Why doesn’t everyone get mesothelioma after asbestos exposure?

On Behalf of | Jul 21, 2023 | mesothelioma

When you receive a mesothelioma diagnosis that was tied to your past asbestos exposure at work, it can be confusing to see that many of your past co-workers are still healthy. Why are you sick when others are not?

Two people can be exposed to asbestos, and only one develops cancer. This can be due to their unique risk factors. This guide discusses this matter:

BAP1 gene mutation

Mesothelioma is not hereditary, but you can inherit its risk factors. Mutations can occur in the BAP1 gene. If a mutated BAP1gene is inherited, one may be at high risk of developing certain forms of cancer, including mesothelioma.

Therefore, if you were born with a mutated BAP1 gene and are exposed to asbestos, your probability of developing mesothelioma may be higher than someone who lacks the mutated gene. 


Research shows that some people, especially those with efficient immune mechanisms, may be resistant to the oncogenic effects of asbestos. 

Latency period

It can take decades after asbestos exposure before one has symptoms of mesothelioma. This is called a “latency” period between exposure and onset of the disease. The difference in each person’s unique latency period means that some people will simply develop their illness faster than others. Your colleagues may not yet be out of the woods.

What can you do? 

If you have developed mesothelioma after asbestos exposure at work, you can file a claim, even if you’re the first person to get sick. Legal guidance can help you explore the availability of funds for the victims of asbestos exposure and obtain the compensation you need for your family.