Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cancer. Show all posts

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Asbestos - Mesothelioma

    Asbestos is the biggest work place killer today.  Those who have worked with asbestos or who are regularly in contact with someone who has are at risk from asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma.  All these are fatal respiratory diseases which are extremely difficult to cure.  Research is being carried out in various research labs all over the USA and many pharmaceutical companies are also endeavouring to find new drugs and treatment methods.

One rare disease caused by asbestos which is becoming increasingly common is mesothelioma.  Although unknown by many today, it is almost certain that awareness of this disease will be broadcasted worldwide because of its increasing occurrence in men aged between 55 and 70.  Many of these men are now lodging multi million dollar lawsuits against the companies who subjected them to asbestos.  Those most at risk from mesothelioma are those who have been in regular contact with asbestos dust and fibres without sufficient protection.  Just a couple of months of exposure to asbestos can lead to mesothelioma 30 years later.  The latency period (amount of time the disease takes to start taking effect) of mesothelioma is 30 - 50 years which is one of the reasons it is so difficult to cure because it is very difficult to tackle in its early stages.  Another reason it is so difficult to cure is that its early symptoms are characteristic of many other more common diseases such as pneumonia.

Mesothelioma symptoms include:

- Chest pains
- Coughing that worsens over time
- Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Coughing up blood
- Nausea and vomiting
- Fatigue
- Wheezing
- Lung infection
- Swollen lymph nodes
- Loss of appetite

A patient will feel symptoms depending on which type of mesothelioma he or she has got.  For information on the different types of mesothelioma

In the next 35 years it is estimated that over 1 million people will die from asbestos related diseases in developed countries.  Most of these people will die from lung cancer and mesothelioma as these two are the most prolific asbestos related diseases.


Mesothelioma Information FAQ

      Pericardial mesothelioma is a serious heart condition which consists of cancerous cells building up on the lining of the heart.  Similarly to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, this is a terminal illness due to the importance of the area on which it grows.

What causes pericardial mesothelioma and who are most at risk?

The primary cause of pericardial mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.  Therefore those at risk are those who are most likely to have inhaled these deadly fibres such as construction workers and asbestos manufacturers.  Those in contact with these people also have a chance of getting pericardial mesothelioma because these people may have asbestos fibres stuck to their clothes or hair.

What are the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma?

The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma change from patient to patient.  Usual symptoms include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations.  Other symptoms patients may experience are nausea, weight loss, vomiting and loss of appetite.

What are the treatments available for pericardial mesothelioma?

There are various different treatments for pericardial mesothelioma although none of these have a high success rate.  Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, dual therapy and surgery are the treatment methods available.  Chemotherapy includes using drugs to kill off cancerous cells and radiation therapy uses doses of radiation to kill cancer cells although this is difficult in the case of pericardial mesothelioma due to the surrounding vital organs such as the heart and lungs.  Dual therapy is a treatment combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy. Surgery comes in two forms; aggressive surgery and palliative procedures.  Aggressive surgery is a very difficult procedure and consists of removing large chunks of cancerous cells in an attempt to gain long term control over the cancer.  Palliative procedures just attempts to lessen the symptoms for the patient.

How much exposure to asbestos is needed for there to be a possibility of getting pericardial mesothelioma?

This depends on how strong and resistant the person is to disease and on the concentration of asbestos in the environment around him.  It is possible to get pericardial mesothelioma from as little as a couple of months of exposure to asbestos although on average it would take a couple of years for enough asbestos fibres to build up to cause cancer.

What is the prognosis for pericardial mesothelioma?

This is highly dependent on how early and how aggressively the cancer is treated.  If pericardial mesothelioma is treated when it has fully developed and matured then the chances of a patient’s survival is very small.  The prognosis could be only a couple of months.

Is there any promising research into cures for pericardial mesothelioma?

Research into cures of pericardial mesothelioma and all other forms of mesothelioma is being done in numerous research labs all over the USA.  Many pharmaceutical companies are also working hard to research new drugs for chemotherapy.  So far, research has been mostly unsuccessful.


10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

     As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.

It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:

1.    If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy.  Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.

2.    Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.

3.    Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.

4.    Biological therapy using interleukin 2.

5.    Immunotherapy where the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.

6.    Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy. 

7.    Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.

8.    Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.

9.    Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.

10.    Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy. 

Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.


Friday, May 2, 2014

Who is in danger from carcinoma cancer?

    Mesothelioma may be a deadly cancer that is fairly rare though within the previous couple of decades the quantity of individuals WHO have died from it have dramatically multiplied. carcinoma is caused by exposure to amphibole while not adequate protection. once someone is exposed to amphibole, he or she inhales little amphibole fibres that ar suspended within the air.  These fibres pass into the systema respiratorium and find yourself turning into lodged within the lungs. associate degree accumulation of amphibole fibres within the lining of the lungs like this will cause near  cells to deform and eventually results in what\'s referred to as serosa carcinoma.  Accumulation of amphibole fibres within the serous membrane (lining of the abdomen) will cause serous membrane carcinoma and build from fibres round the tissue of the guts will cause serous membrane carcinoma. amphibole fibres reach these places over time or as a result of they need been transported there by the systema lymphaticum.
Mesothelioma contains a terribly massive latency phase (time between obtaining the cancer and feeling the symptoms of it). this era is typically between thirty – fifty years so someone WHO bears carcinoma is unlikely to grasp that they need got it. this can be why carcinoma is thus laborious to diagnose in its early stages as a result of it shows no symptoms and therefore the few symptoms that it will show like unhealthy and shortness of breath ar typical of much more common diseases like respiratory disease.  The probability of being cured depends mostly on however early and the way sharply the cancer is treated.  If it\'s treated once it\'s totally developed and matured then it\'s very tough to cure.
In this manner, those in danger ar people who have worked amongst amphibole.  Construction staff, amphibole makers or people who have lived at intervals a mile of associate degree amphibole manufactory ar the people that have the most important contact with amphibole. people who ar in reality with these folks are in danger as a result of amphibole fibres will persist with garments and hair. the bulk of individuals WHO ar discovering that they need carcinoma ar aged men of regarding sixty – seventy.  This was the generation that worked with amphibole plenty while not adequate protection. several of those men ar currently lodging multi million greenback lawsuits against the businesses WHO exposed them to the hazards of amphibole.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The largest Man Made Epidemic : Mesothelioma

It is documented that Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s until the 1970’s.  As a tragic consequence, Australia now has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world.  With more than 500 Australians contracting mesothelioma per year, it is estimated that up to 18,000 Australians will die from this asbestos related cancer by the year 2020.
Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos, there are many people who have not heard of Mesothelioma.  This asbestos related cancer is defined as: a malignant spreading tumor of the mesothelium of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum, arising form the inhalation of asbestos fibers. 
One of the most baffling and frightening known facts concerning Mesothelioma is that many years may pass, between inhalation of asbestos dust and its deadly legacy of disease;  it is not uncommon for four decades or more to pass before symptoms due to asbestos dust inhalation become apparent.
In November 2004,  I was an invited speaker at the Global Asbestos Congress 2004, held in Tokyo Japan.  Over 800 participants from 40 countries around the world were in attendance. To be a part of such a large gathering of fellow humans, united in a quest to rid the poison of asbestos from our environments was an intensely moving experience.  Having lost my husband to mesothelioma I know first hand the suffering this cruel disease places on its innocent victims. 
There were many speakers and each told a tale, of pain, death and heartache.  We listened, we understood and we ached for the past, present and future victims of the killer asbestos and its legacy of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.  We listened and we were shocked and angered to learn that despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the increasing incidence of asbestos related disease, there remains some countries who are mining asbestos with little or no regard for their workers or people who will come into contact with asbestos products.
 Asbestos disease Association member’s world wide are working tirelessly and fighting almost insurmountable odds to ban asbestos from all countries of the world.  It is a sobering and frightening fact, that even if we were successful in this quest, the legacy of asbestos related diseases will continue for five decades.
Add your voice to the many who want this killer product erased from the worlds environments – Add your voice to the call that pleads for adequate compensation for victims and their families
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) continues to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the incurable and often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is quickly expanding and uniting veterans, fire-fighters, shipbuilders, teachers and thousands of other innocent people around the world. Asbestos Awareness leads to education, prevention, new treatments and ultimately a cure.

