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Mesothelioma | Definition of Mesothelioma by Merriam-Webster

The majority of the lawsuits that J&J faces involve claims that talc itself caused ovarian cancer, but a smaller number of cases allege that contaminated talc caused mesothelioma, a tissue cancer closely linked to asbestos exposure. NBC News, “Johnson & Johnson told to pay $4.7 billion in baby powder case,” 13 July 2018

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Mesothelioma | Definition of Mesothelioma by Merriam-Webster

Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

Approximately 3,000 people are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma in the United States every year. In most cases, these victims exposure took place on the job and the cause of the illness can be traced to an unsafe workplace.

For example, in the past, an overwhelming amount of job sites across the nation used asbestos-containing materials (ACMs) in buildings, equipment, products, machinery, insulation, electrical wiring, and more.

Workers were exposed to ACMs each time they went to work, inhaling tiny, odorless asbestos fibers. Once the fibers become lodged in the body, its literally impossible to expel all of. Over time, the workers began developing asbestos-related illnesses, such as mesothelioma, asbestosis, and asbestos-related lung cancer.

With changing regulations and mitigation, exposure to asbestos is on the decline, but people continue to be diagnosed. This is because the disease has what is known as a long latency period. This means that the amount of time that can pass between the time of exposure to asbestos and the time that symptoms begin to appear can be as long as fifty years.

It is an unfortunate reality, but medical science has made great strides in understanding how this deadly disease progresses and various ways to prolong and improve the lives of those who have been diagnosed with the condition. Currently, however, there is still no cure for asbestos illnesses.

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Mesothelioma Cancer | We Get You the Fast Help You Need

Mesothelioma | 2018 – Treatments, Symptoms, Causes, Prognosis

Selecting a mesothelioma specialist is one of the most important decisions a patient can make. Specialists are doctors who are experienced and knowledgeable about treating a specific disease.

A specialist can:

General oncologists do not have much experience in treating mesothelioma because only 2,000 to 3,000 cases are diagnosed in the U.S. each year.

Treatment prescribed by a specialist can significantly extend a patient’s life. Not every specialist treats every type of mesothelioma. Depending on the stage, type, location, severity and more, certain specialists are a better fit than others.

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Mesothelioma | 2018 – Treatments, Symptoms, Causes, Prognosis

Mesothelioma | 2018 Statistics, Symptoms, Treatment Options

Most often, mesothelioma is treated with a multimodal plan, or combination, of conventional cancer treatment methods including surgery and chemotherapy. Treatment will either focus on extending life expectancy or, at a late stage, focus on palliative care to relieve side effects. Research and clinical trials have found new hope for a potential cure with emerging treatments, like immunotherapy, to combat the disease and improve life expectancy.

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis, the most important step is finding a mesothelioma doctor who specializes in asbestos-related diseases. They will be the best person to determine the most effective treatment options for your individual case, and will also be aware of the latest treatment advancements or clinical trials available. Creating a custom treatment plan with a mesothelioma doctor is the most effective way to improve prognosis.

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Mesothelioma | 2018 Statistics, Symptoms, Treatment Options

Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment …

What is asbestosis disease?

Asbestosis disease is a chronic lung condition that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

The asbestos fibers lodge in tiny sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, chronic cough, loss of appetite, weight loss, and clubbing of fingers and toes.

Treatment can include use of an oxygen tube or mask, pulmonary rehabilitation exercises, or a lung transplant in extreme cases.

Are asbestosis and mesothelioma the same?

No. Although both of these diseases, along with lung cancer, are associated with exposure to asbestos, they are not the same.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, not a cancer. It is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can get stuck in the small sacs in the lungs. Having asbestosis can increase a patients chances for developing asbestos-related lung cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer. It affects the mesothelium tissue, which lines the lungs and chest wall, as well as the abdominal cavity, heart, and testicles. Malignant mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which lodge in the mesothelium tissue.

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Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer | Prognosis, Treatment …

Mesothelioma: Integrative Treatment Program | CTCA

Mesothelioma is treated in three main ways: with surgery, chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy. Patients with stage I, II or III pleural mesothelioma are typically treated with a combination of all three therapies. If microscopic disease remains after surgery, your oncologist may recommend radiation therapy to destroy leftover cancer cells. Radiation treatments may also be used to alleviate chest pain, shortness of breath or swallowing difficulties. For patients with inoperable, stage IV disease, chemotherapy is typically recommended.

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Mesothelioma: Integrative Treatment Program | CTCA

What is Mesothelioma? Learn About Causes, Survival Rates …

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive disease that is known to develop over a period of 20 to 40 years. In many cases, the disease is not diagnosed until the end stage, when it is more difficult to treat. There is no cure for mesothelioma, but advanced medical treatments have allowed patients to live longer with the disease. Up to 3,000 people a year are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma is cancer that forms in the mesothelium, or the thin layer of cells that surround major organs. Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos. There are three common locations for mesothelioma to form:

In general, the average life expectancy for mesothelioma patients is between 12 to 21 months. Some 40 percent of patients survive about a year after a diagnosis and about 20 percent live more than two years following a diagnosis. While rare, there are some patients who live longer than five years with the disease.

The patients age at diagnosis, general health and access to treatment specialists are among the many factors that go into determining a mesothelioma patients life expectancy. Other factors that play a key role are the location of the disease (pleural mesothelioma patients have better survival rates than other disease locations), cell types involved (epithelial cells respond better to treatment than other types) and stage (earlier stage disease is more responsive to treatment). Experts warn that life expectation estimations vary greatly by patient and individual circumstances.

