Mesothelioma is a rare cancer almost always associated with asbestos exposure. Symptoms of this highly fatal illness are often subtle, and so the disease may go undiagnosed until late stages making treatment difficult.
However, it’s also important to know that even among those that worked in high-risk industries are at minimal risk. Researchers do not understand why people working under identical circumstances have different outcomes with one developing mesothelioma and the other not.
One recent study examined the potential role of Vitamin D in cancer occurrence
What factors contribute to mesothelioma?
Statistically, if you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you were exposed to asbestos at some point in your life, whether you know it or not. Some industries are known to be high-risk for asbestos exposure including shipbuilding, the military, firefighters, brake mechanics, etc.
For other victims of mesothelioma, tracing exposure can be less obvious. A remodeling project in the home or workplace could disturb asbestos and trigger exposure. Many doctors, nurses, teachers, and office workers were exposed like this.
For others, a family member that worked with asbestos might have brought home the invisible and toxic fiber causing second-hand exposure. There are also some studies that suggest some people are genetically at higher-risk to develop mesothelioma after asbestos exposure.
How Vitamin D might factor into cancer risk
Recent research from the Journal of Clinical & Translational Endocrinology suggested a theoretical link between Vitamin D and cancer risk. Dr. Michael Holick, a researcher out of Boston University, published information on Vitamin D levels in the blood relative to the development of certain cancers.
Holick wrote, “the exact mechanism by which enhanced vitamin D status reduces risk for cancer is not completely understood” but asserted that increased Vitamin D might lower cancer risk.
In his study, Holick suggested that the presence of certain forms of vitamin D may “markedly reduce cellular proliferation especially of malignant cells that have a vitamin D receptor.”
Cancer journal Oncotarget published correlating research conducted in China on heightened incidences of cancer linked to less sun exposure and lower Vitamin D levels. Lung cancer was among many cancers associated with lower levels of specific forms of the vitamin.
Cancer cells must be fed to prosper and spread
With mesothelioma, the disease begins with cancerous cells that must grow into tumors that then spread throughout the body to create malignancies and dire outcomes. For cancer to spread, there needs to be new blood vessel formation and cellular death avoidance.
Several recent studies propose that higher levels of Vitamin D in the blood might reduce blood flow pathways to cancerous cells and could accelerate the death of cancer cells preventing disease spread.
For those concerned with known asbestos exposure risk and worried about cancer development, a combination of sun therapy and Vitamin D supplements might be beneficial. Before adopting any supplement regimen, you should consult your physician.
Dr. Holick suggested in his research that those seeking cancer-reduction and prevention should pursue a “reasonable strategy” of “sensible sun exposure” along with supplements and enriching the diet with foods that contain Vitamin D.
Contact Bergman Draper Oslund if you or someone you love was diagnosed with mesothelioma. Our practice is focused on supporting mesothelioma victims, and we have a track record of winning significant settlements.
We’ve won more than $700 million for victims of mesothelioma and asbestos exposure. Contact us today to start a conversation about your rights and compensation for your illness no matter where you live or were exposed to asbestos. Call (888) 647-6007 for a free case evaluation.