 

Monday, March 17, 2014

The 3 Main Types


In general, mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer.  Different types of mesothelioma are distinguished between by where the cancer is growing.  Pleural mesothelioma, the most common, accounting for 75% of all mesothelioma cases, is where cancerous cells develop on the lining of the lungs.  The next most common form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma and this is where cancerous cells grow on the peritoneum which is the lining of the abdomen.  Pericardial mesothelioma, the least common major form of mesothelioma, makes up roughly 5% of all mesothelioma cases.  This is where malignant cancer cells grow on the lining of the heart.

All three of these forms of mesothelioma are caused by asbestos.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring fibrous mineral that was discovered around the 1860s.  Due to its highly useful property of being fireproof, asbestos was used greatly in construction in the 1920s, 1930s and 1940s.  It was not until the early 1960s when the severe health hazards that asbestos causes were discovered, that asbestos stopped being used.  When exposed to asbestos with insufficient protection a person will breathe in tiny asbestos fibres which are suspended in the air.  These fibres pass into the respiratory system until they become lodged in the lining of the lungs.  Over time, an accumulation of these asbestos fibres in the lungs can cause pleural mesothelioma.  Asbestos fibres may also pass into the lymphatic system and be transported to either the lining of the abdomen or the tissue surrounding the heart.  This may cause either peritoneal mesothelioma or pericardial mesothelioma.
In terms of symptoms, the three main types of mesothelioma have some symptoms in common with each other.  These symptoms are usual of all three types: chest pain, shortness of breath, coughing, coughing up blood, vomiting, nausea, weight loss and loss of appetite.  An additional symptom of pericardial mesothelioma is palpitations. 
There are a few treatments for all types of mesothelioma but none of these have a high success rate.  The effectiveness of the treatment depends on how early and how aggressively the cancer is treated.  If the cancerous cells are treated when they have fully matured and developed then it is unlikely that treatment methods will be successful.  Treatment methods include chemotherapy which is the use of drugs to kill the cancer, radiation therapy which uses a radiation dosage to kill off cancerous cells and surgery which attempts to gain long term control over the cancer by removing a large portion of malignant cells.  These treatment methods can be combined in the form of dual therapy.
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Sunday, March 16, 2014

Mesothelioma

Tragically the word mesothelioma is becoming more and more well known, the mere mention of it striking fear into all of us for we know that it is associated with death.  Asbestos is the reaper, mesothelioma its hand maiden. 
Asbestos, the wonder product of the fifties is now recognized as an enemy of the twentieth century. A ruthless enemy which will kill more people than the war.  Men, women and children will fall victim to its prey, innocents who have at some time in their lives inhaled asbestos dust. 
Most of us have been in contact with products containing asbestos in our life times.  We sat in asbestos class rooms, stood beside our fathers as they cut asbestos fencing, pulled up old linoleum with asbestos clogged to the back of it.  Visited the local tip where broken sheets of it lay open to the wind.

Records show that there are a higher number of people afflicted with asbestosis and mesothelioma who have directly worked in asbestos mines, ship yards and companies making products from asbestos; however there are a large number of people afflicted, who have never worked in these industries.  Their contact with asbestos, due to the dust brought home on their husband’s clothes or from the asbestos tailings placed around mine houses and town perimeters.  But the tragedy does not end there, children innocently playing in their own back yards played amongst the asbestos tailings as children elsewhere play in the sand.  They had no way of knowing that their sand was asbestos blue.  A good bath at the end of the day may have removed the dust from the skin but the dust in the lungs remained and would lay dormant for many years before claiming its deadly legacy.
Without warning, a healthy individual suddenly becomes short of breath, x-rays reveal fluid on the lungs and the night mare begins.  Questions are asked and you answer, Yes, I was exposed to asbestos dust but I was only in the town for a few short months and that was over 40 years ago.  How can this be? This is the most perplexing thing about mesothelioma.  Why is there such a long period of time between inhalation of asbestos dust and onset of the disease?  What triggers a strong healthy body to suddenly succumb to it?  What can we do to prevent this from happening?
Blood tests are now available to determine whether mesothelioma is present in the body, before a person is aware of any symptoms.  This is an amazing breakthrough and perhaps the first step towards curing the disease before it becomes terminal.  Recently mesothelioma was cured in a mouse and attempts to give it back to the mouse were unsuccessful.  This too is exciting stuff and holds a glimmer of hope for us all. 
I have witnessed first hand the devastation of mesothelioma. My husband was a strong and virile man who rarely had a sick day in his life.  Suddenly at the age of 52 he became short of breath and was subsequently diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma.  He had lived in the asbestos mining town of Wittenoom in Western Australia for a few short months at the age of seven.  The asbestos dust he inhaled then, took forty five years to become lethal.  I still find this hard to believe.
Despite his prognosis of three to nine months, Brian survived for two years.  He was 54 years old when he died.

