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Friday, 31 October 2008

Mesothelioma: 5 Top Tips to Help Cope Easier

Living with a diagnosis of Mesothelioma can be very emotionally difficult to deal with. Understandably, you may be feeling upset and confused as it is not uncommon for Mesothelioma to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Here are five tips to help you or anyone else cope with Mesothelioma:

Living with a diagnosis of Mesothelioma can be very emotionally difficult to deal with. Understandably, you may be feeling upset and confused as it is not uncommon for Mesothelioma to be diagnosed at an advanced stage. Here are five tips to help you or anyone else cope with Mesothelioma:

1: Coping with your feelings.

Everyone has a different reaction when they learn that they have Mesothelioma. A wide range of feelings and emotions such as confusion, upset , worried, depression, shock, fear, denial, anger, negativity, etc. And it is not uncommon for people to feel relieved on learning they have Mesothelioma as they feel it is better to know than not know at all.

Just because you are having different feelings to others (or to the ones listed above) does not mean that you are not coping. There is no text book way to cope with Mesothelioma. The feelings you experience are naturally right for you so do not compare your feelings with anyone else.

2: Finding others to talk to.

Your family and friends may find it hard to talk with each other about Mesothelioma. This is not unusual as they may be scared of frightening you or make it more difficult to talk about in the future. Most Mesothelioma patients feel that a problem shared is a problem halved. In some cases, patients feel it is best just to be listened to and know that someone is there if a ‘good pair of listening ears’ is needed. Get the subject out in the open.

3: How to tell children.

It is never easy to tell children about Mesothelioma, even more difficult if they are small. Most patients will have small children, young relatives or the children of friends in their lives.

If the child you need to speak with is very small, start off by explaining that the person in question is very poorly. If the child is a little older, it is a good idea to explain Mesothelioma cancer as good cells and bad cells in the body. It is also a good idea if you know a little about Mesothelioma or cancer but overall, try to keep it simple.

You will also need to listen to the questions of the child and answer them the best you can without trying to upset them too much. Starting off with small bits of information and building up to the bigger picture as time goes on is a good way to go.

But don’t keep any secrets. Children are good at telling when something is not right and it may be harder for them to cope with uncertainty that it would be coping with the truth.

As adults, it can be natural to try and protect children from the truth but children can pick up on unusual comings and goings and will feel left out. Keep them informed, even if it is with just little snippets of information..

If possible, try to have a word with the childs school teacher to let them know that someone close to them is ill. Hopefully, the teacher will keep an eye on the child in case of any changes in the childs behaviour.

4. What can you do?

A feeling of helplessness is not unusual when someone is first told that they have Mesothelioma. Try and learn to understand Mesothelioma as this will help you and your family to take action and know what to expect. It is best to talk to a professional such as your doctor if you need more information as they will be able to advise you on your specific case which is always better than getting general information about Mesothelioma from a book or the internet. Be sure to take a list of questions to save time for you and your doctor.

It may be a good idea to see if there are any local support groups you can join. Finding people going through a similar experience as yourself can help you cope. Your doctor or hospital will be able to let you know if there are any support groups near to you.

As you are having treatment, you will find that you may not be able to do as much as you would like on a day to day basis. Once you start to feel a little better, try and do some simple tasks and do a little more each day. This will help with confidence but always remember not to over do things.

A lot of patients try to fight Mesothelioma by planning a healthy diet, learning relaxation techniques and taking regular exercise. You don’t have to do this, only if you would like to try it. The last thing you need are more dramatic changes in your life if you’re not ready for them. But if you do decide to give exercise a go, start slowly and set realistic targets. You will have good days and bad days so always plan your activity on how you feel on the day.

5: Who else can help?

More support can come from your GP if needed and hospitals can give advice and support through cancer nurses and specially trained staff will advise you on any worries you may have.

For financial help, check any insurance policies you have to see if you are covered. It is also advisable to seek financial help from your local welfare office if needed.

Sometimes it is nice to talk with someone who has nothing to do with Mesothelioma.

You may want to try counselling or if you’re religious, speaking with a local minister or anyone else involved in your faith.

Source : George Spence /

Thursday, 30 October 2008

Easy to Avoid and Recognize Mesothelioma

Easy to avoid mesothelioma

It is known that mesothelioma is caused by breathing asbestos fibers into the
lungs. When this happens, the lungs or the abdomen may be affected by the disease.

Because asbestos is so strongly linked to mesothelioma, regulations have been
created to set limits on the amount of exposure to asbestos a worker can have
in a workplace.

People who must work around asbestos because of the nature of their work must wear protective clothing. Occasionally a family member may develop mesothelioma as a result of breathing the fibers that may remain on the clothing when the worker returns home from work. to avoid this, if you work around asbestos it would be wise to have a clean change of clothes to wear home. Never allow the fibers to get in your car.

It has also been known to occur that people working around asbestos do not
acquire the disease. Many people have resilient genes that seem to fend off
diseases such as mesothelioma. As we never know what our body can handle or
not handle regarding health issues it is important to take precautions as if . . .

When working around asbestos treat yourself with protection as if your child’s
life depends on it. Refuse to take chances knowing you may carry home the very
fiber that your child or spouse may breathe causing suffering as well as opening
the door to the possibility of an early disease related death.

Watch for signs of mesothelioma to get early treatment. Symptoms may include
weight loss and abdominal pain. Other signs the doctor will watch for are bowel
obstruction, blood clotting, anemia and fever. As these symptoms can represent
other illnesses, be sure to have your doctor make the diagnosis.

Easy to recognize mesothelioma

Mesothelioma cancer results from being exposed to asbestos fibers. Other disease
related to asbestos are lung cancer and asbestosis. Because of this companies
using buildings that have asbestos for insulation are required by law to let people
know about it and to take precautions against breathing the fibers.

