Archive for the ‘Mesothelioma Pain’ Category

Handling Mesothelioma this Recession

Handling Mesothelioma this Recession

Everyone is dealing with this terrible recession that is going on in the US. It affects homeowners, renters, single people and families alike. The government has been taking necessary steps to manage this recession by cutting taxes and expenses on programs. It also increased its spending to create new jobs for the unemployed and improve the crippled manufacturing and services sectors. Unfortunately, being ill during this time is not an easy thing to deal with, especially when the disease is Mesothelioma. The prognosis and survival rates are incredible poor and the research on treatments is sometimes lacking in funding, even more so in the time of recession.

Recession and Mesothelioma

The effects of recession are being seen in many aspects of life, including people suffering from Mesothelioma. It is known fact that people are likely to contract malignant Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer, if they are exposed to asbestos. Thousands of Mesothelioma cases are diagnosed in the United States due to occupational or household exposure to asbestos because tiny particles of the fibrous mineral were widely used in a number of industries. In addition, family members of employees were regularly exposed to asbestos as the people working in these industries carried them into their homes on their clothing, shoes, skin and hair.

Similar to all areas of healthcare, Mesothelioma research and treatment need to be handled in a different manner during the period of recession. First and foremost, people suffering from Mesothelioma and interested in filing lawsuits against the company where they were exposed to asbestos need to think realistically. It is important to analyze the amount they can receive as compensation from these companies. They need to talk everything over with a capable attorney who has handled similar cases, especially during periods of recession.

Effects of Recession on Funding Companies

Funding companies, like The Asbestos Injuries Compensation Fund, have been affected by the recession. They have declared that they will not able provide funds to victims of asbestos-related diseases, like Mesothelioma, due to the current recession. The .5 billion fund they were able to create solely through the James Hardie building materials firm in 2006 now has a deficit of about .5 million for its compensation fund payouts. This deficit is predominantly due to the decline in the housing market.

Due to the recession, the funding company made the decision to pay victims in installments rather than through lump sum payments which were the norm. To tackle the problems related to recession for Mesothelioma patients, they are requesting additional funding from the government. They believe that the option of payment through installments is not feasible as the disease is diagnosed at the later stages and at times those suffering from Mesothelioma do not typically live to see the full payout of their compensation. Apart from this, their other regular expenditures like medical bills and taking care of their family will be difficult to handle through this method of compensation. It will be very interesting to find out just how willing the government will be to help people suffering due to employer negligence.

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The Effects of Asbestos

The Effects of Asbestos

cancer, lung, mesothelioma, pain, symptoms, pain control, palliative care, courage, love, terminal diagnosis, terminal disease, prognosis, quality of life, asbestos, asbestos disease, asbestos death

He was only a child when it begun
And he played as children do
In his yard with his toy cars and tip trucks
But his sand was asbestos blue…

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.

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What Are the Two Main Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer Pain?

What Are the Two Main Causes of Mesothelioma Cancer Pain?

Pain is most often caused by the mesothelioma cancer itself.Mesothelioma pain can also be due to the treatment or the tests done to diagnose cancer. You may also have pain that has nothing to do with your cancer or its treatment. Like anyone, you can get headaches, muscle strains, and other aches and pains.

1- Pain from the cancer

The type and the intensity of the pain you will experience depends on the stage of the cancer and your own pain threshold{tolerance for pain},we all have different to tolerance levels for pain.Most of the pain from the mesothelioma cancer is a as result of the tumor pressing on other sensitive organs like nerves, bones and other body organs.The more advanced the cancer the more likely the tumor will cause pain.

Spinal cord compression: When the tumor spreads to the spine, it can press on the spinal cord. This is called spinal cord compression. This pressure causes pain. It must be treated quickly to keep you from losing control of your bladder or bowel or being paralyzed. The first sign of the compression is usually back and/or neck pain. Coughing, sneezing, or other movements often make it worse. If you have this pain, get help right away. Your doctor can treat the cause of the pain and also give you medicine to relieve the pain. If you are treated for the compression soon after the pain begins, you can usually avoid serious outcomes such as bladder or bowel problems. Treatments usually involve radiation therapy to shrink the tumor. Or you may have surgery to remove the tumor followed by radiation.

