Monday, March 22, 2010

What is Mesothelioma? The Answers You Need

MesotheliomaImage by Pulmonary Pathology via Flickr
Mesothelioma is a highly-aggressive type of cancer that develops in the tissue that lines and protects the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs. That protective tissue lining is called the mesothelium, hence the medical term for this type of cancer - Mesothelioma.

The vast majority of the time, Mesothelioma develops as a result of an individual having been exposed to asbestos. Most of the people who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma have inhaled it or were exposed to asbestos dust or fibers through contact with clothing that contained the particles. The majority of prognoses are the result of individuals who worked in asbestos factories or other facilities that utilized asbestos-based compounds during the 1940s and mid-century when the hazards of it weren't known - the symptoms can lay dormant for up to 50 years. Mesothelioma diagnoses are more common in men than women, but can affect both genders.

When cancer cells are present in the mesothelium, if extensive and especially when untreated, the membrane will start to break down and the cancer will spread from the origin spot to other areas of the body. Symptoms include coughing, chest pain, weight loss and abdominal swelling. However, diagnosing Mesothelioma can often times prove difficult because its symptoms resemble those of several other types of illnesses. Alerting a physician to having a previous history of asbestos exposure is very helpful in making a prognosis. Depending on the stage of the disease, treatment can include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.

There is compensation available if you or someone you know is suffering or has passed away due to Mesothelioma-related cancer. Even if the company responsible for the asbestos exposure is no longer in business, there have been funds set aside to pay damages to individuals or the families thereof. An online search for attorneys in the field of Mesothelioma lawsuits will help you locate assistance.

Get the info you need at First Mesothelioma []: []

What is Mesothelioma and What Can Be Done to Treat It

What is Mesothelioma? Some Facts and Myths About This Very Contemporary Disease.

There is a common misconception that mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer. It is in fact a cancer of the protective membrane around the lungs, inside the ribs, known as the mesothelium. A similar membrane covers most of the body's organs, but it is the lining around the lungs which most often becomes cancerous.

Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma is not caused by smoking. The overwhelming majority of cases are linked to exposure to tiny, airborne fragments of mineral asbestos, which was commonly used in a range of construction materials, particularly insulation. Inhalation of these asbestos fibers is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Exposure to asbestos is strongly linked to other severely debilitating and life threatening illnesses, including lung cancer and asbestosis, and less serious diseases affecting the lining of the lungs such as pleural fibrosis, pleural plaques and benign pleural effusions.

Building materials manufacturers have been aware of the risks of exposure to airborne asbestos since the 1930s, but warnings and safety measures only began to be put in place in the 1960s, and even then they were dangerously inadequate. The use of asbestos in construction was eventually banned in the US in the mid 1970s, and more stringent measures have been put in place to protect workers on renovation or demolition sites where asbestos is present. However, even now building workers are not always told when they are working on a site which carries an asbestos exposure risk.

Although the number of people being newly exposed to the risk of mesothelioma is now at a minimum, newly diagnosed cases of the disease are set to rise dramatically in the coming decades. This is due to the fact that symptoms can take 30 to 50 years to develop. Sufferers only become aware of symptoms once the cancer has reached an advanced stage, which is why the disease is so difficult to treat and has such a low survival rate once diagnosed. The extent of the disease in the US has become a major concern, with over 2,000 new cases being reported every year.

New screening and diagnostic techniques are being developed to increase the effectiveness of treatment. Those who believe they may be at risk can find information and support from their local health care provider, and from online mesothelioma support resources such as

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What Is Mesothelioma and What Problems Does Mesothelioma Cause?

Heart and lungsImage via Wikipedia
If you've been unfortunate enough to get diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be asking your self two questions: What is mesothelimoa and what problems does mesothelioma cause? The answers to both of these questions are quite vast. So, instead of spending all day searching the keywords "what is mesothelioma and what problems does mesothelioma cause" on a search engine, just continue to read this article. You will get a brief summary explaining both what the disease is and what you can expect from it.

With that being said, you should first get an answer to your most basic question: what is mesothelioma. Basically, mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the organs. The most common type affects the lungs. Other types of mesothelioma can affect the abdomen, the heart and even the testicles, though this is very rare. Either way, all cases of mesothelioma can be traced to asbestos exposure. This could be from a person working with the substance at their job and/or through exposure to certain types of paints and building materials used in older residences. Since nowadays asbestos use is strictly limited by the government, most cases occur in elderly individuals.

Now, you are ready to understand the answers to the next question: what problems does mesothelioma cause. The most simple answer is many. The overall prognosis of the disease is very grim, even when a person gets treated. During the time the person has the disease, they will encounter an array of symptoms ranging from unusual lumps on the body, pain, bloody coughing, nerve damage, fluid accumulation in the affected organ, bowel problems and weight loss. Granted, there are a few mesothelioma victims that may not suffer any symptoms, but this tends to be rare. Usually, victims must endure both the symptoms associated with their condition and the problems that occur with chemotherapy treatment.