The primary cause of any form of mesothelioma is exposure to the thin, fibrous mineral called asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they travel through the lungs to reach the pleura, where they cause inflammation and scarring to form pleural mesothelioma. In cases of peritoneal and pericardial mesothelioma, researchers suspect asbestos fibers are ingested, travel through the lymph system or are absorbed through the skin to irritate surrounding cells. In all cases, the irritations damage cell DNA, causing cells to grow rapidly and abnormally and forming tumors.

Small studies have indicated some people are genetically predisposed to developing mesothelioma because they are more susceptible to the dangers of asbestos. Researchers are also reviewing a link between mesothelioma and Simian virus 40 (SV40), a DNA virus that contaminated early polio vaccines. There has been no definitive link between the virus and mesothelioma.

Physicians determine the stage of disease by performing numerous tests including X-rays, CT (CAT) scans, MRIs, PET scans and biopsies. It is important to determine where the cancer started and if it has spread from the point of origin for a correct disease staging. An accurate assessment of disease stage is crucial to successful treatment options.

Most physicians use a universally accepted tumor grading system to stage the disease. This allows physicians to communicate about a single patient to devise the best treatment plan. The TNM system looks at the size and growth of tumors (T), the involvement of lymph nodes (N) and the metastasis, or spread, of the disease (M). From there, the cancer is staged, with stages I and II as the early disease process and stages III and IV as the more advanced disease. Most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the later stages, making treatment difficult.

About 55 percent of mid- to late-stage mesothelioma patients live six months after a diagnosis, some 40 percent survive the first year after a diagnosis and about 9 percent survive five years or longer. An overall survival rate is dependent on a number of factors including state and location of the disease, the patients age and general health and the access to treatment specialists. Long-term survivors credit lifestyle changes, alternative medicine and treatment from mesothelioma specialists as contributing factors to their success.

A recent study that looked at 20 years of survivor information, from 1992 to 2012, found pleural and peritoneal survivorship was on the rise. The study found recent advances in treatment, including hyperthermic intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) and cytoreductive surgery, appear to have increased survival rates in peritoneal mesothelioma patients. The studys author suggested genetics, various treatment modalities and gene environment interactions might also play a part in patient longevity.

The optimal treatment approach for most mesothelioma patients is multimodal therapy which is surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. This approach, if successful, eliminates diseased tissue and allows for palliative care. Your treatment plan will depend on your diagnosis, disease stage and overall health.

For decades, all branches of the military required asbestos be used to protect service members from heat, fire and chemical threats. It was widely used in barracks, offices, vehicles and vessels. Over a period of 50 years, some 5 million veterans were exposed to asbestos in shipbuilding operations alone. About 30 percent of mesothelioma patients are U.S. military veterans. Occupations that include carpentry, construction, roofing, auto mechanics and milling are at risk for exposure to dangerous levels of asbestos.

It is estimated that more than 300 asbestos products were used on military installations and in military applications between the early 1930s and the late 1970s. More recently, soldiers serving in Iraq, Afghanistan and the Middle East may be been exposed from airborne asbestos. Companies that produced these products concealed the dangers of mesothelioma to put profits ahead of the safety and well being of our troops.

Gender, age, severity of symptoms, level of asbestos exposure, stage of disease and disease cell type play a significant role in the overall prognosis for mesothelioma patients. In addition, external factors including diet, age, stress level and general health play a role. The average pleural mesothelioma patient with late-stage disease survives about 12 months after a diagnosis, but those treated with surgery and radiation may extend their prognoses by some 28 months. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients who are treated with heated intraperitoneal chemotherapy (HIPEC) outlive their prognoses by 24 months to 7 years.

Many patients are able to improve their prognosis by seeking treatment options from a qualified mesothelioma specialist. Doctors who are practiced and trained in mesothelioma disease treatment approaches have specialized skills, education and access to crucial information that can make positive changes on long-term health.

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What is Mesothelioma? Learn About Causes, Survival Rates …

Mesothelioma – TCGA

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that lines the chest, abdominal cavities, and most of the organs within them.1 This lining is called the mesothelium.

In the United States, there are roughly 3,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Exposure to asbestos is the main risk factor for developing this disease, and men tend to be more commonly affected a fact that most likely correlates with men holding jobs where they are more likely to come in contact with it.1

The term asbestos refers to a group of fibrous minerals known for their heat and corrosion resistance that in the past, were often used in a variety of products such as insulation, tiles, patching compounds, and more.1 When disturbed, asbestos can shed many tiny airborne particles which can be unknowingly inhaled or swallowed. An individual might not develop symptoms of mesothelioma until 20 or more years after initial contact, and most people develop the disease after the age of 65.1

The mesothelioma project is an international collaborative effort between TCGA as well as the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in the United Kingdom and the University of Western Australia. View additional information on mesothelioma.

Mesotheliomais part of an effort to characterize rare tumor types. Read more about the Rare Tumor Projects.

What types of discoveries about mesothelioma do The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) researchers hope to make?

Where can I find more information about the TCGA Research Networks studies or studies using TCGA data?

View a list of TCGA scientific publications.

Where can I find clinical trials to treat mesothelioma that are supported by the National Cancer Institute (NCI)?

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Mesothelioma – TCGA

Malignant MesotheliomaPatient Version – National Cancer …

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer of the thin tissue (mesothelium) that lines the lung, chest wall, and abdomen. The major risk factor for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Explore the links on this page to learn more about malignant mesothelioma treatment and clinical trials.

