnosis of mesothelioma.” Also, patients who received radiation therapy at younger ages faced the highest mesothelioma risks.

Scientists have long known about the risk of radiation exposure and developing mesothelioma. The chance of developing mesothelioma from radiation is still very low due to extensive precautions taken to limit the amount of radiation absorbed by healthy tissue, which can undergo cellular change if exposed. A similar 2016 study found malignant mesothelioma was only slightly more common in those who received radiation than the public. This most recent study does maintain the existence of an independent link, though. It concludes, “These findings and the existing body of supporting studies confirmed that radiotherapy is a cause of mesothelioma.”

 

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