Mesothelioma Information - Basics

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is usually caused by previous exposure to asbestos. It is actually one of the deadliest diseases known to man and is affecting approximately 3,000 U.S. citizens every year. The cycle starts when someone inhales the dust particles of decomposing asbestos. This essentially eats the lining of your lungs, turning into a deadly form of cancer. After exposure, malignant cells begin to develop in the mesothelium. This is a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs.
Mesothelioma Information - History of Asbestos

Commercial use of asbestos began in North America in the late 1800s. The use of asbestos increased in early to mid 1900s with asbestos-containing products being utilized in the construction industry, automotive industry and manufacturing industry. For over 50 years, asbestos-containing products were not regulated and manufacturers neglected to inform their workers of potential hazards of asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma Information -Asbestos Today

Asbestos can be used in various industrial products, including cement, roof shingles, insulation and flooring products. Asbestos manufacture is the most dangerous part because tiny asbestos particles can float into the air. If a certain amount is inhaled, this can cause mesothelioma and also increase the risk of other types of cancer such as lung cancer forming in the future. Smokers that are exposed to asbestos greatly increase the chance of developing lung cancer and/or bronchial carcinoma.

Mesothelioma Information - Exposure

Many of us have been exposed to asbestos in the air at some point in our life. Asbestos can be found in natural deposits in the earth and from deterioration of asbestos products. Most of us do not get sick from it or develop mesothelioma. The majority of people that do get sick have worked in jobs where they are exposed over long periods of time. This includes work in industrial environments such as factories, mines and actual asbestos manufacturing facilities. There have even been a few cases where family members have been exposed to asbestos simply by washing the clothes of such workers. The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) (OSHA) has recently set limits to levels of asbestos exposure allowed in the workplace. They have set strict guidelines such as respirators, personal protective equipment (PPE) and asbestos monitors.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Mesothelioma Information - Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma symptoms might not appear for at least 20 years and as great as 40-50 years after exposure. Some Mesothelioma symptoms include:

* Shortness of breath
* Chest Wall Pain
* Cough
* Weight Loss
* Abdominal Sweating
* Anemia

In some severe instances, a person's lung may collapse. With time, the disease will spread to other parts of the body. It will not spread to the bone or brain. There are many other Mesothelioma symptoms not listed here as well.

Mesothelioma Information - Mesothelioma Diagnosis

As you can see, there are many mesothelioma symptoms and some of these symptoms can be present for other conditions. Therefore, diagnosing mesothelioma is somewhat difficult. As with other illnesses, a proper diagnosis will begin with reviewing a patient's medical history. Of course, knowing the patient's employment history is very important. This history could indicate possible exposure to asbestos. After a physical exam is performed, the patient might be given a chest x-ray, a CAT scan and some lung tests. Eventually, a biopsy will need to be performed to confirm mesothelioma. This involves a sample of tissue being tested under a microscope by a Pathologist.

Mesothelioma Information - Incidence

As the years pass, more and more cases of Mesothelioma are found. It is still a relatively rare form of cancer. The incidence rate around the world is around 1 in a million. It is much higher in the U.S. and other industrialized countries. It is found more often in men than women and risk obviously increases with age.

Mesothelioma Information - Treatment

Treatment of mesothelioma is dependent on such factors as the stage of the cancer, location of cancer, how far that it has spread in the body and patient's age. Patients with malignant mesothelioma might only have 6-12 months to live. Specialist doctors can often provide a much longer timeframe. If you suspect that you might have been exposed to asbestos, seek a doctor that can help.