The assessment of the malignant mesothelioma cases and environmental asbestos exposure in Sivas province, Turkey
Dogan, Omer Tamer
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One of the most significant diseases related to environmental asbestos exposure is malignant mesothelioma (MM). Sivas province is located in the Central Anatolia where asbestos exposure is common. We aimed to study clinical, demographical and epidemiologic features of the patients with MM in Sivas, along with the history of asbestos exposure. In total, 219 patients with MM who were diagnosed in our hospital between 1993 and 2010 were retrospectively analyzed in terms of demographical and clinical features. Rock, soil and house plaster samples were taken from the habitats of those patients and were evaluated with optical microscopy and X-ray diffraction methods. The age of the patients ranged between 18 and 85 years. The male-to-female ratio was 1.4:1. Most of the patients confirmed an asbestos exposure history. The most frequent symptoms of the patients were chest pain (60 %) and dyspnea (50 %). The gap between the start of first symptoms and the diagnosis date was approximately 4 months in average. The plaster materials used in most of the houses were made up of mainly carbonate and silicate minerals and some chrysotile. Ophiolitic units contained fibrous minerals such as serpentine (clino + orthochrysotile) chiefly and pectolite, brucite, hydrotalcite and tremolite/actinolite in smaller amounts. MM is not primarily related to occupational asbestos exposure in our region, and hence, environmental asbestos exposure may be indicted. Yet, single or combined roles and/or interactions of other fibrous and non-fibrous minerals in the etiology of MM are not yet fully understood and remain to be investigated.