Bone pain: This type of pain can happen when cancer spreads to the bones. Treatment may be aimed at controlling the cancer, or it can focus on the affected bones. External radiation may be aimed at the weakened bone. Sometimes a radioactive medicine is given that settles in the affected areas of bone and help to make them stronger. Bisphosphonates are other medicines that can help make diseased bones stronger and help keep bones from breaking. These are examples of treatments that are aimed at stopping the cause of the bone pain. You may still need opioids or other pain medicines, but sometimes these treatments can greatly reduce your pain.

2- Pain from procedures and surgery

Procedures and testing: Some tests used to diagnose cancer and to see how well the treatment is working are painful. If you and your doctors agree that such a procedure is needed, concern about pain should not keep you from having it done. Usually any pain you have during and after the procedure can be relieved. Your needs and the type of procedure to be done should dictate the kinds of medicine you can get for the pain. You may be told that the pain from the procedure can’t be avoided or that it won’t last long. Even so, you should ask for pain medicine if you need it.

Surgical pain: Surgery is often used to treat cancers that grow as solid tumors, but other treatments such as radiation or chemotherapy may also be given. Depending on the kind of surgery you have, some amount of pain is usually expected. Doctors prescribe pain medicines so that you do not have to be in pain when your surgery is over. If you tell your doctor or nurse that you are hurting after surgery, you can almost always get medicine to treat it right away. Pain due to surgery can last from a few days to a few weeks, depending on how extensive the surgery was.

Pain from other cancer treatments

Chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments can also cause pain in some people.This pain might discourage you from continuing with the treatment if it is not managed well. Talk to your doctor or nurse about any changes you notice or any pain you have. Some of the types of pain that can be caused by chemotherapy and radiotherapy are:

Peripheral neuropathy (PN): This condition refers to pain, burning, tingling, numbness, weakness, clumsiness, trouble walking, or unusual sensations in the hands and arms or legs and feet. Peripheral neuropathy can be caused by certain types of chemotherapy, though vitamin deficiencies, the cancer, and other problems can also cause it. Be sure and tell your doctor right away if you notice these kinds of problems.

Mouth sores (stomatitis or mucositis): Chemotherapy can cause sores and pain in the mouth and throat. The pain can be severe enough that people have trouble eating and drinking.

Radiation mucositis and other radiation injuries: Pain from external beam radiation depends on the part of the body that is treated. It can cause skin burns, mucositis (mouth sores), and scarring, all of which can result in pain. The throat, intestine, and bladder are also prone to radiation injury and you may have pain if these areas are treated.

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5 Important Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer Pain

5 Important Facts About Mesothelioma Cancer Pain

Mesothelioma cancer can be associated with pain in different areas of the body affected by the cancer.These are important facts that every mesothelioma victim should know about mesothelioma pain:

1- Mesothelioma cancer pain can almost always be relieved or lessened.

You have a lot of treatment options to manage your pain,some of these methods include the use of pain relieving drugs,other medical methods and even non medical methods.Work with your medical team to find the best therapy to control your pain and give you as much comfort as possible.

You might also need to seek for extra help from some other medical experts apart from your doctor as pain control is an area that even most doctors have very little knowledge about. Even though a lot of progress has been made, some doctors and nurses do not know the best ways to treat cancer pain.

If you are still experiencing considerable pain after receiving all the treatment your doctor has to offer seek to see a pain specialist or have your doctor consult with a pain specialist. Pain specialists may be oncologists, anesthesiologists, neurologists, neurosurgeons, other doctors, nurses, or pharmacists. A pain control team may also include psychologists and social workers.

If you have trouble finding a pain program or pain specialist, contact a cancer center, a hospice, or the oncology department of your local hospital or medical center. They should be able to recommend someone to you.

