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Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos?

Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos?

If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos fibers (which are commonly found in construction materials), you should read the following information concerning a rare form of cancer called Mesothelioma. Once symptoms appear, your treatment options are greatly reduced. Early diagnosis is the key to prolonging life and increasing the quality of life.

What is Mesothelioma?

• The thin cellular layer that lines our body’s internal organs is known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, which occurs in the mesothelium.

• Usually, this type of cancer is concentrated around the patient’s lungs, in the pleural tissue. This type of Mesothelioma is known as Pleural Mesothelioma, and it accounts for 70% of all diagnosed cases.

• Mesothelioma may also appear in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), 25-30% of diagnoses are of this variety.

• When Mesothelioma occurs in the pericardium (the lining around the heart), this is known as Pericardial Mesothelioma. This is the most rare form of the disease and occurs in less than 5% of all cases.

What are the causes of Mesothelioma?

The overwhelmingly primary cause of all varieties of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. From the late 1800′s until very recently, asbestos was a fundamental resource for building materials. This means that people involved in the building process, plumbers, carpenters, and electricians, are the highest risk group for exposure. It is also believe the asbestos fibers which cling to clothing may also have exposed anyone doing the laundry of an exposed worker.

Unlike lung cancer, tobacco smoking does not cause Mesothelioma; however, smoking tobacco does seem to increase the risk or someone who is exposed to asbestos to develop Mesothelioma.

What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Unfortunately, there are virtually no early symptoms of Mesothelioma. Once symptoms do appear, the disease has already progressed to a dire point. For this reason, anyone who has been exposed to asbestos is best served by preemptive x-rays to check for any sign of the disease.

Later Signs of Pleural Mesothelioma:

• Difficulty swallowing

• Night Sweats

• Unexplained Weight Loss (of greater than 10%)

• Fever

• Fatigue

• Chest Pain

• Difficulty, or Pain with Breathing

• Possible Lumps on the Chest

Later Signs of Peritoneal Mesothelioma:

• Night Sweats

• Fever

• Unexplained Weight Loss

• Abdominal Swelling (possibly with pain)

• Anemia

• Fatigue

• Constipation or Diarrhea

• Nausea or Vomiting

• Possible Lumps on the Abdomen

Later Signs of Pericardial Mesothelioma:

• Heart Palpitations

• Irregular Heart Rhythm

• Chest Pain

• Shortness of Breath (or difficulty breathing)

• Fever

• Night Sweats

• Fatigue

What is the treatment for Mesothelioma?

There is no cure for Mesothelioma. The treatment is the same as lung cancer: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. There are also new cutting-edge therapies that are attempting to eradicate Mesothelioma. These include: phototherapy, gene therapy, and immunotherapy.

What is the prognosis for Mesothelioma?

While treatment does increase one’s chance of a prolonged life, as well as possibly increasing one’s quality of life, in 2006, the five year survival rate for all persons diagnosed with Mesothelioma, was a mere 5%.

Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos?

Have You Been Exposed to Asbestos?

We are all exposed to low levels of asbestos in the air we breathe. These levels range from 0.00001 to 0.0001 fibers per milliliter of air and generally are highest in cities and industrial areas.

It is known that breathing asbestos can increase the risk of cancer in people. There are two types of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos: lung cancer and mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin lining surrounding the lung (pleural membrane) or abdominal cavity (the peritoneum). Cancer from asbestos does not develop immediately, but shows up after a number of years. Studies of workers also suggest that breathing asbestos can increase chances of getting cancer in other parts of the body (stomach, intestines, esophagus, pancreas, and kidneys), but this is less certain. Early identification and treatment of any cancer can increase an individual’s quality of life and survival.

People working in industries that make or use asbestos products or who are involved in asbestos mining may be exposed to high levels of asbestos. People living near these industries may also be exposed to high levels of asbestos in air.

Asbestos fibers may be released into the air by the disturbance of asbestos-containing material during product use, demolition work, building or home maintenance, repair, and remodeling. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed in some way to release particles and fibers into the air.

