Asbestos-related diseases have an average latency period of 10 to 80 years with most victims diagnosed in their 60s and 70s, so it is rare to see young adults and children developing mesothelioma. Late last year, a 23-year-old female was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma (Tanner, 2018), a fatal cancer of the peritoneum that surrounds the organs in the abdominal region. Her doctors believe that asbestos entered her body through inhalation and ingestion around the age of three. After 10 hours of operation and chemotherapy treatment, her doctors are hopeful that her prognosis can be extended for several years.
Other cases of children diagnosed with mesothelioma within the past several years:
· 2016: A 10-year-old girl was also found to have contracted peritoneal mesothelioma from inhaling and ingesting asbestos (Loharamtaweethong, 2016).
· 2013: an 8-year-old boy complaining of difficulty breathing, weight loss, and lethargy was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, a cancer of the pleural that surrounds the lungs caused by inhaling asbestos (Scharf, 2015). Doctors were able to remove the tumor successfully. With the addition of regular chemotherapy, the boy still remains virtually disease-free.
· 2017: Nolan Lamb, a 36-year-old commercial pilot, was diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. As a teenager, Lamb regularly walked through a gravel parking lot at the ski resort. Tests revealed that the gravel from a local quarry was heavily contaminated with asbestos.
In addition to contaminated clothing from parents who work with asbestos products, the increase of mesothelioma in young people is likely the result of exposure to children’s products that contain asbestos. Recent products exposed for containing asbestos include cosmetics sold in Claire’s Stores and toy crime lab kits sold on the internet. Exercise caution when purchasing products for children that could contain asbestos. Many products that contain talc also secretly contain asbestos.
Loharamtaweethong, K., Puripat, N., Aoonjai, N., Sutepvarnon, A., & Bandidwattanawong, C. (2016). Anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) translocation in pediatric malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: a case report of novel ALK-related tumor spectrum. Histopathology, 68(4), 603-607. doi:10.1111/his.12779
Scharf, J. B., Lees, G. M., Consolato M. S. (2015). Malignant pleural mesothelioma in a child. Journal of Pediatric Surgery Case Reports. Volume 3, Issue 10. Pages 440-443, ISSN 2213-5766. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.epsc.2015.09.002. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S221357661500113X)
Tanner, C. (2018, January 04). Woman, 23, with rare cancer caused by SWALLOWING asbestos as a child has been given the all-clear after being ‘gutted and virtually disemboweled’ in a 10-hour operation. Retrieved January 24, 2018, from http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-5234379/Woman-cancer-caused-asbestos-gets-clear.html