Does everyone exposed to asbestos get cancer?

Most people exposed to asbestos will never develop an associated cancer, even if their exposure levels were high. For instance, only 10 to 20% will develop mesothelioma. Many will never develop asbestos lung cancer either. This suggests that some people may be more predisposed to cancer (or certain types of cancer), while others may benefit from natural protective factors.

Science gives some insight into the general factors at play in determining whether a person will develop cancer. One key factor is how efficient the body’s DNA repair mechanisms are. Cell DNA can become damaged by environmental factors (or copying errors when cells divide), but cells also have mechanisms for repairing the damage. People differ in how effective these mechanisms are. Asbestos fibers cause damage to cell DNA that can ultimately result in out-of-control cancerous multiplication, but in some people, this process may be suppressed by DNA repair.

Does everyone exposed to asbestos get cancer?

Another naturally occurring protective mechanism is that cells can trigger their own death when they detect extensive damage to their DNA. If this process doesn’t happen, again, cancer is more likely. For instance, some people have defective copies of tumor suppressor genes. In people exposed to asbestos who don’t get cancer, cells damaged by asbestos may be initiating their own death.

Factors like these at the level of cells and DNA explain why 10 people could be exposed to the same amount of asbestos, but only 1 or 2 would develop cancer. Currently, there’s no way to know if you’re in a high-risk group. People who know they were exposed to asbestos should seek regular screenings and be alert to possible symptoms.

Does everyone exposed to asbestos get cancer?

If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma or Lung Cancer resulting from asbestos exposure, you have important legal rights and may be entitled to a cash settlement.  Please call us today to get the facts.  Toll Free 1-866-777-2557 or fill our online contact form and a lawyer will get back to you within 24 hours to answer your questions.    Operators are standing by.  We want to help you, so please make the call today.

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