Thorax. April (2001) Vol.56 #4 p.251.
A statement made by the British Thoracic Society covering diagnosis, cause and treatment for mesothelioma. The briefest highlights are reported here.
• 1 in 10,000 cases are truly spontaneous.
• Erionite also causes it.
• Simian (SV(40)) virus has been proposed but not strongly supported.
• Most cases are caused by asbestos.
• In subjects heavily exposed to asbestos early in life more than 10% may die of mesothelioma.
Blue and brown asbestos are the most potent. Levels in well-maintained buildings are a small risk.
From first exposure, to death has a mean of 41 years, rarely less than 15 years.
Survival 8 – 14 months from diagnosis.
Occupational history is a key factor in diagnosis.
The statement also includes advice on making an insurance claim for pleural mesothelioma!
Many of these views are well supported by published evidence.