Asbestos seemed like a good choice for insulation years ago because it doesn’t conduct heat well and doesn’t melt or burn easily. It was used in floor tiles,
roofing, patching compounds such as sheet rock mud. As a dust it can be breathed into the lungs. mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused
by exposure to asbestos.

Where mesothelioma Is Located in the Body

The cancer cells are located in the chest or abdomen. Symptoms are shortness of breath, chest pain or swelling in the abdomen. These symptoms are not a guarantee of the disease but are important to see a doctor to find out if they represent mesothelioma. If you have worked on a job where asbestos was present these symptoms are to be taken very seriously to get early treatment.

Your doctor will be able to look internally to discover whether the symptoms are representative of mesothelioma. This test is usually done in the hospital. If abnormal cells are found, a biopsy will be taken. A biopsy is a small piece of what is found so it can be studied under a microscope.

If the diagnosis is mesothelioma, treatment must be given. Many components affect the survival rate of the person with the disease. As with anything, age can be a factor. Some people respond more positively to treatment. Where the
disease is located has an impact on survival of it.

Source :

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

4 Step Tips How to Prevent Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that afflicts the tissues lining the body's organs, as well as the spaces in between them. It is one of the more problematic forms of cancer, since symptoms do not often appear until the disease reaches advanced stages. The best way to treat mesothelioma is to prevent its development altogether. That's most effectively accomplished by avoiding exposure to asbestos.


Avoid contact with asbestos at all costs. Asbestos was once used extensively for a variety of purposes (like insulation and mining), and exposure to it is the number-one leading cause of mesothelioma. It is no longer prevalent in the United States, but there are still areas where it may be present, including old apartment buildings and condemned structures built prior to 1989.


Ask an expert to come to your home, place of business or wherever you intend to spend a majority of your time to verify there is no asbestos present. Don't attempt to remove the asbestos yourself, but instead hire someone who is qualified and trained in its removal.


Do not live with someone who works near asbestos. The fibers of asbestos can be transported via clothing and the skin, making it very easy to spread to other people. Even a few stray fibers are sometimes enough to cause mesothelioma.


Be aware that people over the age of 65 are more likely to develop mesothelioma, so be sure to receive regular checkups to keep tabs on your health once you approach and pass that age. Your body has had much more time to accumulate exposure to asbestos.

Source :

Monday, 27 October 2008

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a very rare form of cancer that is caused by breathing in asbestos particles. In the last twenty years, cases of mesothelioma have increased, but reported cases of the cancer are still fairly rare.

Mesothelioma strikes the membrane that covers and protects our internal organs. The membrane is known as the mesothelium – hence the name. The cancer is usually detected in the most advanced stages, as it takes anywhere from ten to fifty years and more to be detected. Mesothelioma is a very difficult to diagnose. Therefore, the mortality rate of those who contact the cancer is very high. Most people with the disease usually die within two to five years.

Depending on where in the body mesothelioma strikes, it has different names. Most cases affect the pleura, which is the membrane that covers and protects the chest cavity and lungs. A lesser affected area is the peritoneum, which is the membrane that is found in the abdominal cavity. The rarest form is mesothelioma pericardium, which strikes the membrane that covers and protects the heart.

Though scientists aren’t one hundred percent sure of what causes mesothelioma, most agree that asbestos fibers become lodged in the mesothelium and cause the cells to mutate, which causes the cancer.

Those at Risk

Research shows that most people who contact mesothelioma have worked at a job where they were exposed to asbestos particles in the air for a number of years. Mesothelioma strikes those who work in asbestos fabrication plants, asbestos mines, home renovation businesses, handling asbestos insulation or cement products and construction. Seventy to eighty percent of people who have been stricken with mesothelioma report that they worked with asbestos and were exposed to particles in the air. Other victims are family members of those exposed to asbestos particles through dirty laundry and hair of individuals who were exposed to asbestos particles on a daily basis.

The longer that individuals were exposed to asbestos particles and the heavier the exposure, the more likely they are to contact mesothelioma. However, even those exposed for very short periods of time have developed the disease. Other trades people who are at risk include boilermakers, brake mechanics, insulation installers, maintenance workers, pipe fitters, ship fitters and steel workers.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Early symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are often misdiagnosed as viral pneumonia. Symptoms seldom develop until the cancer is in its final stages. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and chest pain. This is caused by a build up of fluid between the chest cavity and the lung lining. This condition is known as pleural effusion. Other symptoms include persistent cough that may or may not contain blood, fever, hoarseness, muscle weakness, sensory loss and swelling of the arms and face.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal bloating and pain due to fluid build up in the abdominal cavity, chronic fatigue, anemia, fever, bowel obstruction, swelling of the feet and severe or rapid weight loss.

Pericardium mesothelioma symptoms include chronic fatigue, loss of appetite, heart palpitations, hypertension, hypotension, irregular heart rhythm and irregular heartbeat.

The biggest danger of mesothelioma is the likelihood that it will spread and affect other body organs. Symptoms include pain, swelling of arms, face and neck and trouble swallowing.

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Since symptoms of mesothelioma are very similar to those of other conditions, the cancer is difficult to diagnose. This often causes the disease to be in the final stages before diagnosis occurs. Mesothelioma diagnosis begins with a review of the patient’s medical history. The doctor must determine if the patient has been exposed to asbestos. He will then perform a complete examination and run tests. These include lung function testing, a CAT scan, an MRI and X-rays of the abdomen or chest. Cells are often extracted with a needle from the chest cavity if pleura mesothelioma is suspected. This test is only fifteen percent accurate. Most times the tests will show a negative result even though mesothelioma is present. More accurate testing includes a needle or open biopsy of the pleural to determine the cancer’s existence. When tissue is removed and sent to a laboratory for testing, cancerous cells can be easily detected.

