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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mesothelioma - FAQ's and Facts

Mesothelioma - FAQ's and Facts
By Frederick Schenk

If you or a loved one has received a diagnosis of mesothelioma, you may still learning about this cancer, and what the diagnosis means for you and your family. Here the most frequently asked questions and answers about mesothelioma

What is mesothelioma? It's a rare type of cancer, accounting for only 1% of all cancer diagnoses that grows in the mesothelium, the thin membrane that lines the chest and abdominal cavity, and covers the organs within each of these cavities.
What causes mesothelioma? Almost all cases of mesothelioma are linked to asbestos exposure. Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in asbestos-related industries such as pipe-fitting, manufacture of brakes, and shipbuilding.
How does asbestos cause mesothelioma? When asbestos is handled, tiny asbestos fibers, thinner than a human hair, break off and become airborne. If the workplace is not appropriately ventilated, workers inhale the fibers. Inhaled asbestos fibers work their way into the chest cavity or the abdominal cavity, and lodge in the mesothelium.

How long does it take to develop mesothelioma? The disease progresses slowly; symptoms may not appear for 15 years, sometimes for as long as 40 years after the exposure. The membrane thickens into a hard, inflexible rind, forming bumps and nodules. The enlarging cancerous tissue produces large amounts of fluid that crowds the chest or abdominal cavity, and the cancer itself compresses nearby organs
Why does mesothelioma take so long to be diagnosed? The mesothelium thickens very slowly, and until it becomes so thick that it presses against the chest or abdominal wall, or its fluids begin to leak, the victim has no symptoms. Only when it has grown large enough to press on vital organs and to leak fluid into the chest or abdominal cavity does the victim begin to experience symptoms such as severe chest pain, shortness of breath, and constant fatigue. By the time symptoms are troublesome enough for a victim to seek medical attention the disease may have progressed so far that the life expectancy will be measured in months.
Does mesothelioma always show up in the lungs? About 80% of mesothelioma cases occur in the lungs, where it's called pleural mesothelioma. The other 20% of mesothelioma cases are peritoneal, occurring in the abdominal cavity.

Is there treatment for mesothelioma? Current treatments involve chemotherapy and radiation, and surgical removal of some of the tumor mass to reduce discomfort. Researchers are investigating new therapies which may have greater potential to slow the development of tumors, and biological markers which may lead to earlier diagnosis.

If you believe that your mesothelioma developed as a result of workplace exposure to asbestos, you may have a legal claim against the corporation that permitted the exposure, or the manufacturer of the asbestos product.

The Rise of Asbestos Related Diseases

The Rise of Asbestos Related Diseases
By Rick Jackson

Asbestos has been dubbed as a miracle mineral when people discovered its property to withstand heat. The use of asbestos became more widespread during the industrial revolution when countries started to aim for growth through infrastructures.

Unfortunately, although asbestos has been found to be useful in construction and even in clothing, it has been discovered to be hazardous to health - even the early Greeks recognized asbestos related diseases in the slaves who handled the minerals during that time.

The United States and Canada started to use asbestos for insulation in the 1860s. The very first commercial asbestos mine was built in 1879 at Quebec. Soon, asbestos have been used in so many other household construction applications like:

-Fire retardant coatings
-Fireplace cement
-Heat-, fire-, and acid-resistant gaskets
-Pipe insulations
-Ceiling insulations
-Fireproof drywall, flooring
-Lawn furniture

Asbestos had become a very valuable commodity in a wide range of applications where infrastructure construction is concerned but there are other applications where asbestos is used: brake pads and shoes, clutch plates, stage curtains, fire blankets, interior fire doors, etc.

The hazards of continuous usage of the asbestos has eventually manifested when about 100,000 people in the United States fell sick and died due to asbestos related disease. Many of these victims were exposed to asbestos in their jobs like in ship building for example. During the World War II, tons and tons of asbestos were used in the ships and soon after, thousands of workers started to die of mesothelioma and asbestosis due to their prolonged exposure to the minerals.

Today, many people continue to suffer from a continued over exposure to asbestos.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Asbestos Exposure - How Can Individuals Protect Themselves?

Asbestos Exposure - How Can Individuals Protect Themselves?
By Felix White

If you work in an environment where asbestos is used it is very important to make sure that the adequate precautions are being taken to safeguard your safety. Due to the dangers posed to the individuals by asbestos exposure, there are various regulations to safeguard the health of the individuals.

On the workplace employers are required to follow the required regulations in order to safeguard the health of their employees. Workers should follow instructions and use the protective equipment provided to them by their employer. They should also follow the correct work practices and safety procedures. It is important that workers know how to use their protective equipment since if it is wrongly used exposure to asbestos may also occur. If there is some concern among workers about the exposure of asbestos on their place of work, they should immediately discuss the situation with their employer and their health and safety representatives.