 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Living In Fear Of Mesothelioma

First of all, you may be wondering what mesothelioma is, and why I should be scared of it ?.....
Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is the medical name for cancer of the lung, and is usually caused by exposure to asbestos. Symptoms my not appear for up to 50 years or so after exposure to asbestos, and people who haven't had any contact with asbestos for many years, are now showing signs of having this deadly disease. The symptoms are usually shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains and feeling very tired.

Why should I be scared of it ?

As a small child, I used to live near a factory which used asbestos to make fire-proof products and other insulating materials for the building industry. I believe that asbestos was also used in the manufacture of break linings. I can remember seeing the asbestos dust that spewed out of the factory covering the surrounding area (including part of our school playground) with this deadly snow like powder. Of course, as we were just kids at that time, we had absolutely no idea just how deadly this dust was. We even played in it completely unaware of its dangers.
The Horror Came Later.
It wasn't until years later after the factory had been closed down, that we began to see the full horrors of this white snow looking powder, we had played with as children. By this time I was much older, and the dangers of asbestos had been given massive coverage by the media, so I was now aware of what could happen to myself and hundreds of other people who lived in the same area as this factory in years to come.
TV Documentary.
This factory received national television coverage, and on one program they interviewed families who had suffered due to the problem of asbestos. I was shocked to see that I knew some of the people who had lost family members due to developing mesothelioma, in fact I actually went to school with some of the people who took part in the program. The program showed old photographs of the area around the factory (including my old school) covered in powder, and it really did look like it had been snowing. When you see all of this on television it really does make you just a little bit worried, especially when you have been in contact with asbestos like I have.

Treatments.

If mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, a cure is possible with a combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. However, in the case of a more advanced illness a cure is not possible, but with the right treatments the illness can be slowed down dramatically and medication can be used to ease any pain.
X-Rays.
As a precaution I did have x-rays a few years ago just to put my mind at rest, and thankfully they were all clear. The doctor recommended that I should have x-rays on a very regular basis just to be on the safe side. So, at the moment everything is ok, but I will always be just a little bit worried of what might happen in the future.

 

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Asbestos Killed my Husband

    In December 1999, my husband and I were walking home from a game of lawn bowls when I became aware of his shortness of breath. I was surprised and concerned when he told me that he had experienced this on several occasions. Believing this to be due to chest a infection, I made a doctor’s appointment for him the next day.
Chest X-rays revealed fluid on the lungs, over two litres of which was drained, giving Brian immediate relief, but it was a tense wait for the pathology results. Through the Internet I had become aware of several conditions which may have been responsible for fluid on the lung; these included asbestos- related diseases. Brian had lived in Wittenoom as a child and I was afraid of his diagnosis. Not wanting to worry him unnecessarily, I did not mention my fears to him. I prayed that he had pleurisy or pneumonia but the pathology results revealed that there were cancer cells present.
When Brian finally received his diagnosis, my worst nightmare became reality. He had pleural mesothelioma, a terminal cancer of the lung caused by the inhalation of asbestos dust. We found it inconceivable that the disease was the result of Brian inhaling asbestos dust as a child and that it had lain dormant for forty-five years before become lethal.
We were still reeling from the shock when, without preamble, the young doctor gave his prognosis. His exact words were, “Three to nine months, I reckon”. That he could say this so unfeelingly amazed me. His total lack of compassion did not encourage even the small comfort of tears. I felt as if Brian and I had been shot and from that moment on we were waiting to drop.
Undoubtedly, were mortally wounded. We suffered shock, disbelief, anger, helplessness and utter despair; in fact all the symptoms of grief one feels when a loved one has actually died. Suddenly, we had no control over our lives, our journey through terminal illness had begun.
Throughout the course of our married life my deep love for Brian and my determination to resolve difficulties had seen us through many trials. I found it hard to believe that nothing could be done to save his life and begun surfing the Internet for information regarding mesothelioma, all the time praying for a miracle, hoping against hope to find a doctor who had successfully operated on or cured someone of it.
It was a sad realization to discover that for Brian there were no miracles; however, I learned a lot and it helped me to accept that he was dying. With my acceptance came a fierce determination to ease his burden. I continued to seek information regarding mesothelioma and the pain and symptoms Brian would experience, due to the progression of his disease. In this way, I came to understand the importance of pain management and symptom control and realized that although I could not stop Brian from dying – I could help him to live.
My acquired knowledge regarding pain and symptom management enabled me to communicate with Brian and to understand the type of pain he was experiencing and the intensity of that pain. I was then able to work hand in hand with his doctors, to bring his pain and symptoms under control. As my efforts resulted in his improved quality of life, I lost my sense of helplessness and gained strength.
Together, we achieved for Brian, a quality of life few thought possible, considering the nature of his disease. Testament to this, despite his prognosis of three to nine months, Brian survived for 2 years, remained active and alert, drove his car for eighteen months after diagnosis and was not bed bound until three short days prior to his death.
Brian's courageous battle with mesothelioma came to an end on the 24th December 2001; he passed away at home surrounded by his loved ones. He was 54 years old.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Asbestos Home Testing- Prevention Is Better Than Cure