Some mesothelioma victims decide to fight back once they've been diagnosed with the disease. They do this by seeking settlements against the company responsible for the condition. If you've been diagnosed with mesothelioma this could certainly be an option, especially as your medical bills will just keep mounting each month. But keep in mind that sometimes cases do end up in court, which could place a lot of extra stress on yourself and your family.

So, there you have it. You now understand the answers to the questions "what is mesothelioma and what problems does mesothelioma cause." And while such information may not be comforting to you, at least you know what to expect with a mesothelioma diagnosis. You also know that you do have legal options available to you, if you decide to use them. What you won't know is how to live with the disease, especially considering its prognosis. You can obtain some guidance from other sufferers, but ultimately you will have to rely on your own spiritual and emotional strength to figure out how you can enjoy what life you do have available to you.

If you want to learn more about asbestos mesothelioma cancer then please check out my website for more information and advice.

What is Mesothelioma and How is it Caused

Mesothelioma is an extremely malignant and incurable cancer that infects the membrane that surrounds most of the internal organs. Mesothelioma is also a very subtle form of cancer, with few noticeable symptoms until the disease is extremely advanced. The most common type of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma, causes shortness of breath or a chronic cough that are easily confused with allergies or a cold. In most cases, mesothelioma is discovered by accident, as patients report other symptoms that lead to its discovery. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

o Constant chest pain

o Chronic cough that worsens over time

o Coughing up blood

o Difficulty breathing

o Fatigue

o Lung infection (pneumonia, bronchitis)

o Shortness of breath

o Swollen lymph nodes

o Loss of appetite and weight loss

o Wheezing

It is important for higher risk groups such as asbestos and construction workers to have frequent check-ups to monitor any conditions leading to mesothelioma. Because mesothelioma is so deadly, early diagnosis and treatment can help prolong life, but the mortality rate for mesothelioma is usually 100% within five years.

Even with the best screening techniques available today mesothelioma often can escape diagnosis. The best thing to do is get screened early and consistently, especially if you had exposure to asbestos. Medical technology has breakthroughs every day and eventually a cure will be found. However, until then, the victims of mesothelioma should take action against those responsible. Contact a lawyer in your state today so you can receive compensation for your suffering.

Like all other types of cancer, mesothelioma is incurable. Although doctors and scientists have made a great deal of progress for diagnosing and treating these malignancies, there is still no current way to completely get rid of it.

When treating mesothelioma, doctors use several treatment options. Surgery, radiation treatments and chemotherapy have been traditional options for slowing the growth of cancerous cells. Doctors dealing with mesothelioma have to plan an innovative method of attack to combat this condition. New treatments like angiogenesis, photodynamic and gene therapy hold new hope for victims of mesothelioma everywhere. Depending on the state and location of the cancer, doctors will choose the best course of action for the circumstances. If it's discovered early enough, doctors can prolong the life of the victim, but sadly cannot cure the disease.

To learn more about peritoneal mesothelioma, asbestosis or coping with mesothelioma, please visit our website. This article may be freely reprinted as long as this resource box is included and all links stay intact as hyperlinks.

what is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer found in the mesothelium, a covering that protects most of the body's internal organs. The mesothelium has two layers: one acts as skin to a certain organ and the other is like a sac that surrounds it. These layers produce lubrication so that organs can glide easily against each other. Example: the heart beats while the lungs expand and contract. Mesothelium is called 'pericardium' when covering the heart, 'pleura' when surrounding the lungs, and 'peritoneum' when lining the different organs in the abdomen.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a malignant disease where cells of mesothelium act abnormal and divide uncontrollably. Most cases begin in the pleura and peritoneum. Pleural and Peritoneal Mesothelioma are common forms of this rare cancer. Although still considered uncommon, the disease often occurs to individuals who have been exposed to asbestos at work. At least about 70 to 80 percent of cases are caused by asbestos exposure. However, some cases have no known causes.
Commercial use of asbestos had begun in the late 1800s and increased during World War II. Millions of American workers were exposed to asbestos dust. People who worked in asbestos mines and mills, factories that produce asbestos products, and the heating and construction industries have greater risk to develop the cancer. Families who lived with asbestos workers are also at risk.
Common symptoms of the disease, which usually appear 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos, include: shortness of breath, pain in the chest, weight loss, abdominal pain, swelling of the abdomen, bowel obstruction, abnormal blood clotting, anemia, fever, trouble in swallowing, pain, and swelling of neck and face.
Diagnosing can be difficult because most symptoms resemble other conditions. Medical tests like x-rays, CT scan, MRI, and biopsy are performed on the patient so the disease can be confirmed. After diagnosing, the doctor will then determine how far the cancer has spread. Unfortunately, the disease is not curable. Several treatment options are available: chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery.
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