For more information, view Malignant Mesothelioma Symptoms, Tests, Prognosis, and Stages.

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Malignant MesotheliomaPatient Version – National Cancer …

Mesothelioma Veterans Center – Asbestos Benefits & VA Claims

Since asbestos was used so frequently, in so many trades, its projected that millions of working men and women were exposed to asbestos. From construction to plumbing to mining and manufacturing, asbestos was ever-present. Learn how and where you may have been exposed and what compensation may be available for you.

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Mesothelioma Veterans Center – Asbestos Benefits & VA Claims

Mesothelioma: How Has Paul Kraus Survived For Over 20 Years?

Looking for mesothelioma information? The following section provides extensive information about mesothelioma, including symptoms, treatment, and more. Click on an item in the menu below to jump to that topic:

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the lining that covers many internal organs. There are approximately 2,000 cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring carcinogen that was put into thousands of industrial and consumer products even after many companies knew that it was dangerous.

Although rare, mesothelioma cancer is not a death sentence. The worlds longest-living mesothelioma survivor wrote a free book to provide helpful insight, resources, and share his survival experiences.

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, known as the asbestos caused cancer, that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body.

The main purpose of the mesothelium is to produce a lubricating fluid between tissues and organs. This fluid provides a slippery and protective surface to allow movement.

For example, it allows the lungs to expand and contract smoothly inside the body each time you take a breath. When the cells of the mesothelium turn cancerous they become mesothelioma thats where the name comes from.

Mesothelioma is a rare disease and there are only approximately 2,000 cases diagnosed in the United States every year. There are many more cases diagnosed throughout the world, especially in Australia and the U.K. where large amounts of asbestos was used.

Number of cases per year in other countries:

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There are four types of malignant mesothelioma: Pleural, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular. Pleural mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest wall and represents about 75% of all cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdomen and represents about 23%. Incidences of cases in the lining of the testis and the heart represent about 1% each.

Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs

When then pleural lining around the lungs and chest wall are involved in this cancer it is called pleural mesothelioma. There are actually two layers of tissue that comprise the pleural lining. The outer layer, the parietal pleura, lines the entire inside of the chest cavity. The inner layer is called the visceral pleura and it covers the lungs.

Mesothelioma usually affects both layers of the pleura. Often it forms in one layer of the pleura and invades the other layer. The cancer may form many small tumors throughout this tissue.

Learn More About Pleural Mesothelioma

The Peritoneal Cavity surrounds the liver, stomach, intestines and reproductive organs.

When the peritoneum, the protective membrane that surrounds the abdomen is involved in this cancer it is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Just like pleural mesothelioma, there are two layers of tissues involved with the peritoneum, the parietal layer covers the abdominal cavity, while the visceral layer surrounds the stomach, liver and other organs.

The cancer often forms many small tumors throughout the tissue. One doctor has described it as if someone took a pepper shaker and scattered the pepper over the tissue.

Learn More About Peritoneal Mesothelioma

In addition to the different types of locations within the body, there are also different cell types. These types are all considered mesothelioma, but they can affect the patients prognosis.

The three mesothelioma cell types are: epithelioid, sarcomatoid and biphasic.

Epithelioid mesothelioma cells are the most common type of mesothelioma cell and has the best prognosis of the three cell types. Notice the dark purple, elongated egg shaped cells amongst the healthy pink colored tissue.

Sarcomatoid mesothelioma cells are the rarest of the three cell types and tends to be more aggressive than epitheloid cells. Notice the dark purple nodules amongst the healthy light purple colored tissue.

Biphasic mesothelioma cells are mixtures of both cell types (epithelioid and sacromatoid) and usually has a prognosis that reflects the dominant cell type.

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Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and it is therefore considered the asbestos caused cancer.

Asbestos has been in use since ancient times, but after the Industrial Revolution its use became widespread and was used all over the world in thousands of industrial and consumer products even after many companies knew that it was dangerous. Construction materials, automotive parts and household products such as hair dryers and oven mitts contained asbestos in the past.

Today, asbestos has been outlawed in most places around the world, however, asbestos has not been outlawed in the United States and is still found in millions of homes and public buildings, such as schools, offices and parking garages.

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Asbestos under the microscope looks like hundreds of tiny swords

Asbestos is actually a naturally occurring mineral found throughout the world. It was called the magic mineral because it is resistant to heat and corrosion. Also, it is a fiber so it can be woven into other materials.

Asbestos is composed of millions of sharp microscopic fibers. These fibers are so small that the body has difficulty filtering them out. This means that if you around airborne asbestos you may inhale it or ingest it. This is known as asbestos exposure.

The actual process as to how asbestos causes mesothelioma is still being investigated. Most scientists believe that when the small sharp fibers are ingested or inhaled they cause cell damage which can cause chronic inflammation.

This inflammation can then set the stage for disease after many years or even decades. Some scientists believe that a persons immune system may actually help prevent the cancer, even if that person is exposed to asbestos.

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Since asbestos causes this rare disease, how to people get exposed to asbestos? While asbestos was in thousands of products, workers in some professions had more exposure to this carcinogen than others.

Examples of occupations that exposed workers to asbestos includes: Navy veterans, construction trades such as electricians, mechanics, and plumbers, people working in power houses and power plants, firefighters, and refinery workers. Individuals in these professions often had a multitude of asbestos containing products on their various job sites.