Once mesothelioma is found, the doctor must determine the stage it is in and if it is benign or malignant. If it is found that the cancer is malignant, the doctor then has to determine if it has spread to other parts of the body, and if so, what organs has it attacked?

If mesothelioma has only mutated on the membrane surface, it is considered localized. If it has spread from the original site, it is termed as advanced. It may be found in the abdomen cavity, chest cavity, lungs or lymph nodes. CAT scans, MRI’s and X-rays are then performed to find out exactly how far the cancer has progressed.

Treatment of Mesothelioma

The earlier that mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better it is. Prognosis of the disease is difficult to evaluate, as most doctors, surgeons and specialists have little experience treating the disease. If mesothelioma is in an advanced stage when diagnosed, treatment is usually not effective.

The chance of survival for patients who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma depends on the patient’s age, the appearance of the cancer under a microscope, the location and size of the cancer and how far the cancer has spread. There are only three treatments to force mesothelioma into remission; chemotherapy, radiation and surgery.


Chemotherapy is medication that is used to stop types of cancer by the use of strong medication. It is usually given intravenously after surgery to kill cancerous cells that remain in the body. Medications used to treat mesothelioma are Altima, Adriamycin, Gemcitabine, Oconase and Taxol. A combination of more than one of these medications seems to be most effective in the treatment of mesothelioma. At present, new medications are being developed for all types of the disease.


Surgery is not a cure for mesothelioma. However, it can control the spread of the cancer, give the patient relief from symptoms and prolong life. Before surgery can be performed, the patient must undergo tests to evaluate heart function and lung performance.

Aggressive Surgery

Aggressive surgery in the form of lung, diaphragm or pericardium removal is common. This surgery is highly specialized and carries a very high risk. Many patients die within a four week period. Many others are so high risk that aggressive surgery is impossible.

Palliative Surgery

Palliative surgery is performed to control symptoms and relieve pain.


Thoracentesis is the use of a needle to draw excess fluid from the chest to relieve pain and breathlessness.


Pleurectomy is the removal of the pleura to reduce pain and to prevent excess fluid build up.

Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy has not proven successful in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. The reason for this is that it virtually impossible to give sufficient doses of radiation to kill a mesothelioma mass without doing extensive damage to body organs. Radiation therapy helps to improve quality of life, but there’s no evidence that it prolongs life. Radiation treatment is often given after surgery to kill any cancerous cells that remain at the original mesothelioma site. Radiation is most often used to control symptoms and relieve pain.


If you or someone you know has mesothelioma, you may be entitled to compensation. If a diagnosis is made, contact a lawyer that specializes in mesothelioma litigation. Compensation is based on a number of factors, including loss of income as well as loss of future income; the parties that are responsible for the asbestos exposure and the laws in the area where the victim lives. The amount of compensation varies from several thousand to millions. Be sure to document all relative facts and information quickly, as mesothelioma is a very aggressive form of cancer.

Things You Should Know about Mesothelioma

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, there are some common facts you should know about the cancer, questions you should ask your doctor and you should definitely know your rights. After the receiving the diagnosis of mesothelioma, you will be shocked, confused and scared. Here is some information that will guide you through the process.

Facts about Mesothelioma

  • Mesothelioma is a cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos particles in the air.
  • Mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor of the mesothelium, which is the protective lining of the abdominal organs, the heart and the lungs.
  • The most common type of mesothelioma is pleural mestothelioma. It strikes the pleural membrane between the chest cavity and the lungs.
  • Family members of laborers who are exposed to asbestos can contact mesothelioma if exposed to a worker’s clothing.
  • Workers most at risk are those who come into contact with asbestos, such as ship fitters, asbestos fabrication plants workers, insulation installers and home renovators.
  • Mesothelioma spreads rapidly through the mesothelial cells to other organs in the body.
  • Smokers are more at risk of contacting pleural mesothelioma.
  • Constant chest pain is usually the first symptom of mesothelioma. Others include persistent cough, fever, and swelling of the arms and face.
  • After the initial diagnosis patients usually succumb to the disease within two years. This depends on the overall health of the individual and the stage the cancer is in when it is diagnosed. Other factors are also involved, but these are the most predominant.
  • Mesothelioma victims can put in a claim against both the asbestos manufacturer and workman’s compensation.
  • Some law firms specialize in mesothelioma litigation.

Questions to Ask your Doctor

  • Which type of mesothelioma have you diagnosed?
  • Has the mesothelioma spread outside of the original site?
  • What stage is the cancer in and how will it affect me?
  • Do I have treatments options; if so, what are they?
  • What type of treatment do you recommend and for why have you chosen it?
  • What is my prognosis based on what you have learned at this point in time?
  • What side effects and risks can I expect during and after treatment?
  • Will the mesothelioma be put into remission and if so how long before it could reoccur?
  • When will treatment begin?
  • How do I prepare for treatment?

Mesothelioma and your Rights

If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with any type of mesothelioma, you are entitled to be compensated. This also extends to family members who have contacted the disease through contaminated clothing. Though amounts awarded vary from one case to another, you could be looking at an amount with six or seven figures.

Being awarded thousands of dollars for asbestos poisoning is not like winning the lottery. Mesothelioma is most often fatal and the symptoms include excruciating pain, among others. Medical costs for treating mesothelioma can be hundreds of thousands of dollars. Legal compensation usually is the means by which the victim pays these bills and assures that his family will be properly provided for.

Identify your Exposure

In order to receive compensation, the mesothelioma victim must be able to prove where, when and for how long he was exposed to asbestos. He must provide the names of distributors, contractors or manufacturers. The onus is on the victim to prove “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he was exposed to asbestos by a specific asbestos product and also pinpoint the exact location where the exposure took place.

