It has long since been known that asbestos is a main cause of cancer. Unfortunately, this substance is absolutely everywhere, even in the air, and it is undetectable by the naked eye.
For years researchers thought they knew everything there was to know about this dangerous toxin and its relationship to cancer. Namely, asbestos was most commonly associated with lung cancer and mesothelioma. Now, in addition to those diseases, a new study has found that asbestos may also be linked to ovarian cancer.
The connection between asbestos and these two types of cancers may seem confusing to some. However, the study showed a clear link. Inhaling asbestos causes the mineral to become lodged in the pleura, which is in the lung cavity. This can result in either lung cancer or mesothelioma.
This connection has been clear for some time. It has also been known that asbestos can also be ingested. When it is, it can travel further into the body, down into the abdominal cavity. For women, this is particularly concerning because it then becomes lodged in the ovaries. According to the National Cancer Institute, this can easily lead to ovarian cancer.
To determine if there was a link between mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, the study examined data from all over the country. Researchers found that throughout the nation, there was one mesothelioma case for every 100,000 people. Cases of ovarian cancer are much more common, with between nine and 12 women for every 100,000 suffering from the disease. Areas with the highest rates of mesothelioma saw an increase of ten percent in their ovarian cancer rates.
According to the CDC, in 2016, the three states with the highest mesothelioma rates also had ovarian cancer rates that were higher than those seen around the country. Due to the fact that these diseases are so alike and share similar characteristics, it is believed that what causes one would likely cause another. In the case of mesothelioma and ovarian cancer, asbestos seems to be the common contributing factor.