Symptoms

Asbestos mainly affects the lungs and the membrane that surrounds the lungs. Breathing high levels of asbestos fibers for a long time may result in scar-like tissue in the lungs and in the pleural membrane (lining) that surrounds the lung. This disease is called asbestosis and is usually found in workers exposed to asbestos, but not in the general public. People with asbestosis have difficulty breathing, often a cough, and in severe cases heart enlargement. Asbestosis is a serious disease and can eventually lead to disability and death.

Breathing lower levels of asbestos may result in changes called plaques in the pleural membranes. Pleural plaques can occur in workers and sometimes in people living in areas with high environmental levels of asbestos. Effects on breathing from pleural plaques alone are not usually serious, but higher exposure can lead to a thickening of the pleural membrane that may restrict breathing.

Low levels of asbestos fibers can be measured in urine, feces, mucus, or lung washings of the general public. Higher than average levels of asbestos fibers in tissue can confirm exposure but not determine whether you will experience any health effects.

A thorough history, physical exam, and diagnostic tests are needed to evaluate asbestos-related disease. Chest x-rays are the best screening tool to identify lung changes resulting from asbestos exposure. Lung function tests and CAT scans also assist in the diagnosis of asbestos-related disease.

If you are a Veteran You May Have Been Exposed to Cancer Causing Elements

If you are a Veteran You May Have Been Exposed to Cancer Causing Elements

More people die of lung cancer in the United States than die of colon, prostate, breast, and kidney cancers combined. What surprises many people is that lung cancer is not necessarily caused by smoking. Many at risk groups and nonsmokers are also likely to develop the disease.

Some of the people who are the most at risk are United States veterans who served in the military between the Second World War and the Persian Gulf War. Recent studies indicate that this group has a 25% to 75% greater probability of developing lung cancer than people who didn’t serve in the military during that time frame.

There’s a very simple reason why this is true. Many of the people who risked their lives while serving in the U.S. military were exposed to Agent Orange, asbestos, DU (depleted uranium), as well as other radioactive materials during their tenure in the military.

The groups of veterans who are at the most risk are all of those who served during the Vietnam era as well as those who were in the Navy during the Second World War.

Asbestos was used extensively throughout naval ships during the 1940s. It was present in sleeping quarters, mess halls, boiler rooms, engine rooms – just about everywhere aboard the ships.

Anyone who was on one of the ships was constantly inhaling asbestos fibers. And, when they went home, they carried the fibers on their clothes. Subsequently their families were exposed to asbestos secondhand.

Asbestos-related lung cancer, or mesothelioma, has a very long latency period. Since the mid 1980s a significant number of Navy veterans have died from these diseases. Some World War II veterans are only now developing these illnesses.

However, because the Veterans Administration doesn’t recognize these diseases as being service-connected it is difficult for the vets to realize any Veterans Affairs benefits.

Close to 2.6 million Americans served in Viet Nam. Most of them were exposed to Agent Orange.

Between 1965 and 1971, during the Viet Nam War, more than 100 million pounds of Agent Orange was used. It was used to destroy plant life and clear the brush in order to remove the Viet Cong cover. The herbicide has since proven to cause serious medical ailments, including lung cancer, in Viet Nam era vets.

Much like asbestos related diseases, there seems to be a latency period before the adverse effects caused by Agent Orange develop. So, many of these veterans are just starting to develop symptoms.

Unlike WW II veterans, though, lung cancer in Vietnam era vets is considered to be a service related disease. Hence the Veterans Administration will provide disability compensation to anyone who is diagnosed with lung cancer that was caused by Agent Orange.

Gulf War veterans are now becoming concerned with the dangerous after effects of being exposed to depleted uranium while they were overseas. The residue from DU munitions floats through the air and ultimately infiltrates such water sources as lakes, oceans, and rivers.

US military personnel were also exposed to DU when they came into contact with bunkers and vehicles that were hit by these munitions.

DU has been linked to causing lung cancer, as well as kidney and bone ailments. Although tumors can form in 2 to 5 years, they are often not diagnosed until several years after the fact.

If you or someone you love is a military veteran who was exposed to any of these substances legal help may be available. If you would like to speak with a
mesothelioma lawyer
go to =>
http://www.asbestos.net/asbestos-legal-issues/mesothelioma-asbestos-and-other-asbestos-diseases-lawyers-and-attorneys.html
where free initial consultation is available.
Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.


Article from articlesbase.com

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