Statute of Limitations

As soon as a diagnosis of mesothelioma is made, the victim should check on the statutory deadlines in his area and file a claim immediately. If a person is only diagnosed during an autopsy, family members may be able to file a claim. This should be done immediately upon receipt of the death certificate that states that the cause of death was mesothelioma. Those who have contacted the cancer through secondary methods may also be eligible for compensation and should look into the matter as soon as they are diagnosed.

A victim must be able to identify the parties responsible for their exposure to asbestos when the claim is filed.

Types of Information Needed

You will need to document the following in order for a mesothelioma claim to have a chance of being successful.

  • Work history.
  • Work locations
  • Brands and types of asbestos that the victim was exposed to.
  • Where and when exposure occurred.
  • Co-workers names and contact information.

If the mesothelioma patient is not mobile, he will be allowed to conduct depositions either at home or from a hospital. If the victim is terminally ill, required proof of exposure can be provided by a spouse, a close relative or an executor.

The largest amount of compensation usually comes from the manufacturers of asbestos products. Courts tend to award millions of dollars to family members of those who have succumbed to mesothelioma after working in an asbestos factory. Law firms that handle lawsuits for mesothelioma victims work on a contingency basis. This means there is no retainer fee needed and the firm’s payment is a percentage of the mesothelioma compensation award that they win for the victim.

Another compensation source is disability insurance that the victim claims either from a private policy or one that he had through his place of employment. If asbestos exposure can be pin pointed to a specific job location and work site, the victim should then file a claim against his employer.

Most importantly, seek out a law firm immediately upon diagnosis of mesothelioma to ensure the victim’s rights are protected.

Finding the Right Mesothelioma Attorney

If you’ve been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important that you hire an attorney immediately. Most lawyers that specialize in mesothelioma work on a contingency basis. This means that there is no costly retainer fee and that the attorney works for a percentage of the settlement. If he doesn’t win you any compensation, he doesn’t get paid. This is something that rules in your favor because an attorney that works on contingency will do the best possible job It is important that you find a mesothelioma attorney that you trust and have a good working relationship with. Filing a mesothelioma claim can be a lengthy process because there’s a lot of information that must be compiled in the shortest possible time.

Never hire the first mesothelioma attorney that you contact. Shop around. Phone the offices of mesothelioma attorneys and ask if the initial consultation is free. Meet with every mesothelioma lawyer that offers a free consultation before making your choice. Ask bar associations for referrals and check the library. They often have lists of lawyers that deal with certain types of litigation.

Meeting with Prospective Attorneys

When you consult with mesothelioma attorneys, describe your issues in depth, then ask if they are able to take your case. If they agree, ask about fees and if they’re willing to work on a contingency basis. Ask these questions to each attorney you meet with and note his response. This is the time for you and your attorney to build good communication skills. After your attorney listens to your case, ask him to tell you your rights and provide ou with all courses of action that might be taken.

The mesothelioma attorney should take the opportunity during the initial consultation to inform you of how he plans to present your case. It is at this time that you should receive an estimate of his fees. Ask the attorney what experience he’s had in mesothelioma litigation, what the results are and if he can refer you to mesothelioma clients or their families that he has represented previously.

The Final Decision

When you’ve met with three to five mesothelioma attorneys, it’s time to make a decision. Use the notes you’ve made and ask yourself the following questions

  • Did the attorney seem genuinely interested in my case?

  • Did he listen to me and respond appropriately?

  • Did the attorney explain alternate courses of action if there were any?

  • Did the attorney explain how he would present your case?
  • Which attorney did you feel most comfortable with and did he seem trustworthy?
  • Did the attorney seem to care about you and the implications that the mesothelioma will have on your life?

After reviewing these questions, choose the lawyer that is right for you. Visit his office again, ask him to take the case and get a written agreement or a legal contract.

Now that you have the best mesothelioma attorney, it’s time to proceed with your claim. If you have any questions during the filing and presentation of your case, contact your attorney. It’s important that you have peace of mind with all that’s going on in your life.

Source :

Saturday, 25 October 2008

Abdominal Mesothelioma

Abdominal mesothelioma, also known as peritoneal mesothelioma, is one form of a rare asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma. The abdominal mesothelioma, as the name suggests, is a cancer of the tissues in the abdominal cavity. Abdominal mesothelioma generally affects men ages 50-70, although women make up about one-fifth of all abdominal mesothelioma cases.

Symptoms of Abdominal Mesothelioma

Symptoms of abdominal mesothelioma include:

  • Abdominal pains
  • Abdominal weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal swelling

Patients exhibiting these mesothelioma symptoms are usually scheduled for further examinations to search for other abdominal mesothelioma signs. If an X-ray or CT scan indicates signs that the patient indeed may have abdominal mesothelioma, a biopsy is conducted, allowing the physician to determine the malignancy level. Any abdominal mesothelioma treatment will be determined by the physician and patient, taking into account factors such as:

  • the stage of the abdominal mesothelioma
  • the location and sizes of any tumors
  • the age and health of the patient

Abdominal mesothelioma has a very high mortality rate, and in many cases, mesothelioma diagnosis occurs when the abdominal mesothelioma has already progressed too far. In such cases, all actions focus on making the abdominal mesothelioma as comfortable as possible, often removing portions of the tumor to relieve pressure.

How can a Mesothelioma Attorney Help?

Abdominal mesothelioma patients may be able to recover part or all of the costs of treating abdominal mesothelioma, due to its strong links to asbestos exposure. For more information on financial liability and abdominal mesothelioma, you may wish to Contact a Mesothelioma Attorney who is familiar with other abdominal mesothelioma cases.

