Posts Tagged ‘Medical’

How is Medical Imaging Used to Diagnose Mesothelioma?

How is Medical Imaging Used to Diagnose Mesothelioma?

If a person has a pain in his or her chest, finds it hard to breathe, has a swollen abdomen, and is experiencing a dry, persistent cough, then they’ll probably go to their doctor to have an examination in the hope of being treated.

Although these are all symptoms of mesothelioma there are other diseases that can cause them as well. For example, mesothelioma may initially be diagnosed as lung cancer. However, lung cancer is a totally different disease.

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the lung, the lining of the chest, and the abdominal cavity. The disease has been predominantly associated with high levels of exposure to asbestos in the workplace, although exposure to asbestos in non-occupational situations has caused the disease as well.

A mesothelioma diagnosis will usually start with a review of a patient’s medical history, which would be followed by a physical examination.

The physical exam usually involves several imaging tests. These tests try to determine if there are any suspicious cell formations.

Most Commonly Used Medical Imaging Tests

X-rays of the abdomen or chest can show masses, fluid build-up, or can indicate non-cancerous pleural disease. However, although they won’t always show evidence of growths of diffuse cancer on the mesothelium, they will show shadows of single tumors that often occur when a patient has peritoneal mesothelioma.

CT Scans (Computed Tomography) create images of layers or cross-sections of a person’s body. Although they can more readily detect any abnormalities at a specific depth in the body they can’t differentiate between malignant mesothelioma and benign mesothelioma.

MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) scans photograph the details within a person’s body by using a computer-linked magnet. Although an MRI can determine how severe a tumor is it can’t determine whether it is cancerous.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography) analyses biological processes and produces a 3D image that can identify cancer cells. PET imaging tests are now one of the most effective ways to diagnose mesothelioma tumors. In addition, PET scans can help to determine the stage the cancer is in.

Since cancer cells accelerate the use of glucose, and because glucose is part of the radioactive tracer isotope that is used during a PET imaging test, cancer cells can be flagged using PET analysis.

Although medical imaging technology can identify potentially cancerous growths and conditions such as pleural mesothelioma, they cannot alone be used to confirm a diagnosis. Malignant mesothelioma needs to be confirmed with a biopsy. Either the fluid from peritoneal or pleural effusion – or both – need to be analyzed to confirm the diagnosis.

Next, if you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and would like to investigate the possibility of getting involved in mesothelioma lawsuits that could pay for medical treatments, lost wages, and more, go to =>
Wendy Moyer on behalf of Sokolove Law.

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Medical Demonstration (Asbestos)

An animation of asbestos entering the human lung. Adobe Photoshop, Adobe After Effects, and 3DS Max 9 software was used in creating the animation. The audio is a clip from “Mirrorball” by Elbow.

Mesothelioma Antiestrogens and Medical Management

Mesothelioma Antiestrogens and Medical Management

Another study is called, “The palliative benefits of MVP (mitomycin C, vinblastine and cisplatin) chemotherapy in patients with malignant Mesothelioma” by E. Andreopoulou, P. J. Ross, M. E. R. O’Brien*, H. E. R. Ford, K. Priest, T. Eisen, A. Norton, S. Ashley and I. E. Smith – Oxford Journals Medicine Annals of OncologyVolume15, Issue9Pp. 1406-1412.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Background: With the rising incidence of malignant mesothelioma (MM), it is important to optimise treatment to control symptoms, maintain quality of life and, if possible, prolong life. We have analysed prospectively collected data to evaluate a frequently used palliative chemotherapy regimen. Patients and methods: Between October 1986 and May 2002 all patients with inoperable pleural mesothelioma were considered for treatment with MVP (mitomycin C 8 mg/m2 every 6 weeks, vinblastine 6 mg/m2 every 3 weeks and cisplatin 50 mg/m2 every 3 weeks) chemotherapy. Symptoms were assessed by physician assessment at baseline and after each cycle of chemotherapy.