If you are an individual that have a family member that works in an environment where asbestos is used, it is important that the family member washes himself and changes clothes on the workplace before coming home. Any clothes of the individual that have been used in an environment where asbestos is used may also contain dangerous asbestos fibers.

It is important not to damage or burn products that are made of asbestos. Further more it is important that old houses that have pipes or other materials made with asbestos be checked by an expert. Old pipes or materials may deteriorate as time passes and may expose the individual to asbestos.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma and the Treatments That Are Available s

Everything You Need to Know About Mesothelioma and the Treatments That Are Available
By Nate Atkins

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral fiber that has a resistance to fire, chemicals, and electricity. There are 3 main types of asbestos minerals (chrysotile, amosite and crocidolite) and 6 different varieties. Asbestos was used thousands of years ago by the Greeks who realized these benefits of asbestos. The use of asbestos continued through history and became a very popular product during the industrial revolution in the 1860's.

In 1879 the first development of an asbestos mine was put into motion. Because of the unique properties of asbestos, it has been able to be used for many different products over the years. Asbestos has been used in insulation, pipe coverings, brake pads, cement, ceiling tiles, rugs, paints and a variety of other products. The first recorded death due to asbestos was in 1906, further studies indicated an increase in lung related diseases in people that were around asbestos on a regular basis. Asbestos was later banned in the early 1980's due to the fact that the fibers were causing lung diseases/cancer and death.

Asbestos fibers are very sharp and barbed; it is for this reason that when a person inhales these fibers they become lodged in the lining of the lungs, and stay there. This over time causes asbestosis which is irreversible and can lead to scarring of he lungs. Another common hazard of asbestos is Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. It develops in the thin membranes that line the lungs and abdomen. Unfortunately this type of cancer is often inoperable and fatal. On top of lung related cancers asbestos has also been found to cause cancer of the esophagus, stomach, large intestine, and rectum.

Mesothelioma can sometimes be hard to diagnose as the symptoms are a lot like other lung conditions. On top of that it usually takes between 20-30 years for symptoms to become noticeable. Symptoms often shown by individuals suffering from mesothelioma include:

• chest pain
• fluid surrounding the lungs
• shortness of breath
• fatigue
• wheezing, hoarseness, or cough
• coughing up blood

In some cases if the individual's mesothelioma cancer is severe enough or in the advanced stages it has been documented that the individual could experience a collapse of the infected lung. Mesothelioma can also attack the lining of the abdomen. Individuals with mesothelioma in the abdomen include:

• abdominal pain
• a buildup of fluid in the abdomen
• a mass in the abdomen
• problems with bowel function
• weight loss

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma is often done through a series of tests on the lungs. Diagnosis may start out with a look into your medical history to see if you are at risk for such a conditions. If it is found that you've had a lot of exposure to asbestos fibers your doctor may start out with a physical examination followed by a chest x-ray and then some lung function testing. The x-ray can be used to check for the thickening of the pleural wall, which is often associated with mesothelioma. A cat scan is also taken and if the results show an abnormal amount of fluid, samples of this fluid are taken out via a pleural tap(chest drain), the cells in the fluid are then studied and if no malignant cells are found then although mesothelioma is not completely ruled out, it usually points to another type of condition. If this study of the fluid reveals malignant cells then a biopsy will be needed in order to finish diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Treatment of mesothelioma is very hard as the malignant cells that make up this cancer are very stubborn and do not take well to the different forms of treatment out there for most cancers today. Some of the common practices for treating mesothelioma are an extraction of the chest lining and or the inner chest lining is completely removed. Radiation and Chemotherapy has also been used but the results have not been very successful.

The people at risk for this type of cancer, and related diseases are mostly people who have had to work around products that were made of asbestos. These include electricians, plumbers, carpenters, sanitation workers, roofers, etc. It is estimated that today in America there are approx 800,000 people who suffer from some kind of asbestos related disease. It is also estimated that the deaths due to Asbestosis are on the rise from 127 in 1979 to 825 in 2005. Mesothelioma deaths have gone up from 153 in 1968 to 2037 in 2005 and plan to be at 2450 between 2011 and 2015.

Today for the most part asbestos has been completely taken out of everyday life products, and has been replaced with fiberglass and other less harmful materials. It was also found that through heating of asbestos to temperatures above 2500 degrees Celsius that these fibers are transformed into silicate glass that has been shown to be harmless. Today there are lawyers that specialize in Mesothelioma and asbestosis related cases, and may be able to help get you some compensation for suffering and medical costs.

