Asbestos Mesothelioma

Asbestos Mesothelioma is cancer within the lining cells of the lungs, and the chest cavity (peritoneum) or the lining of the heart (pericardium). Generally, patients diagnosed with Asbestos Mesothelioma have at some point in their lives come in contact with asbestos, either at home or at their jobs. Unfortunately, it takes many years for cancer … Continue reading “Asbestos Mesothelioma”

Asbestos Mesothelioma is cancer within the lining cells of the lungs, and the chest cavity (peritoneum) or the lining of the heart (pericardium). Generally, patients diagnosed with Asbestos Mesothelioma have at some point in their lives come in contact with asbestos, either at home or at their jobs. Unfortunately, it takes many years for cancer to develop in these cases and people who were exposed as long as 50 years ago are just now being diagnosed. This is a very controversial cancer, resulting in many legislation changes regarding the use of asbestos and many lawsuits against the companies that continued to use the substance knowing it presented a potential serious hazard.

Asbestos is a fibrous material that was often used for its great insulating properties. When intact, the fibers perform effectively and provide no danger to humans. However, the fibrous material breaks down tremendously with age, and when the individual fibers are inhaled into the lungs, asbestosis may occur in exposed individuals. Asbestosis is a condition where the lungs develop scar tissue.

This scarring can and in most cases does result in the onset of Asbestos Mesothelioma. One of the most dangerous cancers known to the medical community, this condition has been the reason for controversy surrounding the use of asbestos at all. Generally, buildings with asbestos require complete removal and quarantine of all materials until inspections are performed.

In this type of cancer, the lining of the lungs becomes inflamed, cells grow abnormally and the condition is extremely painful for the patient. The condition can be either benign or malignant, both requiring treatment although only the malignant variety is known to spread to surrounding tissues and organs in the body.

The incubation period for this type of cancer can range from twenty to fifty years from the time of exposure. Many new cases are being discovered every day; however the number of new cases is anticipated to heavily decline as a result of removal and regulatory efforts regarding the use of asbestos.

Shortness of breath and chest pain are the two most commonly reported signs of asbestos Mesothelioma, however other symptoms may include rapid weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling, anemia, bowel obstruction and unexplained fevers. If you were ever exposed to asbestos and you experience these symptoms it is imperative to get to a doctor as soon as possible for testing.

If the cancer has spread, you may also experience trouble swallowing or facial swelling and pain.

Treatment for this type of cancer will vary on the patient, their general health and the stage of the disease. Commonly used treatment options are chemotherapy, radiation and in some cases surgery. Prognosis will be determined after complete testing, and will depend on the severity of the cancer.

Mesothelioma Cancer

The most commonly occurring type of Mesothelioma Cancer is Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer, which attacks the cells that line the lungs. The second most commonly occurring variety is Peritoneal, which attacks the cells that line the stomach. Generally, Mesothelioma is cancer that affects the cells that line the inside of a human organ, such as the heart, kidneys, lungs and stomach.

Mesothelioma Cancer is a fast developing and fast spreading cancer that often goes unnoticed in the earlier stages. The primary symptoms include chest pain or discomfort in the lower back. Pleural will share the symptoms of viral pneumonia in most patients, and only after several attempts to treat the patient for pneumonia is the cancer likely to be discovered. Most commonly affected is the right lung, which is affected in 60% of all diagnosed cases of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer.

The symptoms commonly shared in Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer include bowel obstruction, stomach pain, distention of the abdomen and severe nausea. Because this type of cancer spreads more rapidly than other types, it is imperative that when a patient suspects that they may have it, they contact their doctor immediately.

Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer accounts for almost all known Mesothelioma cases. It is often associated with exposure to asbestos, prior to the days of serious regulation of the material.

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma Cancer is almost always made from the results of radiology tests in combination with a tissue biopsy from the affected tissue. CT Scans and MRIs are also considered useful tests for the diagnosis and staging process of Mesothelioma Cancer.

The sooner a diagnosis is made – the better the chances of treatment. Right now, there are currently a huge number of clinical trials in which Mesothelioma Cancer patients are invited to participate. Some of the trials have specific demographics that they need, while others are open to all patients. http://www.mesotheliomaweb.org/clinical.htm provides a list of current clinical trials.

What is Cancer?

Cancer occurs when cells within the human body develop abnormalities and begin to multiply at abnormally fast rates. The result is the growth of tumors in or on the surface of the body and organs. Tumors may be benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancerous). Because normal cell development and duplication is a slow process which is well-controlled, it is apparent when cells duplicate so rapidly.

Malignant tumors require immediate containment and treatment, as malignant growths may expand rapidly and metastasize (spread throughout the body) at an alarming rate. Metastasis are secondary tumors which can appear at any location throughout the body, which are a direct effect of cancer spreading via blood and lymph nodes.

Cancer is merely a term used to describe a large variety of diseases, impacting very different parts of the body in very different ways. There are two large categories into which all cancer types can be separated: hematological, which are blood borne cancers and solid tumors, which are the growths described above. Each type of cancer has a unique name, most of the time coming from the area of the body which is primarily affected. For example, soft tissue cancers are cancerous growths which occur within the deep muscle or connecting tissues throughout the body. Melanoma is a type of skin cancer, which affects cells containing skin pigments.

As the leading cause of death in the United States, cancer receives a huge amount of attention from researchers and research hospitals dedicated to determining the cause and searching for cures. Approximately one half of men and one third of women will develop some type of cancer during their lifetime. Optimism is the key, however, as millions of people are now living cancer free thanks to the efforts of researchers and the donations of people across the world.

Everyone is at risk for developing cancer; however lifestyle changes such as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake could increase a person’s chance of not developing some cancers. Also, healthy living and dietary choices can also ensure that should a person get cancer they are more able to fight it. It is also important to see your physician for exams on a regular basis in order to ensure that proper testing can be done if a problem is suspected.

Some cancers are gender specific, however even breast cancer can be found in 1% of men in the United States. Women are susceptible to ovarian, uterine and vaginal cancer while men only can contract penile and prostate cancer.