Source :

Friday, 24 October 2008

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Side Effects

In an earlier article, I have elaborated on the possible legal solutions one can consider when handling cases or suffering from mesothelioma or asbestos cancer. In this article, I shall briefly discuss other forms of situations or occasions one maybe exposed to potential side effects, giving cause to such cancer.

We maybe aware that certain occupations will expose particular groups of people to mesothelioma or asbestos poisoning. Generally such cancers occur as a result of constant exposure or inhalation of fine particles of certain asbestos materials. Common trades include those working in the construction and renovation industry, factories supplying asbestos materials to related industries, and so on. Although regulations have already been passed to ban the use of asbestos in most countries, there are still certain states or countries that choose to ignore such regulations, at the risk of their workers' health. Those that choose to comply have already begun switching to other forms of similar property materials, other than asbestos.

What is mentioned above is of direct concern to those involved in trades that have first hand exposure to asbestos. However, one should also be concerned even if you are only a end user of such materials in your homes of workplace.

As time goes by, any form of material will deteriorate. Wall paint will being to lose its color or peel off, metal fixtures may begin to rust as a result of oxidation, and even plastic items may begin to turn moldy due to temperature variances depending on its intended use. Likewise, users of asbestos products can expect their ceiling boards or wall partitions to deteriorate as well.

While this may appear to be common sense knowledge (now that we look at the behaviour of other materials), there are a surprising number of people out there who aren't aware of such characteristics! And over the years, those occupants who work or live in such premises utilizing asbestos materials may not even be aware of the daily constant exposure to such deterioration.

Think about it: if such materials are really that safe to handle and work with, why are the workers handling and assembling asbestos boards in your vicinity provided with face masks and gloves. It's to minimize their exposure during the installation process! If that's the case, why aren't end users required to put on face masks when they are surrounded by asbestos material? See the logic?

Having said that, are you provided with the necessary level of protection if your organization is in the construction and renovation trade? Is your company trying to reduce its cost exposure by cutting back on the necessary personal protective equipment?

As discussed above, regardless of which side of the spectrum you are currently at, everyone needs to know the risks and potential exposure involved in asbestos environment. Just remember that at the end of the day, we should not be ignorant of potential resources and avenues available to us in ensuring our personal well being.

Remember this: you owe it to yourself to work and live in a safe and asbestos free environment. And if this is not the case presented to you, you have every option and right to seek the relevant solutions to these mesothelioma and asbestos problems.

(Note: readers must be aware that the views expressed above are those of the author and should not be considered as legal advice or grounds to pursue legal judgement. Visit our website to find out more on mesothelioma and asbestos solutions.)

About the author :

Gary is currently in the homeland security industry and has come across occupational hazards within specific industries. For more information, visit:

Thursday, 23 October 2008

What is Mesothelioma and What Can Be Done to Treat It

What is Mesothelioma? Some Facts and Myths About This Very Contemporary Disease.

There is a common misconception that mesothelioma is a form of lung cancer. It is in fact a cancer of the protective membrane around the lungs, inside the ribs, known as the mesothelium. A similar membrane covers most of the body's organs, but it is the lining around the lungs which most often becomes cancerous.

Unlike lung cancer, mesothelioma is not caused by smoking. The overwhelming majority of cases are linked to exposure to tiny, airborne fragments of mineral asbestos, which was commonly used in a range of construction materials, particularly insulation. Inhalation of these asbestos fibers is the only known cause of mesothelioma.

Exposure to asbestos is strongly linked to other severely debilitating and life threatening illnesses, including lung cancer and asbestosis, and less serious diseases affecting the lining of the lungs such as pleural fibrosis, pleural plaques and benign pleural effusions.

Building materials manufacturers have been aware of the risks of exposure to airborne asbestos since the 1930s, but warnings and safety measures only began to be put in place in the 1960s, and even then they were dangerously inadequate. The use of asbestos in construction was eventually banned in the US in the mid 1970s, and more stringent measures have been put in place to protect workers on renovation or demolition sites where asbestos is present. However, even now building workers are not always told when they are working on a site which carries an asbestos exposure risk.

Although the number of people being newly exposed to the risk of mesothelioma is now at a minimum, newly diagnosed cases of the disease are set to rise dramatically in the coming decades. This is due to the fact that symptoms can take 30 to 50 years to develop. Sufferers only become aware of symptoms once the cancer has reached an advanced stage, which is why the disease is so difficult to treat and has such a low survival rate once diagnosed. The extent of the disease in the US has become a major concern, with over 2,000 new cases being reported every year.

New screening and diagnostic techniques are being developed to increase the effectiveness of treatment. Those who believe they may be at risk can find information and support from their local health care provider, and from online mesothelioma support resources such as

David Llennac has worked with mesothelioma and health as well as health and fitness and recommends stress relief products and services to improve your lifestyle and well being. Do you want to end your panic attacks now and have a better quality of life and take full advantage of the opportunities open to you? mesothelioma information on surgeons

Article Source:

Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Mesothelioma - Defining the Disease

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that invades the mesothelium, a protective layer that surrounds most internal organs including the lungs, stomach and heart. There are both benign and malignant forms of Mesothelioma; however, less than 10% of occurrences are benign. There are at least three known causes for Mesothelioma, including:

• Asbestos exposure (foremost cause) including direct and indirect contact
• Thorium Dioxide (Thorotrast)-used in certain X-ray tests in the past
• Zeolite-a silicate mineral common in soil in Turkey's Anatoli region

Diagnosing Mesothelioma, especially in the early stages, is a tricky proposition because the symptoms will mirror common aches and pains and are often ignored until the disease has progressed. Malignant Mesothelioma affects three main areas of the body-lungs, abdominal cavity, and heart, and are categorized as follows:

• Pleural Mesothelioma (most common form) affects the lungs
• Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the abdominal cavity
• Pericardial Mesothelioma (rarest form) affects the heart

Each type carries its own unique list of symptoms, most of which remain undetected until the cancer has reached untreatable levels. Those with Pleural Mesothelioma can experience chest pains, weight loss, fever, difficulty breathing, persistent cough and swelling of the face and neck. In cases of Peritoneal Mesothelioma, a person will suffer from nausea, weight loss, abdominal pains, and vomiting. Complications include anemia, blood clotting issues, and bowel obstruction. Pericardial Mesothelioma causes shortness of breath, a persistent cough, chest pains and heart palpitations. With all three forms of the disease, the signs grow more acute with time and yet can still evade diagnosis by being chalked up to other diseases with similar symptoms.