Alternative Treatments For Lung Cancer

Alternative Treatments For Lung Cancer
By Steff X

If your doctor has told you that your lung cancer can't be cured, you may be tempted to turn to complementary and alternative medicine for answers. But this doesn't mean you have to choose between conventional treatments and alternative treatments. Rather than forgoing mainstream cancer treatments, using complementary and alternative treatments along with care from your doctor may be a reasonable option.

Your doctor can help you weigh the benefits and risks of complementary and alternative treatments. The American College of Chest Physicians reviewed available complementary and alternative treatments and found some therapies may be helpful for people with lung cancer, including acupuncture, hypnosis, massage, meditation and yoga

The alternative treatments above are basically palliative treatments aimed to lessen the side effects of chemotherapy and radiotherapy and not curing the cancer. Patients can then enjoy quality time and for longer period too.

However, some alternative treatments such as Vitamin C Intravenous Infusion and Baking Soda water have even reversed the cancer and convert cancer cells back to healthy ones. Combined with mostly vegan cancer-friendly diet, the recovery cases have doctors scratching their heads.

Basically alternative treatment works by reducing toxin in the body, strengthen the immune system, control the excessive acidity bodily environment that encourage tumor growth and infuse the blood with more oxygen that kill cancer cells. In other words, these treatments are strategically targeted yet they are generally gentle and non-invasive as opposed to conventional treatment. Even patients with weak health can undergo these treatments.

Some newer alternative cancer treatments are giving lung cancer patients new hope, but there are never any guarantees treating advanced lung cancer because there are so many things that can go wrong. The Brandt Grape Cure is always recommended as a replacement for the "cancer diet" of any other alternative cancer treatment. This diet involve eating only grapes to flood the body with the goodness of antioxidant.

Though going to an alternative treatment route is perceived to be healthier, cancer experts said they tend not to recommend the procedures. This is mainly because alternative treatments are not FDA-approved and have no clear proof of success. There aren't stats on alternative treatments because there are no sponsors and there are strict guidelines that must be followed in order to publish a statistic.

Health insurance does not cover the cost of alternative treatment, but the good news is alternative treatments need not cost a lot of money. Since this is the aspect that the patient have control over in his or her cancer battle, it is worth a try.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Hidden Secrets of Mesothelioma

The Hidden Secrets of Mesothelioma
By Joe Mandove

Mesothelioma is plastered all over television screens and billboards along site roads, however, the meaning of the cancer is still unknown to most United States citizens. To get straight to the point, Mesothelioma is a cancer that has no cure. There are two forms of this cancer. The pleural form is one of the types. This form is a cancer that develops around the lungs. The other form of cancer, which is much more rare, is a cancer of the stomach. This form of cancer is called Peritoneum cancer. Both of these forms are caused by exposure to asbestos. Usually, once exposed to asbestos, it will take anywhere from twenty to forty years for Mesothelioma to form. This does not meant that if you were a little kid and walked into a shed made primarily of this cardinogen material that twenty years from that time you would develop this life ending disease. Even workers who were exposed to asbestos day after day do not and will never get cancer. On the other, hand many industrial workers who handled asbestos every day for years will develop cancer and eventually die from it. This depends on your genetics and the length of time that you were exposed to asbestos. The majority of the people who do develop cancer are in fact blue collar low income laborers who touched asbestos day in and day out without even knowing it. The way they found out was by news or actually getting the symptoms of cancer. This would be like someone working at a Windex factory sitting down to watch the Nightly Evening news and learning that the chemicals in Windex have been discovered to cause cancer. This comparison goes to show the tragedy of Mesothelioma.

Another tragedy about this disease is that it currently has no cure. The only ways to treat Mesothelioma have little or no success. Helping the victim cope by form of moral support and pain numbing medication are as of today the best ways to deal with this asbestos caused disease.

Spreading knowledge about this incurable victims is the least United States citizens can do to help fight this cause. This is one of the only ways to help, since building resources for a cure for this cancer is one of the best ways to fight it.

The Three Forms Of Mesothelioma

The Three Forms Of Mesothelioma
By Joseph Devine

It seems that every other week there is a new area that is susceptible to Mesothelioma due to unrealized asbestos exposure. Last week it was asbestos fibers in toys. Who knows what it will be next week? In all of this, no one stops to consider that there are three different forms of the disease. As with all versions of cancer, some of the types of Mesothelioma are more severe or deadly than others. The three known types are Pleural, Peritoneal, and Pericardial. Their names basically derive from the area where the cancer is located.