Results: One hundred and fifty patients were treated with MVP for mesothelioma. Forty-three per cent had a performance status (PS) 2 or worse. The response rate was 15.3%, with 68.6% having stable disease. Sixty-nine per cent reported an improvement in symptoms; in particular there were good responses for pain (71%), cough (62%) and dyspnoea (50%). The most common grade 3/4 toxicity was neutropenia (22%). Median overall survival was 7 months, with 1-year survival 31% and 2-year survival 11%. Median survival for patients with PS 0/1 was 10 months, and was 6 months for patients with PS 2/3. Poor prognostic factors in univariate analysis included poor PS, weight loss, mixed or sarcomatoid histology, low haemoglobin and high white blood cell count. Excluding pathological subtype, the prognostic significance of poor PS and weight loss were retained in multivariate analysis. Conclusions: Palliation of symptoms in MM is achievable with current cisplatin-based treatments.

A third study is called, “Preoperative Evaluation of Patients With Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Role of Integrated CT-PET Imaging” by Truong, Mylene T. MD; Marom, Edith M. MD; Erasmus, Jeremy J. MD – Journal of Thoracic Imaging: May 2006 – Volume 21 – Issue 2 – pp 146-153 Symposia.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is an uncommon neoplasm arising from mesothelial cells of the pleura. The prognosis is poor with a median survival of 8 to 18 months after diagnosis. Multimodality regimens combining chemotherapy, radiotherapy, immunotherapy, and surgery are being used more frequently in patient management. Extrapleural pneumonectomy is the surgical treatment of choice in 10% to 15% of patients who present with resectable disease and is reported to prolong survival. Accurate staging is important to distinguish patients who are resectable from those requiring palliative therapy. Integrated computed tomography-positron emission tomography (CT-PET) increases the accuracy of overall staging in patients with MPM and significantly improves the selection of patients for curative surgical resection. Specifically, CT-PET detects more extensive disease involvement than that shown by other imaging modalities and is particularly useful in identifying occult distant metastases. This article reviews aspects of imaging performed in the initial staging of patients with MPM according to the International Mesothelioma Interest Group staging system and will emphasize the appropriate role of CT-PET imaging in determining the T, N, and M descriptors.”

Another study is called, “Expression profile of telomerase subunits in human pleural Mesothelioma” by Karl Dhaene, Jan Wauters, Barbara Weyn, Jean-Pierre Timmermans, Eric van Marck, – The Journal of Pathology Volume 190, Issue 1, pages 80–85, January 2000.  Here is an excerpt: “Abstract – Using the TRAP assay, telomerase activity was previously detected in over 90% of human pleural mesotheliomas (MMs), but not in mesothelial cell cultures (MCCs), suggesting that telomerase re-activation occurs during multi-step mesothelioma carcinogenesis. The present study determined the expression of the telomerase RNA template (hTERC), the telomerase-associated protein (hTEP1), and the telomerase catalytic sub-unit (hTERT), in 16 pleural MMs and 4 MM-derived cell lines, in two pleural solitary fibrous tumours and in six MCCs. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction analysis revealed that hTERT mRNA expression parallels the activity status documented by the TRAP assay, whereas hTERC and hTEP1 mRNA are commonly expressed in all malignant and non-malignant serosal cells and tissues. Three alternatively spliced hTERT transcripts were detected in all telomerase-positive samples, whereas neither variant could be detected in the MCCs. Detection of the hTERT protein with a commercially available antibody was not successful. These results indicate that hTERT expression is rate-limiting for human telomerase activity and that re-activation, rather than up-regulation, of hTERT expression can play a critical role in MM carcinogenesis. While waiting suitable anti-hTERT antibodies, these results provide information for the design of hTERT mRNA-specific in situ probes to study telomerase in archived pre-malignant serosal lesions.”

We all owe a debt of gratitude to these fine researchers.  If you found any of these excerpts interesting, please read the studies in their entirety.