The first cases of Mesothelioma appeared in the early 1900's, amongst asbestos miners and factory workers. The rate of occurrence continues to grow even though use of asbestos has declined, mostly because it can take decades for symptoms to emerge. While those who are directly exposed to asbestos are most likely to get this type of cancer, those who have had only minimal contact have also contracted Mesothelioma. Something as simple as washing asbestos-covered clothing or daily exposure to houses and buildings that utilize asbestos insulation can put people at risk.

While Mesothelioma is a popular buzzword in the personal injury law arena today, victims and the legal system have been fighting for rights, and restitution since the 1920's. Companies with low ethical standards and even lower levels of compassion, having knowledge of the dangers of asbestos, forced countless employees to work in unsafe, life threatening conditions, without benefit of protective clothing, masks, or other safety precautions or the benefit of informing them of the risks they faced on a daily basis. In the United States, laws have been enacted, such as The Clean Air Act, and the Toxic Substance Control Act, in order to provide more protection to employees, and citizens, in general from exposure to Asbestos. Even if Asbestos was banned globally, however, it would take decades or longer before the risks of contracting Mesothelioma would be thwarted.

Robert Grazian is an accomplished niche website developer and author. To learn more about Mesothelioma visit Medical Dental Terminology for current articles and discussions.

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Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Mesothelioma - An Overview

Mesothelioma is an incurable form of cancer, which is rather uncommon. It is caused by previous exposure to asbestos. If we go through the history of mesothelioma patients we can see that either they have worked on jobs where they had inhaled asbestos particles or they must have been exposed to asbestos dust or particles in other ways. These particles pierce the delicate internal organs like the lungs, intestine and even the heart. It also destroys mesothelium, the protective sack which produces fluid facilitating the proper movement of organs. Apart from this, it can develop cancerous tumors which spread all over the body.

There are different forms of Mesothelioma. Pleural Mesothelioma is the most common form. Peritoneal Mesothelioma stands second which affects the stomach and intestines. Another rarest form of Mesothelioma, called Pericardial Mesothelioma attacks the membrane lubricates in the heart during circulation. During the initial stages, people tend to mistake mesothelioma for pneumonia. How ever, the common symptoms are persistent cough, shortness of breath, chest pains, loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting, swelling up of face and neck, coughing up blood, weight loss etc. Even though it is not compulsory that everyone who comes into contact with asbestos will develop the disease, keeping the risk factor in mind, it is better to consult the doctor on time which helps in early detection of the disease.

Normally mesothelioma is diagnosed in the later stages and it can be a serious blow to the family. Though research work continues incessantly there is no cure for the disease now. Mostly, the treatment is provided to lessen the severity of the symptoms of the disease. Doctors depend on some combinations of chemotherapy drugs and research scientists concentrate on finding ways and means for an early diagnosis of the fatal disease. In some cases surgery is performed on patients to remove tumors or an entire lung. Still most of them are treated with radiation or chemotherapy.

The reason someone develops the condition can be attributed to the negligence of the employers. The harmful impacts of asbestos and asbestos products are quite evident. Still, most of the employers pay scant respect regarding the health of the employees and do not offer adequate protection. It was in the 1970s that the public became aware of the dangers of the asbestos dust and fibers. Since then many employers have started giving protective clothing such as respirators, aprons, gloves and other necessary items to the hapless victims working in the field on a daily basis. But, these efforts are not at all sufficient and lot more has to be done to ensure the safety of the workers. The companies dealing with the production of asbestos or products containing asbestos have been subjected to numerous law suites owing to the irresponsible behavior of the employers. Most of these cases are filed by the unfortunate victims of the disease.

If you want to know more about Asbestos Lawyers then feel free to visit Mesothelioma Information.

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Tuesday, 14 October 2008

Mesothelioma Cancer - Aggressive and Invasive

Mesothelioma cancer (MC) is an aggressive and invasive form of cancer, and it quickly spreads over the surface of the lungs, abdominal organs or heart. In the simplest terms, is a cancer of the mesothelium, the membrane that covers the organs in the body. It is a rare form of cancer; only 2,000-3,000 new mesothelioma cases are reported each year.

Most of the people who develop mesothelioma cancer have worked in an environment where they have inhaled particles of asbestos. Depending on what type of mesothelioma cancer is involved, how advanced it is, and other factors, life expectancy (or the median life-span after diagnosis) ranges from four months to two years. Recently, however, some advances have been made in treatment, particularly in multimodal treatment (using more than one treatment method to attack the disease) that have helped patients live longer. There are also continually new mesothelioma cancer treatments developed and combinations of treatments being tried that show promise.

Also remember that a median is just a mid-point; if the median length of life after diagnosis is a year, that means that half of the patients diagnosed live longer than a year. Many will live much longer: for an enlightening look at what that means, you can read “The Median is not the Message,” by Stephen Jay Gould.