Pleural Mesothelioma is caused by the formation of malignant tumors in the pleura. The pleura are the tissues that line the lungs and the chest cavity. In this form, fluid builds up between the lining or pleura and the lungs. When this happens, patients experience shortness of breath. That common indicator makes sense because if there is excessive fluid in the chest cavity, the lungs cannot expand properly. The shortness of breath is called pleural effusion. The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma often resemble pneumonia and other less serious afflictions. For this reason it is important to tell a doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma involves tumors and cancer developing in the lining of the abdominal cavity. This version occurs much less frequently than the Pleural variety but is still common enough. The symptoms include weight loss, abdominal swelling and pain, bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, and fever.

The third form of Mesothelioma is Pericardial. This form occurs in the pericardium which is the compartment in the chest that contains the heart and the roots of the major artery and vein systems. The symptoms of the Pericardial form are very similar to those of Pleural Mesothelioma as well as many less serious diseases. The main symptoms of Pericardial Mesothelioma are a constant cough, shortness of breath, chest pains, and palpitations. These same symptoms can show up in conjunction with any range of heart and lung issues.

All three of the forms of Mesothelioma are mainly caused by exposure to asbestos. While it occasionally pops up after no asbestos has been inhaled, the majority of cases (roughly 99%) are linked to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a fiber that gets into the lungs. It is common in a variety of industries and was a popular fire retardant material used to insulate buildings. Unfortunately, there is no way to tell when one is exposed to asbestos whether or not that same exposure will lead to Mesothelioma. Also, the disease generally takes decades to appear.

Pleural Mesothelioma is by far the most commonly occurring form of the deadly cancer. Like other cancers, Mesothelioma is capable of spreading from its original site to other parts of the body. It is particularly easy for the Pleural and Pericardial forms to spread because of the amount of blood flowing through the areas that they afflict. It only takes a few cells to take root elsewhere for the cancer to spread.

Fortunately, sometimes the infected areas can be removed from the body via surgery. The chemotherapy drugs that are in existence to treat the disease have not been shown to eradicate the problem so much as delay its progress. While this may not sound like a lot, delaying the progression of the disease can improve the quality of life of the patient which is all that can really be asked for in cases that are inoperable. With treatment, the general lifespan after diagnosis is roughly 18 months; however, some people have been known to live for four years. Without treatment, people generally have roughly four months to live.

While OSHA has made great strides in controlling the exposure and use of asbestos, it is still not a perfect system as sometimes people are not aware of a possible risk of exposure or even the presence of asbestos. For this reason, it is important for people that work in industry and construction (particularly those that re-model older buildings) learn all that they can about asbestos and Mesothelioma.

How Deadly is Mesothelioma Cancer?

How Deadly is Mesothelioma Cancer?
By Ramir Sarmiento

Mesothelioma cancer is one of the deadliest forms of cancer today, with a mortality rate so high that eight out of ten of those diagnosed pass away within a year of their diagnosis. Today, asbestos is banned in at least 60 countries, so the cancer is most often found in those who worked with asbestos mainly from the 1950s to the 1970s.

Asbestos is the name for the group of six different fibrous minerals, which occur naturally in the environment. It does not dissolve in water nor evaporate, and they have no detectable odor and taste.

It has a tendency to separate in to microscopic size particles that will remain in the air, and easily inhaled. Most people develop the cancer on a job where they inhaled asbestos particle, or have been exposed to dust fibre.

Once asbestos is inhaled, it comes through the respiratory passage. These fibre lodge themselves in the mesothelial cell around the lungs. It can cause direct damage to the lungs traveling to the end of their small passage reaching pleural are surrounding the lungs.

There are many different names of Mesothelioma cancer such as pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial because of the different location of the cancer on the body's internal organ.

Being positive from Mesothelioma cancer need much attention. In common cases, the patient or victim is diagnosed and it was too late to do anything, to save one's life.

A worker must take necessary precautions when dealing with asbestos fibers to minimize some health problems.

Tips to Prevent Mesothelioma cancer:

-Always wear a protected suit before doing your job. Asbestos particles need not to be able to enter inside your suit.

-Bring extra clothes after work. Change your clothes before going home to avoid the possibilities of inhaling it together with your loved ones.

-Always wear a high-quality dust mask inside the facility.

Mesothelioma cancer is particularly difficult to diagnose, as the symptoms do not tend to become evident until the final stages of the disease. A very important characteristic of asbestos cancer is the long delay, or latency period, between exposure and the beginning of the disease.