2- Controlling your cancer pain is part of your cancer treatment.

Your doctor wants and needs to hear about what works for your pain and what does not. Knowing about the pain will help your doctor know more about how the cancer and the treatment are affecting your body. Talking about pain will not distract your doctor from treating the cancer.

3- Keeping pain from starting and keeping it from getting worse are the best ways to control it.

The best way to treat pain is to quickly nip the pain in the bud when it is still in its early stages. This is sometimes referred to as “staying on top of the pain” by some people. Do not wait at all and do not try to hold off as long as possible between doses. Pain may get worse if you wait. The worse the pain gets the longer the duration of treatment that will be needed to get relief and the higher the doses of pain killers that will be needed to bring the pain under control.

4- You have a right to ask for pain relief.

Talking about your pain is not a sign of weakness. Not everyone feels pain in the same way. There is no need to “tough it out” or be “brave” if you seem to have more pain than other people with the same kind of cancer. In fact, as soon as you have any pain you should speak up. Remember, it is easier to control pain right when it starts rather than waiting until after it becomes severe.

5- People who take cancer pain medicines the way the doctor or nurse tells them to rarely become addicted to them.

Addiction is a common fear of people taking pain medicine. Such fear may even keep people from taking the medicine. Or it may cause family members to encourage you to hold off as long as you can between doses.

Addiction is defined as uncontrollable drug craving, seeking, and continued use. When opioids (also known as narcotics) — the strongest pain relievers available, are taken for pain, they rarely cause addiction as defined here. When you are ready to stop taking opioids, the doctor will lower the amount of medicine you are taking over a few days or weeks. By the time you stop using it completely, your body has had time to adjust. Talk to your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist about how to take pain medicines safely and about any concerns you have about addiction.

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Taking Charge-mesothelioma Management

Taking Charge-mesothelioma Management

Getting mesothelioma diagnosis is difficult. Mesothelioma having a long incubation period means that the cancer is discovered when management has already become difficult. The incubation period may occur even up to twenty years after exposure. The cancer takes rot in many parts of the organ walls.

After diagnosis, then comes the hard part of management of the cancer. To treat mesothelioma, it takes several kinds of therapies, administered by several doctors and aimed at reducing the affluence of the disease in the affected areas of the body. There are several treatment options and each one needs good pain management as there is a great deal of pain suffered by the victims of mesothelioma. Pain management is essential for two reasons. First pain management is needed, to accelerate recovery, and two, to make the treatment bearable.

Pain comes from the spread of the cancer cells, and even from the effects of the treatment. Different kinds of pain require different management styles. There are three basic pain levels that victims will face during mesothelioma treatment. The first one is Chronic, there is also acute and breakthrough pains that come at different times and on different levels from person to person.

Chronic pains

Chronic pains are the kinds of pain that are felt over a long period of time. It is constantly there, and persistently, you feel the pain rise and fall, but it does not ease off. This kind of pain may cause a lot of stress, and discomfort affecting every facet of life, from eating to sleeping. Chronic pains should be managed with totality as there is a risk of becoming obsolete and remaining in pain indefinitely. During treatment of mesothelioma, chronic pain is the most common type since as the cancer cells spread, they cause these pains, and chemotherapy not only kills the cancer cells, but also come healthy cells too.

Pain killers should be used on various levels by different administration methods.

Acute pain

Acute pain is the kind of pain that comes suddenly and very intensively, and last a short period of time before relief. Due to the nature of its appearance, acute pain can simply be managed by the use of oral drug administration. Though there are alternative ways of managing pain such as meditation and acupuncture, acute pain is best handled by medication.

Breakthrough Pain

This kind of pain appears when one is taking medication for other pains. It is not a serious type, but it is pain none the less. This kind of pain is handled well by the use of medication. In all these cases of pain, there are solutions, but these solutions must be administered with maximum impact in order that they can work once and for all. Pain is unpleasant, and the cancer patient will have in his disposition all the feelings and emotions that come with pain.