Although exposure to asbestos has been greatly reduced since it became clear that it was responsible for serious illness, it can take 30 to 50 years for the disease to show up after exposure. (This isn’t universal, however; there are rare cases of children and adolescents who are diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer.) As a result of the delay in onset, the number of cases increased as the exposure to asbestos fibers decreased for most people.

The mesothelium is actually made up of two layers of tissue: one covers the organ, and the other forms a sac around the area, with a lubricating fluid between the layers to facilitate movement (like the expansions and contractions of a beating heart, or the expansion of your lungs as you breathe in and out.) The mesothelium has different names in different areas of the body. For example, the mesothelial membrane that surrounds the lungs is the pleura, so malignant pleural mesothelioma is cancer that starts in the membrane around the lungs. The mesothelium that lines the abdomen and covers most of the abdominal organs is the peritoneum, and the one around the heart is the pericardium. Most cases of malignant Mesothelioma cancer are pleural; the next most common type is peritoneal mesothelioma cancer.

From the mesothelium, cancerous cells can invade nearby organs, tissue, or lymph nodes, or metastasize elsewhere in the body.

The single greatest risk factor for mesothelioma cancer is exposure to asbestos. Most reported cases occur in people who have occupational exposure to asbestos, but there are some cases of second-hand exposure, where the patient is the spouse of someone who works with asbestos, and may carry the fibers home. There are cases where the patient has had no known exposure to asbestos, but these are scarce.

Asbestos and Mesothelioma Cancer

Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that has been widely used in many industrial products since the late 1800s, and especially since World War II. Because heat and chemical exposure do not affect it, and it does not conduct electricity, it has been used in products like insulation, roofing shingles, flooring materials, cement, brake linings, and fabrics. Floating particles of asbestos – often released during manufacturing, or more recently, when asbestos-containing materials are removed from buildings – can be inhaled or swallowed; these particles can cause serious illness.

In addition to its link with Mesothelioma cancer, asbestos exposure can increase the risk of lung cancer and other forms of cancer, as well as asbestosis, which is a non-malignant, chronic respiratory illness. Tobacco use does not appear to exacerbate the risk of Mesothelioma cancer when combined with asbestos exposure, but the combination does significantly increase the risk of lung disease in general.

Other possible causes

For those patients with little or no documented exposure to asbestos, there are several possibilities. First of all, it has not been determined how much asbestos exposure is required to cause MC; it may be that very small amounts (that would perhaps never be noticed) can cause the disease.

Zeolite is another fibrous mineral that is not asbestos; it has been implicated as the probable cause of an epidemic of MC in a small village in Turkey.

MC has also been known to occur in conjunction with chronic inflammation and scarring caused by other respiratory illnesses. It is also likely that there is a genetic component to the development of the illness; it tends to run in families, and while all of the family members have exposure to asbestos, MC only occurs in a very small percentage of people who were exposed to it occupationally.

Radiation therapy could also be a cause; MC has been associated with radiation treatments for other illnesses.

Other possibilities have been suggested, but not proven. They include chemical exposure and viral infection, which have caused malignant MC in some animal studies.

Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms

The first symptoms of pleural MC may be chest pain or shortness of breath; some people may also be hoarse or have difficulty swallowing, or coughing up blood. Also, more than half of the patients with pleural MC have lower back pain or pain at the side of the chest.

Usually, the first symptom of peritoneal MC is abdominal pain or swelling, which may look like weight gain around the waist. Because the first signs of the disease are-often flu-like symptoms, many people are either diagnosed accidentally, when a tumor is discovered in the process of diagnosing unrelated symptoms, or are not diagnosed at all until the cancer is so advanced that it causes abdominal swelling. Other symptoms are weight loss, nausea, lack of appetite, and weakness.

Mesothelioma Cancer Diagnosis

There are various tests used to diagnose MC once your doctor thinks you may have it:

Medical history and physical examination

First, your medical history will be taken to establish when symptoms occurred, and whether there are any factors in your history or environment that would put you at greater risk for the disease. This may help determine if you have been exposed to asbestos at some point.

There will also be a thorough physical exam, in which the doctor looks for signs of malignant MC or other health problems. Pleural mesothelioma will often cause pleural effusion, or fluid in the chest cavity; fluid in the peritoneum or the pericardium (which can be caused by mesotheliomas in those areas) can also be detected by an exam.


Chest x-rays can show irregular thickening of the pleura, calcifications (or mineral deposits) in the pleura, lowering the spaces between the lobes of the lungs, or fluid in the pleura. Often, these symptoms are associated with asbestos exposure that leads to malignant MC.

X-rays, CT (computed tomography) scans and MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) scans can help locate the cancer and determine its size and extent. CT and MRI scans both take multiple images of the scanned area from different positions, and use computer processing to produce detailed images that are cross-sections. CT scans use x-rays, sometimes with the injection of a non-toxic dye (to highlight details); the MRI uses magnetic fields to create its images.

Testing fluid and tissue samples

If your doctor sees that fluid has collected in the mesothelial tissue, it can be sampled with a needle and tested. Analysis of the fluid can provide more information about the cause of the effusion, and may show the presence of cancer cells. Using fluid to diagnose mesothelioma cancer is not as precise as using tissue samples, though, so it may be necessary to follow the sampling of fluid with a tissue biopsy.

If there is a tumor, a tissue sample can be taken using thoracoscopy or laparoscopy, where a thin tube with a camera connected to it can be inserted into the chest or abdomen to see the tumor and get a sample of it. (Fluid can also be collected this way.) The procedure requires only small incisions.


Surgery can be used to remove part or all of a tumor from the chest cavity or the abdomen. The procedure of opening the chest cavity is called thoracotomy; a laparotomy is the opening of the abdominal cavity.

Oral exploration

If a patient might have pleural mesothelioma, a bronchoscopy may be performed. This is where a flexible lighted tube is inserted through the mouth into the trachea and the bronchi to look for abnormal tissue and take samples.