The Leading Causes of Mesothelioma

The Leading Causes of Mesothelioma
By Alex Scott

What is mesothelioma and how does one get it? When you learn and understand mesothelioma causes, you will know how to avoid this condition and if you already have been diagnosed with it, it will help you determine what may have caused it. For many years, people were unaware of what caused this type of cancer. We now know that 9 out of 10 cases are caused by exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos is a natural mineral that is mined from the rocks in many countries. People who worked in mines were often exposed as well as people who worked in construction because asbestos was used in insulation for homes and buildings. Asbestos fibers are very tiny but strong as steel and can be woven similar to cotton and are resistant to chemicals and to heat.

Prior to around the 1980s, asbestos was commonly used in homes for many different uses. It was also used in construction and ship building. Then it was discovered that when the asbestos is damaged, it releases these tiny fibers that get into the lungs and make it difficult to breathe. These fibers build up in the lungs and cause inflammation and fibrosis. In some cases, this can also lead to cancer in the lungs.

It was in the 1960s that we first began to make the links between asbestos and mesothelioma. In addition to causing lung problems and possible cancer, the fibers from asbestos can be swallowed and this causes problems in the digestive system as well.

Some people and professions that may have been exposed to asbestos. Examples of professions include construction workers, boilermakers, electricians, plumbers, demolition workers, shipbuilders and people who lives or worked with people in these profession or people who lived and worked in places where asbestos was made. People who lived or worked in buildings that had asbestos in them are also at risk. If any of these conditions match you and you were diagnosed with mesothelioma, it was probably caused by this asbestos.

Family members of people who were exposed to asbestos are sometimes affected if the person came home with asbestos on their clothing and bodies. There are rare cases where people have developed this type of cancer and have not been exposed to asbestos. The exact cause of this is unknown but it has been linked to some cases of radiation exposure.

This cancer can appear from 10-60 years after your first exposure to asbestos and this is what made it so long to discover what was causing most cases. There are still people who were exposed years ago that may have yet to have been diagnosed with cancer but it doesn't mean they don't have it or won't get it in the future. Mesothelioma takes time to develop and the more your exposure to asbestos, likely the more severe your symptoms may be.

Mesothelioma is not contagious and it is not spread through coughing, eating or drinking after another person or in any other common way. If someone you know has this type of cancer, you can't catch it from them. There is also no research to show that smoking cigarettes increases your risk of developing mesothelioma. However, if you have already been diagnosed with it, you will likely be advised to stop smoking as it can make your condition worse.

Regardless of what causes your disease, the diagnosis and treatment processes will likely all be the same. However, it is good for many people to try to determine the cause of how they obtained their mesothelioma and in some cases, you may even be able to start a lawsuit against the place that you were exposed in if the exposure occurred after the public had been made aware of the danger. You will need a mesothelioma lawyer to help you with this and you will need to be able to prove your what caused your cancer.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Saturday, April 14, 2007

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare disease caused as a result of malignant cancerous cells lining the patient's body cavities such as chest, abdominal region or the area surrounding the heart. It is typically associated with exposure to asbestos which has been documented in as many as 70-80% of all mesothelioma cases. This disease is very difficult to assess consistently due to the great variability in time before diagnosis and the rate of progression of malignant mesothelioma.

Even insignificant exposure to asbestos (commonly reported in such work environments as asbestos mills, mines, shipping yards, some older Navy ships or patients homes) is known to result in mesothelioma, which in many cases does not occur for decades after initial exposure to this cancer-causing substance. In the recent years as many as 2000-3000 cases of mesothelioma have been diagnosed per year. It is also known that family members of workers exposed to asbestos can contract this disease through exposure to the worker.s clothing.

Smoking greatly increases the risk of contracting mesothelioma.

Some of the earliest symptoms of mesothelioma can often be mistaken for less serious illness and are commonly overlooked. Some patients do not show any signs of sickness in the early stages of development of the disease. Most commonly the symptoms include dyspnea, pleuritic pain, lasting cough, fatigue, and weight loss. However, these can not be easily attributed to mesothelioma unless the patient is examined by their health care provider and necessary tests are done, which may include CT scans, x-rays scans, or MRI. Surgery can be one of the treatment options; however, the recurrence rate of cancerous cells is high. It is very important that the disease is diagnosed and treated as early as possible.

This disease is not linked with patient's race; however it is more common in men. Most cases of mesothelioma occur 30-45 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Once it develops, this cancer will continue to grow until it is treated.

Mesothelioma Treatment: What You Can Do

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, remember that time matters. The faster you consult your doctor and get professional care the better your chances will be of dealing with this dangerous cancer. There are three traditional methods of fighting cancerous mesothelioma: surgery, chemotherapy drugs and radiation therapy. Please contact your doctor as soon as possible to get more information.