Asbestos home testing is a process of testing the presence of asbestos in homes in general and building materials in particular. Asbestos is a mineral fiber resistant to heat, chemicals, and electricity. Building and insulation industries made widespread use of asbestos in their operations. Asbestos is commonly used in your homes in one form or the other. Some building materials that may contain asbestos materials are vinyl floor tiles; patching compounds textured paints, furnace and stovepipe, insulation, stove door gaskets, roofing shingles, cement, and siding material. Asbestos was most commonly used until early 1970s in various home appliances, such as toasters, clothes dryers, and hair dryers. Now, government has laid norms for the use of asbestos and its exposure. Asbestos home testing is essential because exposure to and inhalation of Asbestos fibers is dangerous to health. Friable asbestos materials in homes, industries and appliances could lead to serious asbestos related diseases. Following people are more vulnerable to Asbestos-related diseases: Works in industries and mines Construct Buildings Make ceilings Perform Ceiling insulation Apart from these persons all other persons who live in houses having asbestos contaminated building material or are involved in use or repair of appliances and products that contain asbestos can also contact asbestos diseases. This makes asbestos home testing a necessary process for all homes that are built before 1980s and all the people who are using appliances and or products that could contain asbestos materials. Health Hazards Of Asbestos Undamaged Asbestos cannot cause any health hazards. When asbestos is exposed to hitting, rubbing, or extreme vibration, its wear and tear occurs and shows signs of abrasion. Asbestos is only harmful, when damaged, and its fiber gets mixed with air. You can determine the status and stability of asbestos products by asbestos home testing. Asbestos home testing is compulsory because asbestos exposure could lead to fatal diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma cancers. Asbestos may harm you only if you inhale asbestos fiber. There are no safe levels of asbestos exposure and even short-term exposure to asbestos creates a possibility of your catching any disease caused by asbestos. Removing Asbestos From Home It is not possible to perform asbestos testing in home. You need qualified professional to test the presence of asbestos in your home. Asbestos abatement is the process of determining the status of asbestos material and taking corrective measures for preventing risk of asbestos exposure. It is not necessary that you have to remove all the asbestos material from your home. You can also opt for economic measures such as enclosures and encapsulation for preventing the risk of asbestos exposure even without removing the Asbestos Containing Materials.