Lymph Nodes

Another procedure your doctor may recommend is a mediastinoscopy. A lighted tube is inserted under the sternum (the breastbone) into the chest from the neck. It is possible to see the lymph nodes using this procedure, and to take samples to analyze for malignancy.

The lymph nodes are masses of immune system cells that are about the size of a bean. They help the body fight infection and cancer. Examining the lymph nodes can determine whether the cancer has spread or not; also, because lung cancer spreads to the lymph nodes more often than mesothelioma, it may help distinguish between lung cancer and mesothelioma.

Even with tissue samples, it has traditionally been difficult to see the cells well enough to distinguish mesothelioma from different types of cancer. One of the biggest problems in diagnosing mesothelioma is that it can look just like other kinds of cancer at first.

A recent breakthrough in diagnosis that will undoubtedly have an effect on the series of diagnostic tests above was reported in November 2003.² A new blood test is being developed that can detect the presence of high levels of a distinct kind of molecular marker which is peculiar to mesothelioma, SMR (or soluble mesothelin-related proteins). In one trial, 84% of the mesothelioma patients showed high levels of SMR, while less than 2% of those with other forms of lung cancer did.

Even more promising than being able to diagnose mesothelioma in a minimally invasive way is the possibility of predicting mesothelioma in people who have no symptoms. SMR levels can be higher several years before the onset of symptoms, so by doing a blood test on people who have been exposed to asbestos, it is possible to find the disease while the chances of treating it successfully are much higher.

Mesotheliomas usually fall into one of these three types:

  1. epitheloid (making up about 50%-70% of the total occurrences)– this has the best chance of survival
  2. sarcomatoid (7%-20%) – this has the worst chance for survival.
  3. mixed or biphasic (20%-35%) – this falls between the other two

Treatment options are the same for all types.

There is a type of tumor that was originally called benign mesothelioma, because it appeared to form in the same location as malignant mesothelioma. These are actually fibrous tumors that are usually benign, although they can become cancerous. Doctors now understand that they don’t originate from mesothelial cells, but from tissue under the mesothelium, so they are not related to malignant mesothelioma. Whatever their source, however, they are not easy to differentiate from malignant mesothelioma without biopsy, so they need to be mentioned in this context.

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Monday, 13 October 2008

Stages of Malignant Mesothelioma

After malignant mesothelioma has been diagnosed, tests are done to find out if cancer cells have spread to other parts of the body.

The process used to find out if cancer has spread outside the pleura or peritoneum is called staging. The information gathered from the staging process determines the stage of the disease. It is important to know the spread of the cancer in order to plan treatment. The following tests and procedures may be used in the staging process:

  • Chest x-ray: An x-ray of the organs and bones inside the chest. An x-ray is a type of energy beam that can go through the body and onto film, making a picture of areas inside the body.
  • CT scan (CAT scan): A procedure that makes a series of detailed pictures of the chest and abdomen, taken from different angles. The pictures are made by a computer linked to an x-ray machine. A dye may be injected into a veintissues show up more clearly. This procedure is also called computed tomography, computerized tomography, or computerized axial tomography. or swallowed to help the organs or
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging): A procedure that uses a magnet, radio waves, and a computer to make a series of detailed pictures of the chest or abdomen. This procedure is also called nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI).
  • Endoscopic ultrasound (EUS): A procedure in which an endoscope is inserted into the body. An endoscope is a thin, tube-like instrument with a light and a lens for viewing. A probe at the end of the endoscope is used to bounce high-energy sound waves (ultrasound) off internal tissues or organs and make echoes. The echoes form a picture of body tissues called a sonogram. This procedure is also called endosonography. EUS may be used to guide fine-needle aspiration (FNA) biopsy of the lung, lymph nodes, or other areas.

    Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy; drawing shows an endoscope with an ultrasound probe and biopsy needle inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus. Drawing also shows lymph nodes near the esophagus and cancer in one lung. Inset shows the ultrasound probe locating the lymph nodes with cancer and the biopsy needle removing tissue from one of the lymph nodes near the esophagus.
    Endoscopic ultrasound-guided fine-needle aspiration biopsy. An endoscope that has an ultrasound probe and a biopsy needle is inserted through the mouth and into the esophagus. The probe bounces sound waves off body tissues to make echoes that form a sonogram (computer picture) of the lymph nodes near the esophagus. The sonogram helps the doctor see where to place the biopsy needle to remove tissue from the lymph nodes. This tissue is checked under a microscope for signs of cancer.

There are three ways that cancer spreads in the body.

The three ways that cancer spreads in the body are:

  • Through tissue. Cancer invades the surrounding normal tissue.
  • Through the lymph system. Cancer invades the lymph system and travels through the lymph vessels to other places in the body.
  • Through the blood. Cancer invades the veins and capillaries and travels through the blood to other places in the body.

When cancer cells break away from the primary (original) tumor and travel through the lymph or blood to other places in the body, another (secondary) tumor may form. This process is called metastasis. The secondary (metastatic) tumor is the same type of cancer as the primary tumor. For example, if breast cancer spreads to the bones, the cancer cells in the bones are actually breast cancer cells. The disease is metastatic breast cancer, not bone cancer.

The stages of malignant mesothelioma are divided into two groups.

Malignant mesothelioma stages are grouped into localized and advanced.

Localized malignant mesothelioma (stage I)

In localized malignant mesothelioma, cancer is found in the lining of the chest wall and may also be found in the lining of the lung, the lining of the diaphragm, or the lining of the sac that covers the heart on the same side of the chest.

Advanced malignant mesothelioma (stage II, stage III, and stage IV)

Advanced malignant mesothelioma includes stage II, stage III, and stage IV.

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