Weitz & Luxenberg explains the possible link between certain forms of lymphoma and asbestos exposure.
Is there a link between asbestos and lymphoma? What is lymphoma and can it be classified as an asbestos related disease?
Although there is some evidence that suggests a link between lymphoma and asbestos exposure, it is not considered an asbestos related disease per say. The three diseases known to be caused by asbestos exposure are mesothelioma, asbestos lung cancer and asbestosis.
Weitz & Luxenberg has been offering legal assistance for clients with asbestos related diseases for twenty years. Please bear in mind that we are not a medical institution, but we are more than willing to assist you in legal matters.
Lymphoma “is a type of cancer that involves the cells of the immune system- lymphocytes. The lymphatic system is part of the immune system and it consists of a network of vessels that carry lymph fluid,” (E Medicine Health) in much the same way that “blood vessels carry blood throughout the body.” (E Medicine Health)
Lymphocytes are very important because they are responsible for warding off “a variety of infections as well as many cells in the precancerous stages of development.” (E Medicine Health)
There are two major subtypes of lymphocytes:
B Lymphocytes: These “produce antibodies, which essentially alert other cells of the immune system to recognize and destroy intruders, known as pathogens.” (E Medicine Health)
T Cells: T cells, “when activated can kill pathogens directly. They play a part in the mechanisms of immune system control, to prevent the system from inappropriate over activity or under activity.” (E Medicine Health)
Note: When either of these lymphocytes undergoes a malignant transformation, cancer occurs- the “uncontrollable multiplication of cells.” (E Medicine Health)
The Symptoms of Lymphoma:
Some of the symptoms associated with lymphoma are also seen in cases of mesothelioma, the deadliest asbestos related disease. These mutual symptoms are indicated with an asterisk (*)
Unexplained weight loss *
Night sweats *
Lack of energy *
Family history of Lymphoma
The Link between Lymphoma and Asbestos Exposure: A point of debate between medical researchers
It has been suggested that one of the causes of Lymphoma is exposure to certain toxic chemicals. E Medicine Health lists “pesticides, herbicides, and benzene” specifically, which a person can come in contact with via occupational exposure.
The following two studies arrived at more or less the same conclusion: the link between asbestos exposure and lymphoma is debatable.
Researchers at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found that “asbestos exposure could be very loosely linked” (NCBI) to a specific type of Lymphoma known as non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (NHL). The researchers found that “some patients with asbestosis suffered from mild immunologic abnormalities” (NCBI) but concluded that the incidence of this happening was low. Out of the “35 epidemiologic cases that the researchers studied, 32 of them tested negative for NHL.” (NCBI)
“A group of researchers in Germany and Italy studied male and female patients with malignant lymphoma, who were between the ages of 18 and 80 years. A total of 1,173 population control subjects were drawn from population registers. In a structured personal interview, [the researchers] elicited a complete occupational history, including every occupational period that lasted at least 1 year. On the basis of job task-specific supplementary questionnaires, [the researchers] assessed the exposure to asbestos. As a measure of cumulative asbestos exposure on a time by intensity scale, fiber-years were calculated. 12 cases (1.2%) and 12 control subjects (1.0%) had a cumulative asbestos exposure of more than 2.6 fiber-years (highest exposure category according to the 90th percentile of exposed control subjects). Odds ratios (OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were calculated using unconditional logistic regression analysis adjusted for age, sex and study region. Patients with specific lymphoma sub-entities were additionally compared with the entire control group. [The researchers] observed no statistically significant association between cumulative asbestos exposure and the risk of any lymphoma subtype.” (NCBI)
Let Weitz & Luxenberg provide you with legal counsel and help you secure compensation
Weitz & Luxenberg understands how widespread the asbestos problem is. With over two decades of experience, our attorneys are qualified to help you navigate the legal system. The dangers of asbestos are hardly a secret- they have been known about in the United States for decades. Unfortunately, its use in numerous industries resulted in disastrous consequences for countless individuals. Far too many people are suffering from serious asbestos related diseases as a result of being exposed to asbestos earlier on.
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National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI): www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12141953
E Medicine Health: www.emedicinehealth.com/lymphoma/page2_em.htm