Asbestos Exposure Symptoms

For : Mesothelioma Today
Date Added : February 25, 2013 Views : 1655
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What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium. Like most cancers, mesothelioma includes the abnormal splitting of cells of a special part of the human anatomy --- in this instance, the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is so deadly because it stays dormant for many years and then starts to quickly grow. The cancer then starts to invade and damage nearby tissue, including the important organs.

What is the mesothelium?

Many of the organs of the body are safeguarded by a membrane called the mesothelium. This membrane actually contains two layers of cells. The organs are surrounded by the inner layer, and the second is a sac surrounding the inner layer. When organs within this membrane should go, expand or agreement --- including the heart, lungs, bladder, etc, they are able to do so because the mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid between the two layers.

Mesothelioma most often starts in the pleura or peritoneum. The pleura surrounds the lungs and handles the chest cavity. The peritoneum covers most of the organs inside the abdominal cavity. Other mesothelium tissue is also vulnerable to mesothelioma. These contain the pericardium that surrounds and protects the heart; the internal male reproductive organs are surrounded by the tunica vaginalis testic which; and the tunica serosa uteri which is the membrane covering the internal reproductive organs in women.

Who is at mesothelioma to be developed by greatest risk?

Mesothelioma has a very specific cause -- experience of asbestos. Through the first half of the preceding century, right up until the mid 1970s asbestos was an essential materials used to insulate buildings, machines, large equipment, and an extensive range of industrial applications. Since it was abundant and cheap to mine, asbestos was used in many building products including home insulation, ceiling, flooring and roof tiles. It was also employed in generally found commercial goods such as brake linings and pipe insulation.

This intended that huge numbers of people were coming in connection with asbestos every day. And since the effects of exposure to asbestos fibre usually do not become apparent for 30 or 40 years after prolonged exposure, health authorities and companies were slow to understand the dangers of asbestos. As workers making asbestos products, workers in the building and heat industries, and almost all other tradespeople were uncovered to asbestos fibres for extended periods of time, a result, shipyard workers, men and women working in asbestos mines and mills.

Nowadays it's understood that anyone dealing with or near asbestos has an increased risk of developing mesothelioma, so there are strictly controlled limits of coverage in the work place. But since the dormancy period of mesothelioma could be 30 or 40 years, there are millions of employees who are at danger because of their exposure in the decades before the safety controls were set in place.

What are the observable signs of mesothelioma?

Pleural mesothelioma -- cancer of the pleura or lung lining -- causes shortness of breath or chronic coughing. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include chest pain, continual coughing, shortness of breath, tiredness, wheezing, hoarseness, weight loss, or blood in the phlegm from the lungs when coughing.

Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining around the intestines and stomach and is generally just as harmful. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include pain or swelling in the weight loss, stomach, bowel obstruction, anemia, and temperature.

Most of the symptoms of mesothelioma can readily be mistaken for allergies or a common cold. When patients believe they have one of those other common illnesses mesothelioma is usually discovered.

How Severe is Mesothelioma?

By the time most afflicted people become aware they have mesothelioma, it is no longer dormant and becomes very aggressive. In its active stage, mesothelioma can travel rapidly, and is practically impossible to stop. There are treatments employed to keep the patient comfortable, but there is presently no cure for mesothelioma. As much as 75 % of people who develop the condition will lose their existence within one year. The remainder may last for approximately an additional 6 months.

This makes the disease to be detected by it extremely important before its active phase is entered by it.

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?

Until it reaches an advanced stage mesothelioma is usually not diagnosed. This is because of its long dormancy period, and because once it becomes active the first symptoms are similar to much more comman and less dangerous sicknesses including colds or the influenza. If a patient has a history of exposure to asbestos, then a complete physical evaluation is advised. This would usually include x - rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. It might also contain a CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI. These two assessments give step-by-step pictures of areas inside your body.

Then it really is necessary to do a biopsy to verify the diagnosis, if these tests suggest the likelihood of mesothelioma. Performing a biopsy involves an oncology specialist getting a small sample of affected tissue and analyzing it under a microscope for signs of malignancy. With regards to the location of the afflicted tissue, performing a biopsy could be a relatively traightforward process. It typically includes the insertion of a small instrument in to the suspect cavity. These surgical devices have both sample and screening taking capabilities. Therefore the oncologist or surgeon can look at the cavity from the inside, and then take tissue samples from different areas.

If mesothelioma is found, the first tests are followed up with what's called "theatrical production". More tests are involved by this to determine how far the disease has spread.

How is mesothelioma treated?

Standard treatments include the regular alternatives available to surgery : cancer patients, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined. These treatments can often be effective when the mesothelioma is found at an earlier enough stage.

One of the therapies that are employed in order to reduce the consequences of the disease are oxygen, postural drainage and pain killers. Many alternative treatment procedures are also being analyzed, including attempts to strengthen the body's defense mechanisms. Gene therapy is also being examined in an attempt to attack the issue at the DNA level. Other remedies being tried and examined include acupuncture, herbs and homeopathy. Unfortunately when its aggressive stage is reached by the disease none of these have been found to be very successful.

As with all cancers, early discovery is the best defense against mesothelioma. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should be alert for symptoms and contact a doctor promptly. Detecting mesothelioma at the earliest period possible greatly increases the chances of defeating the disease.

Please contact us at Mesothelioma Today in order to begin your claim to provide treatment for yourself and your loved ones.

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