Most asbestos containing products were removed voluntarily by the late 1970s. However, because there is no comprehensive ban on asbestos in the U.S. and because of the long latency period, people are still being diagnosed with mesothelioma today.

Learn More About Occupational Asbestos Exposure

Old Advertisement for Asbestos Sheets

The history of asbestos in the United States and other industrialized countries is a sad story of corporate greed. Companies that produced asbestos containing products saw their workers becoming sick with lung scarring, asbestosis, and cancer nearly 100 years ago.

Some companies even brought in researchers and scientists to better understand the health impact of asbestos. Once it was shown that their magic mineral was toxic to human beings, the industry faced a dilemma.

Should they protect workers, warn consumers, notify public health officials, and most importantly, phase out this dangerous mineral? Their answer was no.

Instead industry did just the opposite. They warned no one, kept their knowledge about asbestos secret and continued to use it for decades! Only by the 1960s did independent researchers like Dr. Irving Selikoff of Mt. Sinai School of Medicinebegin to connect asbestos exposure to disease.

By then hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children were already exposed to this deadly mineral. The EPA would ban asbestos in 1989. However, the asbestos industry would sue the EPA and win.

In 1991 the ban was lifted. Even today, there is no comprehensive asbestos ban in the United States. Sad but true.

(Asbestos Medical and Legal Aspects by Barry Castleman)

Asbestos fibers cling to the clothing of workers and can be transferred to others, such as children or spouses.

People exposed directly to asbestos are called primary exposed. Sometimes the person who is primary exposed will transfer asbestos fibers from their clothes to the clothes of another person. The person who gets this transfer of asbestos exposure is said to have secondary exposure.

One example of secondary exposure is called the deadly hug. Sadly, the deadly hug happens when an adult comes home from work with asbestos on their clothes and hugs their son or daughter, unknowingly transferring the dangerous fibers to their child. There have been many cases of adults being diagnosed with mesothelioma whose only exposure to asbestos came from their time as a child.

Read About Secondary Exposure

There is a long latency period for mesothelioma which is the time from asbestos exposure to diagnosis of the cancer. This period can range anywhere from 20 to 50 years. There are different theories as to why there is such a long latency period and why most people exposed to asbestos do not get mesothelioma.

One theory suggests that there may be other variables that play a role. For example, some doctors believe that the condition or competency of a persons immune system could determine whether asbestos in their body leads to cancer.

Other possibilities include a persons genes and diet.

When doctors suspect a patient has mesothelioma they will initiate a work-upin order to make a diagnosis. This work-up may include imaging scans, biopsies, pathology exams, blood tests and staging.

Diagnosing Mesothelioma

Various types of scans may be used to determine if there are signs of tumors or other abnormalities. These scans may include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, or PET scans.

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If scans reveal what doctors believe may be a cancer then a biopsy may be suggested. A biopsy is a procedure where doctors remove a small piece of the suspected tumor tissue from the patients body.

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Blood tests and biomarkers may sometimes be used to determine if mesothelioma is present in the body. While these tests are helpful they are not considered as important as the biopsy which is considered the gold standard.

More on Biomarkers

The biopsy material will then be given to a pathologist. A pathologist will use special stains and other tests to determine if there is cancer and identify exactly what type of cancer was removed from the patient.

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If mesothelioma is diagnosed, doctors may stage the disease. Over the years a variety of staging systems have been used. The one used most frequently today groups the disease into localized (only in the mesothelium) or advanced (spread outside the mesothelium).

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The prognosis of mesothelioma or any other cancer depends on a number of variables. Those variables include:

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A doctor specializing in mesothelioma can properly diagnose you and determine the best course of treatment. Find a mesothelioma specialist or doctor near you.

The treatments for mesothelioma can be divided into three paths: Conventional Therapies, Clinical Trials, and Alternative Modalities.

Conventional therapies include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery. The standard chemo drugs used are Alimta (pemetrexed) and cisplatin (or carboplatin). They are often prescribed for the various types of mesothelioma, regardless of location. Both chemo and radiation therapy are known as cytotoxic or cell killing therapies. They work indiscriminately, killing both healthy and cancer cells. This is the reason that they can have severe side effects.

Learn About Treatment

The standard of care in many hospitals is to treat peritoneal mesothelioma with surgery and HIPEC. HIPEC stands for hyperthermic intraperitoneal perioperative chemotherapy which basically means flushing the surgical area with heated chemotherapy during the surgical procedure. The obvious advantage of this approach is that it enables doctors to put the chemo in exactly the place it needs to be.

Of all the conventional treatments available, surgery is generally considered the most effective. For pleural mesothelioma, there are various types of surgical procedures, including lung sparring surgery (also called pleurectomy/decorticiaton or PD) and extrapleural pneumonectomy (also called EPP).

Pleurectomy/decortication surgery is a two-part surgery that removes the lining surrounding one lung (pleurectomy), then removes any visible cancer seen growing inside the chest cavity (decortication). The advantage of P/D or lung sparring surgery is exactly what the name implies a lung is not removed.

An extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) is a much more invasive surgery than PD. An EPP involves removing a lung, the diaphragm, portions of the chest lining and heart lining, and nearby lymph nodes.

Numerous studies have been performed comparing the prognosis with a pleurectomy/decortications surgery versus an extrapleural pneumonectomy. While there is no consensus on the subject, the latest reports suggest that PD may be a better choice for many patients because survival is generally equivalent to EPP and PD is less invasive and therefore easier to tolerate.

