If you have prostate cancer, asbestos may have contributed
If you have prostate cancer, asbestos is one of many factors that may have contributed to your development of prostate cancer. Asbestos exposure has been linked to a higher incidence of prostate cancer in several studies, which we will summarize in this article.
Weitz & Luxenberg provides this article as a resource for anyone exposed to asbestos who is now suffering an asbestos-related cancer, and for anyone curious about the links between prostate cancer and asbestos exposure.
What is prostate cancer?
Prostate cancer is cancer of the prostate, which is a gland found only in men, located just below the bladder. There are several types of cells in the prostate, but “nearly all prostate cancers start in the gland cells. This kind of cancer is known as adenocarcinoma.” (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer
Adenocarcinoma is a cancer that develops in the lining or inner surface of an organ. This lining is called an epithelium. More than 95 percent of prostate cancers are adenocarcinoma. (http://www.emedicinehealth.com/
script/main/art.asp?articlekey=2144) You can have an adenocarcinoma in the epithelium of many organs. For example, an adenocarcinoma in the mesothelium is mesothelioma, a cancer linked almost exclusively with asbestos exposure.
Risk factors for prostate cancer besides asbestos
Significant risk factors for prostate cancer are age, race, nationality, family history, genes, diet, obesity, smoking, inflammation of the prostate, infection, and vasectomy. (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/
Many of these factors are something a person has no control over, and doctors cannot tell to what degree each factor influences prostate cancer, although age is a significant factor: ”Prostate cancer is very rare before the age of 40, but the chance of having prostate cancer rises rapidly after age 50. Almost 2 out of 3 prostate cancers are found in men over the age of 65.” (ACS)
Rates of prostate cancer among asbestos exposure victims higher than average
In a 1980 study entitled “Presence of asbestos bodies in organs other than the lung,” Doctors Auerbach, Conston, Garfinkel, Parks, Kaslow and Hammond found asbestos in the kidney, heart, liver, spleen, adrenals, pancreas, brain, prostate and thyroids during autopsies of asbestos exposure victims.
The doctors state that “the findings strongly suggest that when people have such a degree of exposure to asbestos dust that a great many asbestos bodies are formed in the lungs, then asbestos bodies are very likely to be present in one or several other organs as well.” (http://chestjournal.chestpubs.org/content/77/2/133.full.pdf)
In a study tracking the incidence of cancer and mortality among employees in the asbestos cement industry in Denmark, Doctors Raffn, Lynge, Juel and Korsgaard stated that “excess risks for prostate and penile cancer had been observed already in the previous study by Clemmesen and Hjalgrim-Jensen,” and found in their study “risks... for bladder cancer and for prostate cancer.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1009733/?page=5)
In their study “Incidence of cancer among the participants of the Finnish Asbestos Screening Campaign,” published in 2003, Doctors Koskiken, Pukkala, Reijula and Karjalainen found another link between asbestos exposure and prostate cancer:
“23285 men and 930 women invited to a nationwide screening campaign for benign asbestos-related diseases in 1990-1992 were followed for cancer through the Finnish Cancer Register up to 1998....Altogether 1392 cases of cancer were found among the men. The risk was slightly, but significantly elevated for lung cancer, mesothelioma, and prostate cancer.” (http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/12630438)
Prostate cancer asbestos exposure legal options
If you were exposed to asbestos and are now suffering from prostate cancer or another asbestos cancer, it is important to seek medical and legal advice as soon as possible. Prostate cancer has good survival rates: the American Cancer Society gives a 100% 5-year relative survival rate for prostate cancer that is diagnosed at local and regional stages. (http://www.cancer.org/Cancer/ProstateCancer/DetailedGuide/prostate-cancer-survival-rates)
It is important to seek out legal advice as soon as possible if you are considering pursuing your legal options. Contact Weitz & Luxenberg today, via phone or by filling out a form on this page, for your free legal consultation.