Malignant mesothelioma in women.
About 8% of our cases of mesothelioma occur in women, with a median age of 59 years. Our percentage is lower than other series reported in the literature because of the large number of occupationally exposed men referred to our laboratory. Tumor arose in the pleura in 86% of the women in our study, and the majority were epithelial. Pleural plaques were found in half of the women for which this information was available, and asbestosis was found in only 16%. A history of exposure to asbestos was identified in three quarters of the women, more than half of whom were household contacts of asbestos workers. Occupational exposure to asbestos was identified in only 19% of patients. An elevated tissue asbestos burden was noted in 70% of women from whom lung tissue was available for analysis. The main fiber type identified was amosite, followed by tremolite and chrysotile. These findings and those from other countries suggest a need for reassessment of the background rate of mesothelioma in industrialized nations.
Roggli, VL; Oury, TD; Moffatt, EJ
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