It is important that he be availed all possible relief and diversion including patient support that he may not only recover in time, but ease the pain of therapy.


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Mesothelioma Symptom Relief and Palliative Care for Breathlessness

Mesothelioma Symptom Relief and Palliative Care for Breathlessness

Mesothelioma symptom relief is the central focus of care for the mesothelioma patient deemed incurable. Pain management will vary with each patient. The mesothelioma patient’s pre-existing conditions and exacerbating conditions are factors in determining the best mesothelioma symptom relief and palliative care plan available. However, there are similarities in mesothelioma treatment and symptomatic relief for pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma.

Almost every cancer patient, mesothelioma cancer patients included, experiences painful difficulty breathing during the last stages of cancer. Medical studies have indicated that as many as 70% of terminal cancer patients experience painful difficulty breathing. With diseases such as pleural mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma and lung cancer, painful breathing and shortness of breath occurs during all of the cancer stages, not just the terminal stages.

Difficulty breathing is frightening for the mesothelioma patient, the caregiver and family members. The fear of imminent death and helplessness suddenly becomes unexpectedly more real. Mesothelioma symptom relief for breathing difficulties should include emotional care as well as physical symptom relief. Relaxation techniques should be taught, and it should be stressed that there needs to be adaptations to daily activities to reduce breathing difficulty. Lifestyle changes will be in order to control mesothelioma breathing difficulties, and the most stubborn mesothelioma patients need to be convinced that this is the best mesothelioma treatment for them. Defining a new lifestyle as a “well deserved vacation” can help instigate a transition.

Mesothelioma symptom relief for physical pain from breathing difficulties can be provided by learning, advising and providing for the patient the best position of their body for proper air flow. A fresh stream of air from a window or a fan can provide mesothelioma symptom relief during breathing difficulty. Teaching the patient hyperventilation techniques can be very useful for the patient’s self-monitoring of their mesothelioma treatment. A mesothelioma patient with trouble breathing needs to learn how to purse their lips at the first sign of breathing trouble, stay calm, relax their shoulders, back, neck and arms, then “flop” themselves into relaxation. Until this technique is mastered, learning how to breathe out slowly is an important step in breathing management.

Mesothelioma patients must realize that anxiety breeds anxiety. If a patient is afraid that they are going to die at the moment they are experiencing breathing difficulty, their body will respond by producing more anxiety, and more breathlessness. This is an emotional and physical response, not merely emotional.

Oxygen is sometimes prescribed for mesothelioma symptom relief; however physicians report that some patients become unnecessarily dependent on oxygen. For other patients, oxygen is their lifeline of mesothelioma treatment. Oxygen therapy also requires a review of whether intermittent or continuous therapy provides the best relief for their mesothelioma symptoms. Mesothelioma treatment with oxygen therapy will also consider whether to use oxygen tanks or an oxygen concentrator.

There are also medications for mesothelioma symptom relief of breathlessness. Anxiolytic drugs Lorazepam, Diazepam, Midazolam, and Methotrimeprazine can be prescribed for mesothelioma treatment of breathlessness. Benzodiazepines are anxiolytic drugs that have a sedative effect and use muscle relaxation as pain treatment of breathlessness.

Mesothelioma symptom relief for breathing requires educating the patient, the caregiver and the family in palliative care. Mesothelioma treatment for pain also requires monitoring and adapting mesothelioma pain treatment plans to meet the patient’s medical needs, as well as their emotional needs. Listening to the patient’s perception of pain is crucial to determining the appropriate pain management treatment for mesothelioma symptoms. The patient feels the pain. With mesothelioma symptom relief and palliative care from knowledgeable and loving caregivers, the patient can enjoy the last years of their life as pain free as medical science allows.

The website provides mesothelioma information, such as mesothelioma symptoms, mesothelioma treatments and mesothelioma stages. The site also

provided details information about different type of mesothelioma: Malignant Mesothelioma, Pleural Mesothelioma,

Pericardial mesothelioma and Peritoneal mesothelioma.

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