Sunday, December 16, 2018

Mesothelioma: A Deadly Lung Cancer

July 4, 2013 by  
Filed under Mesothelioma Help

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lungs and the abdominal cavities. Unlike other diseases, the cause of mesothelioma is not natural. In most of the cases, it is a cancer of lungs inflicted on the human beings by the modern economic factors, which are also credited to bring prosperity to the corporate world.

The disease has left many dead and many more fighting for the failing health. The common symptoms related to the disease are breathlessness, dry cough and pain in the respiratory tracts followed by vomiting. The prime Cause of mesothelioma is the exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos is a natural fibrous material that was widely used in various industries and building materials because of its stability and heat resistant properties. However, asbestos is also a deadly contaminant and responsible for serious diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma cancers and lung cancer. Most of the diseases are caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers that could settle in the internal body organs and cause serious diseases. Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can lie dormant in the body for decades before diagnosis. The worst part is that after diagnosis the patient has hardly any left for fighting these diseases.

Asbestos has extensively been mined in South Africa and exported to UK & US factories for reprocessing. For many years, the industrialists enjoyed the benefits of asbestos as a cheap substitute to wood in Building Material Industry and an integral part of Brake Lining material used extensively in vehicles during the World Wars. Asbestos was also widely used as an Insulation material in the buildings and industries in the US and Europe.

The victims of mesothelioma can file lawsuits for seeking compensation against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure. They can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, lost earning capacity, pain and sufferings. The family members and relatives of the people who die because of mesothelioma cancers can also file lawsuits for compensation to recover the loss of consortium care. A dozen of companies who made an exit from the business decades ago are still fighting the huge compensation bills pending against them for causing a major biological disorder. The courts have ordered huge amounts as compensation in most of the mesothelioma lawsuits.

Mesothelioma a cancer caused by asbestos

July 1, 2013 by  
Filed under Mesothelioma Help

The internal organs of the human body are encased in a protective sac called the mesothelium. Examples of mesothelilial membranes are the peritoneum (abdominal organs), pleura (lungs), and pericardium (heart).

Under specific conditions, the cells of the protective membrane divide uncontrolled and become cancerous. This disease is termed as Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos dust.

The disease is found to occur among those who work in shipyards, asbestos mines and factories, industries that produce asbestos based products, and the heating and construction businesses. Approximately 3,000 cases occur each year in the US, and most patients are between 50-70 years old. Statistics show that males are commonly affected and among them whites more than African Americans.

First studied in the late 1700s in depth studies were only done in the 1960s. Tumors of the Mesothelioma can be benign or malignant. The malignant Mesothelioma are categorized into three types:

• Epithelioid, accounting for 50-70% of mesotheliomas.

• Sarcomatoid, accounting for 7-20%.

• Mixed or bi-phasic, accounting for 20-35%.

When asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs they travel through large air passages to reach the smaller passages and from them the pleura. In the pleura they damage: the mesothelial cells leading to cancer; lung tissue causing lung cancer; and the development of scar tissue within the lungs known as asbestosis. When asbestos fibers are swallowed they reach the abdominal cavity and cause peritoneal mesothelioma.

Research reveals that the disease only manifests 20-50 years after being exposed to asbestos dust. The symptoms are not specific to the disease but a patient may develop:

• Breathlessness.

• Chest pain accompanied by tightness believed to be caused by accumulation of fluid in the pleura.

• Low back pain.

• Swelling of face and arms.

• Sensory loss.

• Muscle weakness.

• Nausea.

• Vomiting.

• Weight loss that is unexplained.

• Persistent dry cough.

• Sore throat.

• Anemia.

• Fever.

• Constipation.

• Problems with blood clotting.

Since the above are common to minor ailments, patients often ignore the symptoms. It is advisable to consult a doctor if any of the above symptoms persist or if you feel you have been knowingly or unknowingly exposed to asbestos.

A doctor will:

• Take down a detailed medical history and try and determine the symptoms and risk factors.

• Do a thorough physical examination and check for signs of:

o Pleural effusion, fluid accumulated in the chest cavity.

o Fluid in the abdominal cavity.

o Pericardial effusion, fluid in the lining of the heart.

• Take a chest x-ray and check for thickening of the pleura, calcifications, and lowered lung fissures.

• Ask for a CT scan to determine clearly the location, size, and extent of the problem if any is suspected.

• Recommend tests of tissue samples and pleural fluids.

Other risk factors are cigarette or cigar smoking, exposure to radiation, exposure to zeolite a compound that is similar to asbestos, exposure to or infections caused by SV40, a Simian virus.

Those who work in a risky environment should wear protective clothing, have the surroundings tested regularly for suspended asbestos particles, and ensure that they have regular medical tests and report to the doctor any ailments that persist.

Being aware of the disease and its problems helps.

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