What Is Mesothelioma Asbestos?

What Is Mesothelioma Asbestos?

What Is Mesothelioma Asbestos?

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer with no cure. The symptoms, which usually mimic less-serious illnesses, make the cancer difficult to diagnose. Mesothelioma is a cancer that most people don’t even know they have until 20 or 50 years after exposure to the cancer causing agent.

Affecting approximately 2,000 to 3,000 people in America each year, mesothelioma is taking a toll on the lives of a good percentage of the population and their families.

The cancer primarily hits the lining of the lungs. However, it can also target the heart and the abdomen. People who contract mesothelioma are expected to live no longer than one year after diagnosis.

The name mesothelioma comes from the mesothelium, which is a membrane that forms a protection around the body’s internal organs. When a person contracts mesothelioma, the mesothelium’s cells malfunction and begin dividing in a disorderly manner. Then, those cells can damage nearby tissues and organs. Then, the cells can begin to spread to other regions of the body.

There are five types of mesothelioma. Out of the five, four types are malignant. The four are pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma, and testicular mesothelioma.

Symptoms

Symptoms are related to the type of mesothelioma. For instance, common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are shortness of breath, coughing, tiredness, and lumps underneath the chest’s skin.

Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are weight loss, nausea, and pains in the abdomen. Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are irregular heartbeat, night sweats and breathing problems. Symptoms of testicular mesothelioma include testicular lumps. It’s unfortunate that the symptoms from this list could easily be mistaken for other illnesses because early detection could prolong life expectancy.

Causes

The causes of mesothelioma are very subtle. They come from the normal work place, hiding in the walls, ceilings, and working materials in the form of asbestos.

Asbestos is a name given to six mineral fibers that occur naturally. Hundreds of countries have asbestos, and the mineral fibers exist on almost every single continent. Hundreds of times thinner than the hairs on the human head, asbestos fibers are so small that the human eyes cannot see them.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration are especially concerned with the fibers that are over five micrometers long and also three times the length of their diameters. There are more than 100 mineral fibers deemed as asbestos-like by the U.S. Bureau of Mines, but only 6 forms are regulated by the U.S. government. Those forms are Chrysolite, Crocidite, Amosite, Anthophylite, Tremolite and Actinolite.

Asbestos is a valuable fiber because it has a good resistance to heat and fire.

When people inhale asbestos fibers, those fibers become stuck in the cavities of their body. The result is inflammation or infection.

Risk

Many companies and organizations knew that asbestos was harmful years before they made an effort to protect employees. At some point in the 1970s warnings were issued and asbestos use started to decline, but it did not disappear completely.

Today, people are still getting this disease. In fact, incidences have increased over time, but in spite of the disappointing increase in incidences, today’s workplace is making more of an effort to try and prevent this cancer.

The Occupations Safety and Health Administration have set limits for acceptable levels of work place asbestos exposure. Workers are often required to wears masks and gloves when working with asbestos.

However, in spite of those precautions, many workers who have just a little exposure to asbestos still get mesothelioma. In fact, some people who have had no known exposure to asbestos have contracted the cancer. Another peculiarity is that even family members of workers have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma because of asbestos fibers that attach to the clothing and hair of employees. Because of that, workers have been advised to take showers before they go home.

Over time, workers who deal with asbestos experience an increased risk of getting mesothelioma. Risk increases with heavier exposure and length of exposure.

It is possible that many workers only know that asbestos is dangerous. They may not know that it can lead to a cancer that causes death. More men than women contract mesothelioma, and as age increases so does the likelihood of getting the cancer.

Diagnosis and Treatment

When doctors attempt to diagnose mesothelioma, they ask about the patient’s medical history and exposure to asbestos. They might also do a total physical examination of the patient, complete with x rays. Doctors might also take a cat scan or an MRI. The MRI takes detailed images of the body’s interior.

If doctors believe the patient has mesothelioma, they will try to determine how long the disease has been affecting the patient. They will also try to determine if the cancer has spread to other areas of the body. After assessing the extent of the disease, the doctors can devise a plan to treat the mesothelioma. Treatment usually includes surgery, radiation therapy, or chemotherapy. Sometimes all of the treatments will be combined. The focus of treatment is to improve life expectancy. Patients who catch the disease early on could live a longer life.

To get rid of symptoms and pain, doctors may resort to draining fluid from the chest or abdomen with a thin needle or tube. This procedure is known as thoracentesis. Paracentesis is fluid removal from the abdomen.

With the proper treatment and medications, patients can have a much easier time dealing with the disease. Medical science is continuously trying finding a cure. Patients are welcome to participate in clinical trials that are designed to find new treatments and better ways to relieve symptoms. If a patient would like to participate in a mesothelioma trial, he should contact his doctor.

In the meantime, it is recommended that workers, who work in the shipyard, electrical, heating and other industries that deal with asbestos, carefully consider the risks they are taking. Although workers may wear masks every day on the job, there is still a chance of contracting this deadly disease.

Asbestos Attorney our law firm specializes in Mesothelioma Settlement for those that have a victim of Asbestos. Contact us today for a free review with a Mesothelioma Asbestos Lawyer.


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