An Understanding Of Mesothelioma Cause

Mesothelioma cause refers to the thing or event responsible for mesothelioma cancers. Mesothelioma is a cancerous disease of the lining of abdominal organs, lungs and heart. Almost all the cases of mesothelioma disease somehow or the other are linked with exposure to asbestos particles. Exposure to asbestos particles could cause mesothelioma even if the level of exposure is very low. Studies reveal that about 70 to 80 % of total mesothelioma cases have a history of asbestos exposure thereby identifying asbestos as the single largest mesothelioma cause. Occurrence of mesothelioma without any history of exposure to asbestos particles is very rare.
Some Facts about Mesothelioma Cause Asbestos exposure is the only known mesothelioma cause. Asbestos is a group of naturally occurring minerals. It contains strong and flexible fibers. One can separate these fibers in to thin threads. Commercial use of asbestos started in late nineteenth century. It was widely used because of its durability and ability to withstand high temperatures. Asbestos was widely used in brake linings, cement, roofing shingles, textile, flooring, insulation and many other industrial products. Small asbestos particles remain suspended in the course of manufacturing of these products. Asbestos workers, their family members those residing near asbestos manufacturing industries could easily inhale asbestos fibers that could cause mesothelioma and other asbestos diseases. The biggest mesothelioma cause is the negligence of asbestos manufacturers. Manufacturers continued using asbestos even after being aware of its harmful effects. They did not issue any warnings or take necessary precautions to prevent asbestos exposure to the workers. Had they been sincere in their responsibilities, many people suffering from mesothelioma and dangerous asbestos related diseases would have been healthy and happy. Smoking Increases Mesothelioma Risk Experts are of the opinion that smoking in itself is not a mesothelioma cause. Nevertheless, it increases the risk of pleural mesothelioma – the mesothelioma of the linings of the lungs. Studies have revealed that smokers with asbestos exposure have an increased mesothelioma risk when compared to non-smokers with similar exposure to asbestos particles. Preventive Measures against Mesothelioma Cause Studies have reveled that family members of asbestos workers have suffered with mesothelioma. The mesothelioma cause in this case is the asbestos dust particles settled on the clothes, shoes and hair of the asbestos workers that their family members inhaled. Workers should shower and change their clothing to avoid the possibility of exposing family members to asbestos particles. Workers should also put on protective equipments to reduce the risk of asbestos exposure.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

All Pericardial Mesothelioma Information FAQ

 What is pericardial mesothelioma?
Pericardial mesothelioma is a serious heart condition which consists of cancerous cells building up on the lining of the heart.  Similarly to pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma, this is a terminal illness due to the importance of the area on which it grows.
What causes pericardial mesothelioma and who are most at risk?
The primary cause of pericardial mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos dust and fibres.  Therefore those at risk are those who are most likely to have inhaled these deadly fibres such as construction workers and asbestos manufacturers.  Those in contact with these people also have a chance of getting pericardial mesothelioma because these people may have asbestos fibres stuck to their clothes or hair.
What are the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma?
The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma change from patient to patient.  Usual symptoms include persistent coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations.  Other symptoms patients may experience are nausea, weight loss, vomiting and loss of appetite.
What are the treatments available for pericardial mesothelioma?
There are various different treatments for pericardial mesothelioma although none of these have a high success rate.  Chemotherapy, radiation therapy, dual therapy and surgery are the treatment methods available.  Chemotherapy includes using drugs to kill off cancerous cells and radiation therapy uses doses of radiation to kill cancer cells although this is difficult in the case of pericardial mesothelioma due to the surrounding vital organs such as the heart and lungs.  Dual therapy is a treatment combining radiation therapy with chemotherapy. Surgery comes in two forms; aggressive surgery and palliative procedures.  Aggressive surgery is a very difficult procedure and consists of removing large chunks of cancerous cells in an attempt to gain long term control over the cancer.  Palliative procedures just attempts to lessen the symptoms for the patient.
How much exposure to asbestos is needed for there to be a possibility of getting pericardial mesothelioma?
This depends on how strong and resistant the person is to disease and on the concentration of asbestos in the environment around him.  It is possible to get pericardial mesothelioma from as little as a couple of months of exposure to asbestos although on average it would take a couple of years for enough asbestos fibres to build up to cause cancer.
What is the prognosis for pericardial mesothelioma?
This is highly dependent on how early and how aggressively the cancer is treated.  If pericardial mesothelioma is treated when it has fully developed and matured then the chances of a patient’s survival is very small.  The prognosis could be only a couple of months.
Is there any promising research into cures for pericardial mesothelioma?
Research into cures of pericardial mesothelioma and all other forms of mesothelioma is being done in numerous research labs all over the USA.  Many pharmaceutical companies are also working hard to research new drugs for chemotherapy.  So far, research has been mostly unsuccessful.

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient. It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include: 1. If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy. Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease. 2. Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue. 3. Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery. 4. Biological therapy using interleukin 2.
  mesothelioma

5. Immunotherapy where the body’s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer. 6. Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy. 7. Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug. 8. Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues. 9. Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it. 10. Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy. Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being. In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.