Monty Wrobleski is the author of this article.  For more information please click on the following links

Mesothelioma Lawyer

Mesothelioma Lawyer

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Medical Treatment If You Live in California And Were Diagnosed With Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Medical Treatment If You Live in California And Were Diagnosed With Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a tragic and deadly form of cancer, caused by exposure to asbestos, that often shows signs between ten and forty years after contraction, although a few cases have popped up as long as sixty years after the asbestos exposure. There are three main types of Mesothelioma, each named after which part of the body it attacks. Pleural Mesothelioma attacks the protective lining of the lungs, which is called the pleura. Pericardial Mesothelioma attacks the protective lining around the heart, while Peritoneal Mesothelioma is centrally focused on the abdominal cavity.

All forms of Mesothelioma are treated like cancer. Aggressive treatments such as radiation therapy and chemotherapy are often used, as well as surgical options when appropriate.

Peritoneal is not the most common form of Mesothelioma, but it can certainly be equally as deadly as any other form of Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma develops in the lining of the intended target and manifests over decades before finally releasing itself on the victim. Most cases of Mesothelioma only carry a maximum of a twenty four month life span. Mesothelioma progresses quickly, and often debilitates within months or even weeks of showing initial symptoms such as weight loss and loss of appetite, bowel distress, abdominal cramping or pain, or abdominal swelling or obstruction.

Mesothelioma treatments are not easy to deal with and take quite a bit out of the body. Peritoneal Mesothelioma treatments have the best shot at directing an affected body toward health when Peritoneal Mesothelioma is diagnosed prior to the onset of symptoms. Mesothelioma doctors and Mesothelioma lawyers agree that those who know or suspect that they have been exposed to asbestos in the past should get regular Mesothelioma testing done to attempt to diagnose this deadly disease early. The earlier the diagnosis, the greater the chances of surviving Peritoneal Mesothelioma.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma can often be treated with chemotherapy. Chemotherapy involves either intravenously introducing cancer killing chemicals into the body or allowing the patient to ingest the chemical concoctions in pill form. Either way, the goal is to kill the cancer cells with a dictated set of chemicals that are known to kill the Mesothelioma cancer cells.

Chemotherapy comes with its share of risks and physical complications. The body does not appreciate the chemicals that are introduced to the Mesothelioma cells. A feeling of illness often accompanies chemotherapy. Weight loss, the loss of hair, the loss of appetite, the loss of taste, fatigue, nausea, and vomiting are just a few of the symptoms a Mesothelioma patient can expect to go through when undergoing chemotherapy. Chemo therapy can weaken the immune system as well as exhaust the body to the point that continuing with chemotherapy is actually just too much for the patient to handle.

When treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma with chemotherapy, radiation is often added to the treatment plan. Treating Peritoneal Mesothelioma with radiation involves introduction radiation directly into the heart of the tumor or tumors. When radiation and chemotherapy are used together to attempt to kill the Mesothelioma cancer cells, the patient tends to feel drastically ill, and treatment rounds are often scheduled with a reasonable break in between to allow the patient to recover.

Mesothelioma treatments are difficult to go through, difficult on families, expensive, and in the case of Mesothelioma, are often unsuccessful at prolonging healthy life. Mesothelioma doctors are frustrated that they do not have greater resources or advanced research at their disposal. Despite cutting edge technology, Mesothelioma is not very high on the list of cancer researchers agendas as it is still considered a rare disease.

Some Peritoneal Mesothelioma patients undergo a surgical procedure where the protective lining which encases the spleen, stomach, liver, pancreas, and intestines is removed. In some Mesothelioma patients, this has proven to lead to the removal of most of the cancer, which is the only time that this procedure is really recommended.

Palliative therapies are often added to the regimen of treatments for Peritoneal Mesothelioma patients. Palliative therapies help to relieve the immense pressure which can build up inside the abdomen when dealing with Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The fluid accumulation that builds up inside the abdomen can be relieved via suction, often placing a needle or various forms of suction into the abdomen and drawing out the build up of fluids.

The earlier that treatment for Peritoneal Mesothelioma begins, the greater the chance the patient has at survival. Mesothelioma is highly deadly, and without early detection, the painful treatment options typically are used to extend life for as long as there is still a quality of life to extend.

