A new case report published by occupational medicine specialists at the Scientific Institute of Pavia in Italy suggests that asbestos may be linked to the development of renal cell carcinoma. Doctors in Italy have just published the case report of a man who developed kidney cancer after 7 years of asbestos exposure. Just a year later, he also developed the cancer most closely associated with asbestos: malignant mesothelioma.
Asbestos is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma, a type of lung cancer. It was a common additive to a wide variety of building materials and consumer products, due to its fire retardant properties. When the link to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma became apparent, the use of asbestos was withdrawn. However, decades later thousands of people who mined asbestos or those who manufactured, handled, installed or came into contact with asbestos-containing products developed mesothelioma. How asbestos causes mesothelioma is not fully understood, but the fibres can stay in the body after being inhaled or ingested and cause irritation or inflammation.