There are also other surgical procedures used to treat pleural effusion. Pleural effusion is the buildup of excess fluid in the pleural space between the visceral and parietal linings of the lungs. Examples of these procedures include pleurodesis and thoracentesis.

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Clinical trials are treatments that are still being tested. These treatments may include chemotherapy or other more innovative approaches based on immune therapy, gene therapy or other biological approaches. One example of new treatments being tried in mesothelioma involve the use of monoclonal antibodies. Monoclonal antibodies are essentially an immune system therapy that tries to use antibodies to target cancer cells. The National Cancer Institute indexes clinical trials offered throughout the country.

Discover Clinical Trials

Alternative modalities include a large number of approaches such as intravenous vitamin therapy, herbs and Traditional Chinese Medicine, cannabis oil, dietary approaches, and mind-body medicine. It is important to note that while none of these modalities are FDA approved, there are a number of long-term mesothelioma survivors who have used them, including Paul Kraus.

Read About Alternative Treatments

Mesothelioma is not the only disease caused by asbestos. Asbestosis which is essentially scarred lung tissue, pleural plaques and some lung cancers can also be caused by asbestos. There may also be compensation available to victims of these diseases as well. Treatments vary by condition.

Learn About Other Asbestos Diseases

Factors such as multi-drug resistance, therapy related side effects, and disease recurrence after therapy have all been implicated as problems that prevent successful treatment of malignant mesothelioma. However, recent scientific evidence suggests that some common dietary phytochemicals, such as curcumin and quercetin, may have the ability to regulate microRNAs associated with malignant mesothelioma and possibly inhibit the cancer by regulating the expression of various genes which are known to be aberrant in malignant mesothelioma.

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Mesothelioma: How Has Paul Kraus Survived For Over 20 Years?

Mesothelioma Cancer | Symptoms, Prognosis, & Treatment

Asbestos has long been prized for resistance to heat and electricity and for its durability, strength, and flexibility. These properties gave it many uses in all kinds of industries, but it has since been proven that long-term exposure to its fibers posesserious health risks, including mesothelioma.

Due to its widespread use in the U.S. and throughout the world, hundreds of millions of people have been and still are exposed to harmful asbestos. Many of these people have developed mesothelioma, a type of cancer that only shows symptoms decades after the exposure occurred.

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that begins in the tissuethis is called the mesotheliumthat lines organs in the body. The most common type of this cancer is pleural mesothelioma, in which tumors form in the tissue around the lungs. Asbestos fibers that are inhaled stick in this tissue and cause damage over decades. Other types of mesothelioma attack the peritoneum in the abdominal cavity or the pericardium around the heart.

Malignant mesotheliomatakes decadessometimes up to 50 yearsto develop after exposure to asbestos, and because it is rare with symptoms similar to more common illnesses, diagnosis is often delayed.

Symptoms of pleural mesotheliomainclude shortness of breath, chest pains, and persistent dry coughing. As the disease advances to its final stage, symptoms can become more severe and typically include severe chest and lung pain, bloating, fatigue, skin rashes, nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, night sweats, and fever.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be entitled to substantial compensation.Fill out our form to receive a freeFinancial Compensation Packet. Our packet is loaded with information on leading mesothelioma attorneys in your area, how to file a claim for asbestos trust funds, how to get paid in 90 days, and more.

Most mesothelioma victims are people who worked with or around asbestos. Men and women who served in themilitary, construction workers, shipyard workers, and industrial workers are among those most at risk. Anyone who lived with someone who worked with asbestos may develop mesothelioma after being exposed to fibers brought home on the workers clothing.

U.S. Navy veterans have some of the highest rates of mesothelioma in the country. American naval vessels built from the 1930s to the early 1960s contained large amounts ofasbestos. Floors, hulls, electrical systems, insulation, boilers, steam pipes, and more contained asbestos fibers in order to add tensile strength, heat resistance, and low electrical conductivity.

Other types of workplaces likely to have contained asbestos include power plants, steel plants, manufacturing facilities, oil companies, welding business, automotive shops, chemical plants, mines and processing plants, and textile mills.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer. Not everyone who was exposed to asbestos will develop the cancer, although exposure is the leading cause. The demographic most likely to be diagnosed is older men, those who worked decades ago in facilities with asbestos.

It can take decades to accuratelydiagnose mesothelioma. Symptoms may not be obvious for 20 to 50 years after exposure. Even then, the symptoms may initially seem mild and mimic those of pneumonia, the flu, and other common illnesses. It is important for physicians to know if patients with mesothelioma-like symptoms may have been exposed to asbestos in the past in order to make the most accurate diagnosis or to refer patients to the right specialists.

After a physical exam, diagnosis will likely involve blood tests, X-rays, and other types of imaging scans. If tumors or growths are seen in scans, the next step is to perform a biopsy. A small piece of tissue is removed to be examined under a microscope. This is usually the most conclusive way to determine if growths are cancerous. After mesothelioma is diagnosed, a specialist will stage the disease.

Mesothelioma, like other cancers, is assigned one of four stages at the time of diagnosis to describe how advanced it is:

Mesothelioma cancer currently has no cure, which means that theprognosisis not usually positive. Additionally the prognosis is often not very good because most cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the latter stages, when treatment options are limited.

Its important to remember, however, that each patient is different and while one person may survive a year, another person may go on to live decades. Its imperative to work with your physician on the best treatment options for you and your unique situation.

Chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, or some combinations have proven to be the most effectivemesothelioma treatmentsso far. Whenever possible, surgery is used to remove as much of the cancerous tissue as possible. Patients who are not good candidates are those whose cancer is in stage 3 or 4, who are elderly, or who are in poor physical condition or poor health.

Patients who undergo surgery are then usually given chemotherapy or radiation to try to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. Those who cannot have surgery may be given either or both of these treatments to slow the spread of the cancer and extend life.

Research into mesothelioma is ongoing, and there are some exciting emerging treatments that may help more patients in the future:

In addition to traditional medical treatments, many mesothelioma patients can benefit from a range of complementary and alternative therapies. Specific herbs and vitamins, acupuncture, yoga, meditation, and holistic healing, among others may be useful in reducing symptoms and making patients more comfortable.

Remember to fill out our from to get your free Financial Compensation Packet, with information on top asbestos and mesothelioma lawyers in your area. Keep in mind that if you havemesothelioma, asbestos-related lung cancer, or asbestosis, you may be eligible for considerable compensation. For additional assistance, contact us at800-793-4540.

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Mesothelioma Cancer | Symptoms, Prognosis, & Treatment

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Asbestos Exposure Lawyers Representing Clients Nationwide

A mesothelioma diagnosis is an overwhelming and devastating experience. Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and incurable type of cancer caused only by exposure to asbestos. Approximately 1.3 million employees in construction and general industry have faced significant asbestos exposure at some point on the job. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed, consult a mesothelioma attorney right away. Our team at Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has three decades of experience in fighting asbestos companies and will help you and your family every step of the way.

Learn more about mesothelioma and other asbestos-related illnesses:

The term “asbestos” refers to a number of naturally occurring mineral fibers. These fibers are strong, durable, poor conductors of electricity, and heat resistant. Because of these properties, asbestos was widely used in manufacturing and construction through the mid-1970s. Although the use of asbestos was first regulated in the 1970s by the U.S. government, its use continued in asbestos cement products, automotive brakes, and gaskets into the 1990s.

Asbestos has been used in consumer products, such as:

Most asbestos exposure victims are industrial and construction workers, but asbestos fibers can travel home on workers’ clothing and affect family members as well. Children and spouses of industrial workers can develop mesothelioma, lung cancer or asbestosis from exposure in the household. This is known as secondhand, take-home, or household exposure.

Exposure to asbestos can lead to the following health conditions:

The three most common types of mesothelioma are:

As mentioned, those in the construction and industrial industries are considered most at risk-although everyone has been exposed to some amount of asbestos in his or her lifetime. Most people diagnosed with an asbestos-related illness were exposed on a regular basis, usually on the job. Asbestos was widely used in a variety of industries, from oil refineries to railways. It was used in thousands of products, and is still used in some construction materials. Asbestos materials remain in many buildings, ships, and automobiles today.

Health risks from asbestos increase with longer and heavier exposure. The industries most associated with asbestos-related illnesses are:

Secondhand exposure can also cause asbestos-related illnesses. Workers who were heavily exposed to asbestos often brought home asbestos dust on their clothing, skin, shoes, and hair. Because of this, their families face an increased risk of mesothelioma.

The second-most common occupation among mesothelioma patients who passed away in 1999 was “homemaker/housewife,” according to federal data. This alarming statistic proves that families of workers are extremely vulnerable to inadvertently inhaling asbestos fibers. There is no safe level of asbestos exposure; even minor or few incidents of secondhand exposure can cause serious illness.

Many people with mesothelioma and other asbestos-related cancers mistakenly believe that the asbestos companies did not know their products caused cancer until it became newsworthy in the 1970s. In fact, there is evidence that manufacturers of asbestos products knew as early as the 1930’s that workers were at risk for lung cancer and mesothelioma from asbestos exposure.

With over five decades of combined experience, Pintas & Mullins Law Firm has extensive knowledge about many types of toxic substance cases, especially asbestos exposure.Our team of Illinois lung cancer attorneys has a vast database of companies, products, occupations, and sites that used asbestos across the country. We can find the source of your exposure for you, so you can focus on your health. We are prepared to ensure that you receive the best representation and the largest settlement possible.

If you or a loved one has suffered from asbestos exposure, contact us today at (800) 794-0444. We can provide you with a free no-obligation consultation and travel directly to you.

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Mesothelioma and Asbestos Lawyers | Pintas & Mullins Law Firm

Mesothelioma: Medical and legal information on asbestos …

The MesotheliomaCenter is dedicated to providing those who suffer from the asbestos-related cancer malignant mesotheliomaalso known as asbestos canceror from asbestos-related lung cancer, or who know someone who does, with the most up to date information and support.

A rare and aggressive malignancy, mesothelioma is cancer affecting the lining that surrounds various organs and cavities within the body. Mesothelioma gets its name from this lining, which is called the mesothelium.

This lining exists in several places in the body, but tumors are most commonly found in the pleura (the mesothelial lining of the lungs and chest) and the abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma accounts for most cases of mesothelioma, about two thirds of all diagnosed cases. Abdominal or peritoneal mesothelioma makes up most of the remaining third (pericardial mesothelioma, affecting the lining of the heart, is an exceedingly rare variation).

Perhaps the most striking about mesothelioma, which kills more than 3000 people each year, is that is considered almost wholly preventable. Mesothelioma is almost always directly linked to asbestos exposure. Because of this, mesothelioma is often referred to as “asbestos cancer,” however, mesothelioma is not the only cancer caused by asbestos. Lung cancer is also caused by asbestos exposure.

Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the sac lining of the chest (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Virtually all cases of malignant mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos exposure.

While “meso” (as it is sometimes called) is one of the most aggressive cancers, strides are constantly being made in combating this deadly disease. We encourage you to bookmark this site and return for the latest news and resources important to those suffering from mesothelioma and their families.

Our staff diligently seeks new information and we are available 24 hours a day to help you find answers for your individual situation.

You may e-mail us right now or call us at (412)-471-3980. (Please read our disclaimer before proceeding.)

Last update: January 19, 2018. 04:52:16 pm.

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Mesothelioma: Medical and legal information on asbestos …

Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Guide – Drugs.com

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a very rare type of cancer that can affect the thin membrane lining of different organs in the body, most commonly the lungs. This thin membrane is known as the pleura. These tumors can be noncancerous (benign) or cancerous (malignant). Benign mesotheliomas are usually removed by surgery and dont require further treatment.

Malignant mesothelioma is often caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral from rocks and soil and used prior to the 1970s in industry and manufacturing. Exposure results in an aggressive and usually deadly form of cancer where cells making up these tissues grow out of control. Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer in the United States, with about 3,000 new cases being diagnosed each year.

Standard and accepted mesothelioma treatment guidelines are not available. Treatment should be individualized based on symptoms, stage at presentation, and outcome goals. The following review primarily focuses on malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). However, there are three conditions that may occur due to asbestos exposure:

Because of its fiber strength and heat resistance, asbestos was used in a variety of building construction materials for insulation and as a fire retardant. The federal government began regulating the use of asbestos and asbestos products in the 1970s. Today, asbestos handling is strictly regulated; however, in general, it’s safe to be around asbestos as long as the fibers are contained. This prevents them from getting airborne and into the lungs, which leads to disease.

There are four different types of mesothelioma. The early symptoms are tied with disease progression. Symptoms can be caused by pain from nerve irritation or fluid build-up. Usually, by the time a patient presents with symptoms the disease is in a more advanced stage.

Frequent symptoms of pleural mesothelioma include:

Peritoneal mesothelioma symptoms can include:

Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include:

Mesothelioma types are classified based upon the type of cells that makes up the cancer:

Mesothelioma is almost always caused by having worked in an industry or being in areas where asbestos, a type of mineral, has been present in the air and inhaled. Most people who get this disease today are diagnosed between the ages of 50 and 70, and may have had exposure to asbestos in the past.

How do you get asbestos mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure prior to 1970 resulted from industrial products such as:

Asbestos fibers are useful in industry because they are strong, heat resistant, chemically resistant, and do not conduct electricity. People working in industries such as shipbuilding or automotive, particularly prior to the 1970s, were at greater risk. Family members were also at risk due to inhaling particles if workers brought asbestos home on their clothing. Typically, it can take 20 to 30 years to develop this condition after inhaling the fiber particles.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), most uses of asbestos in the U.S. are not banned; only a few are banned under existing regulations. In general, exposure may occur only when the asbestos-containing material is disturbed or damaged in some way to release particles and fibers into the air. However, 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.

As published by the EPA, other products where asbestos may be found include:

Older homes or other buildings may still contain asbestos. Testing may be required to determine if asbestos is present in older buildings, especially if remodeling or other construction occurs. If it is found, it will need to be sealed off and removed with special procedures by a certified company. Asbestos abatement workers are trained to properly use protective equipment to minimize exposure.

A history of asbestos exposure greatly increases your asbestosis and mesothelioma risk factors. People who either live or work in buildings with asbestos-containing materials that are either under reconstruction or deteriorating are at a greater than normal risk. Workers at risk may include:

Living with someone who is exposed to asbestos can increase a familys risk due to passive inhalation if they bring it home on clothes. Those who smoke and are exposed to asbestos have an even high risk of developing lung cancer and mesothelioma; however, this disease has no direct association with smoking like lung cancer.

A diagnosis of mesothelioma will involve several mesothelioma tests, because symptoms can be caused by other medical conditions, including other cancers. These tests might include:

There are 4 mesothelioma stages with pleural mesothelioma. Determining the stage will allow the doctor to determine the tumor size and placement, progression, and help to guide the choice of therapy.

Stage 1 is considered localized disease, while stages 2, 3 and 4 are considered advanced mesothelioma. Initial staging will identify patients who are not candidates for surgery, and who may receive palliative therapy and drug treatment to lessen symptoms. Stages of mesothelioma are based on the recommendations of the International Mesothelioma Interest Group.

There are three approaches to treatment for mesothelioma: surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. Treatments can help patients breathe easier and have less pain. It is important to consult with a team of mesothelioma specialists.

The question may be asked by patients or family members Is there a mesothelioma cure? There is not a cure for mesothelioma unless surgery is 100% effective, which is highly unlikely in most patients. The prognosis for mesothelioma is usually poor due to an advanced stage at initial diagnosis.

Many factors play into the length of mesothelioma survival, including: age, gender, stage at diagnosis, mesothelioma cell type, tumor location, and treatment success. Your doctor will give you a prognosis based on these factors, and your treatment options and choices. You might be able to enroll in mesothelioma clinical trials, as well.

Staging is important to determine mesothelioma life expectancy after diagnosis. Although these timelines look grim, improved treatments and clinical trials offer newly diagnosed patients a reason to seek experienced medical care.