Nick Johnson is lead counsel and founding partner of Johnson Law Group. Johnson represents plaintiffs in many states and focuses on injury cases involving all types of Mesothelioma. Call 1-888-311-5522 today or visit for a free case evaluation.

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Virginia Employees At-Risk For Asbestos Diseases Should Seek Periodic Medical Exams

Virginia Employees At-Risk For Asbestos Diseases Should Seek Periodic Medical Exams

Workers who have a history of asbestos exposure in Virginia should be checked often for asbestos-related illnesses. Those who worked in the armed forces, refineries, auto factories, shipyards and chemical plants in Virginia before the 1980s should tell their doctors about their potential exposure to asbestos. Early detection is important in many cases of asbestos-related diseases, as even lung cancers have a better prognosis when caught early.

Caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, asbestosis is a scarring of the lower lobes of the lungs. Virginia workers who were employed in certain industries, such as shipbuilding, automotive repairs and mining, should be on alert for asbestosis and other asbestos-related diseases. At-risk workers in Virginia who have a history of asbestos exposure should see their physicians for periodic asbestosis screenings. To detect asbestosis, the physician will take an x-ray of the lungs, which will be evaluated by a certified radiologist. This diagnostic tool can establish whether the patient has scarred lung tissue, which is often associated with asbestos exposure. Although asbestosis is not typically deadly, it can become progressive and may require the patient to depend on inhalers. Patients who have been diagnosed with asbestosis should undergo regular x-rays and lung function tests to track the development of the disease.

Patients who were exposed to asbestos should be screened for lung cancer and mesothelioma, a rare, but fatal, cancer of the mesothelium. To look for cancers of the lungs, the doctor will examine the patient’s breathing with a stethoscope to listen for any strange sounds. For example, a doctor may hear a dull sound when tapping on the chest of a patient with fluid buildup in the lungs. When screening for lung cancers, the doctor may also examine the patient’s legs for swelling and fingers for clubbing. These symptoms may suggest that there is a problem with the lungs.

After completing the physical exam, the doctor may order a chest x-ray to look for suspicious masses, fluid or tissue thickening. A chest x-ray of a patient with lung cancer may display abnormal fluid or masses, while an x-ray of a mesothelioma patient would show pleural thickening. Should the x-ray show any abnormalities, the patient would be referred to a specialist for further evaluation. Although an x-ray can indicate lung cancer and mesothelioma, a diagnosis of these diseases can only be confirmed with a tissue biopsy.

During their check-up, at-risk Virginia workers should be truthful about their past to ensure the proper screening and diagnostic tests are utilized. The doctor will typically ask about the patient’s former employment and history of asbestos exposure. He or she may also inquire about the employment history of the patient’s family members, because asbestos fibers could have been carried home on the clothes, skin and hair of those exposed to the mineral. Lastly, the doctor may ask whether the patient is experiencing any bothersome symptoms, such as chest pain or shortness of breath.

Asbestos is a mineral that was widely used because of its insulating properties. Individuals working with the mineral on a daily basis are specifically at-risk for developing asbestos-related diseases, although symptoms of these diseases may not be present until several decades after the asbestos exposure. Because of the latency period of asbestos-related diseases, those who worked in the armed forces, Virginia shipyards, oil refineries, steel mills, railroads or power plants should plan a screening with their doctors.

The mesothelioma law firm Patten, Wornom, Hatten & Diamonstein has offices in Newport News, VA and is dedicated to representing victims of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. Contact the mesothelioma attorneys of PWHD today for a free legal consultation.

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Arizona Medical Marijuana – help stop the suffering, vote YES on Prop 203

Attorney Greg Ring talks about his fight with abdominal Mesothelioma cancer and how legally obtained Medical Marijuana probably would have naturally alleviated much of his pain and suffering. Do you have peritoneal mesothelioma in California Oakland and San Francisco? Visitors wondering, What is mesothelioma? should watch this video and learn about Kazan Law. If youve sustained abdominal mesothelioma, call 877.622.5246 or visit our site to learn about the legal rights of those with peritoneal mesothelioma in California Oakland and San Francisco.
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