While many researchers do believe that genes play some role in determining whether a person who is exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma, how quickly the disease may progress, and how it may respond to treatment, medicine’s understanding of these factors is in its early stages. In terms of heredity, mesothelioma is not a cancer that is shared between family members via genetic predisposition. Instead, family members may be exposed to asbestos through second-hand routes, such as fibers carried in on a loved one’s clothing or hair, which can result in multiple members of a family developing the disease. There is evidence that certain genes may contribute to familial susceptibility to mesothelioma.
At this time, there is no test that can tell you whether you have a genetic predisposition to developing cancers if you are exposed to asbestos, or how your body will react to the disease and its treatments. Researchers are looking into this, however, and there is hope that genetic testing may one day yield valuable information that you and your doctors can use to help evaluate your risk and help determine effective treatment protocols.
Recent research has revealed a number of gene sequences that may be altered by, or whose naturally occurring mutations may help promote, mesothelioma and other cancers. You may be eligible for clinical trials that are investigating these linkages today in order to provide better testing and treatment tomorrow. Because there are typically costs associated with clinical trials that may not be covered by your insurance plan, the mesothelioma attorneys at The Gertler Law Firm can help connect you with resources that will protect you and your family as you fight mesothelioma. Call us today at (504) 581-6411 for a free consultation.