To learn more about clinical trials for mesothelioma, speak to your physician and visit the National Cancer Institute and search for mesothelioma on their search engine. There are many ongoing trials, including some with new immunotherapy cancer treatments. Your physician can provide more detailed information.

Asbestosis vs. Mesothelioma: Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease that often occurs in textile mining, milling, or manufacturing workers who inhaled asbestos fibers over a prolonged period in their workplaces. Asbestosis leads to shortness of breath, lung tissue scarring, and severe fibrosis. It takes 1020 years for the disease to develop after exposure. Patients should be medically monitored periodically for disease progression and closely observed for asbestos-associated malignancies such as lung cancer, mesothelioma, and other cancers.

Asbestosis signs and symptoms can include:

A chest X-ray, a CT scan, and a pulmonary function (breathing) test may be used to diagnose asbestosis. Treatment focuses on relieving your symptoms; oxygen therapy may be offered. In some cases, a lung transplant might be an option, as well. Today, asbestosis is unlikely if you follow your employer’s safety procedures.

Learn more about Asbestosis…

Mesothelioma has been the subject of many injury lawsuits, and, in fact is the longest running series of civil liability in U.S. history. Many patients wonder what they can do legally if they are diagnosed with mesothelioma.

There are U.S. lawyers that specialize in handling these cases. An asbestos trust fund in the U.S. is said to hold over $30 billion, as well, for people who have mesothelioma. Here are a few frequently asked questions about mesothelioma lawsuits that may help to answer some questions; always seek reliable and licensed lawyers to help with your individual questions.

Q. How do I find a mesothelioma attorney?

A. There are many lawyers who are experts on lawsuits involving injury due to asbestos exposure. You might ask a trusted lawyer who deals with these types of litigation in your area, to start. It is important to find a trusted lawyer you feel comfortable with, and that has years of proven experience dealing with these cases. Beware of immediately selecting legal help from the Internet without some degree of investigation. Your attorney should evaluate the facts of your case and guide you to your best options. Whether you can file a lawsuit will depend on many issues, such as when you were exposed, how the exposure to asbestos occurred, when you became ill, your medical history, and your medical complications.

Q. How do I file a lawsuit?

A. Mesothelioma claims are usually brought against the company that you worked for where your asbestos exposure occurred. If you are a Veteran, you may also be eligible for assistance through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Q. How can I get mesothelioma compensation? How much will my mesothelioma settlement be?

A. Beware of any mesothelioma law firm who guarantees you a specific award amount; there is no assurance that you will receive any settlement. However, the types of expenses and losses that may be sought in a lawsuit include: lost wages, medical expenses, pain and suffering. Your compensation may be impacted by your lawyers legal fees, as well.

Q. Is there a deadline (statute of limitations) for filing a mesothelioma case?

A. Yes, a deadline for filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is decided on a state-by-state case. Speak to a lawyer as soon as you can after your diagnosis.

Q. Is there a trust fund for mesothelioma compensation?

According to the Mesothelioma Guide, people with asbestos-related diseases can receive financial support from asbestos trust funds. Companies who went bankrupt organized these funds to provide funds for victims of asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma patients typically collect the highest compensation of all asbestos-related diseases. Mesothelioma Guide reports that roughly 575,000 claims were paid out in 2008, helping families manage lost wages and treatment. Some cases may not go to trial because the suit settles before trial.

Q. Should I join a mesothelioma class action lawsuit?

A. A mesothelioma class action lawsuit would collectively bring a claim against a defendant for a group of people with similar injuries, circumstances, and legal issues due to mesothelioma. Class actions have not been widely used in asbestos cases; however, that may still be an option. Before you agree to participate or exclude yourself from a class action lawsuit, you should consult with an experienced law firm.

Q. Can my family make claims if I die before my case goes to trial?

A. Typically, your estate would act on your behalf to divide any mesothelioma payouts among your survivors. It is always best to consult an experienced mesothelioma lawyer to discuss mesothelioma facts on a case-by-case basis.

Researchers found the connection between asbestos and lung cancer in the 1930s. However, the link between asbestos exposure and mesothelioma lung cancer was not found until the 1970s.

Cancer can occur in people who worked for those companies that manufactured products that contain asbestos. These companies often knew asbestos was toxic to humans but purposely failed to warn employees. Due to this negligence, lawsuits with mesothelioma compensation claims in the billions of dollars have been filed.

Patients and families often seek information about mesothelioma on the Internet. Mesothelioma was once among the highest “pay per click” advertising topics on the Internet. Intense competition among mesothelioma attorneys trying to attract the attention of patients eligible for large compensation payouts led to related “cost-per-click” advertisements on Google skyrocketing above $US100.00.

In addition, many commercials advertising for mesothelioma lawyers are often seen on TV in the U.S.

Mesothelioma cases are expected to rise at least through 2025.

Always consult your healthcare provider to ensure the information displayed on this page applies to your personal circumstances.

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Mesothelioma Diagnosis & Treatment Guide – Drugs.com

What Is Mesothelioma? Causes and Treatment

Overview

Mesothelioma is a somewhat rare cancer, with only about 2,000 new cases diagnosed in the United States each year — but its incidence is increasing worldwide. Sadly, most cases of this disease are related to on-the-job exposure to asbestosand could be prevented through awareness and protective measures at work. That said, in many cases, mesothelioma does not develop until decades after asbestos exposure occurs, and many people that are diagnosed today were exposed to asbestos years ago.

Mesothelioma is a cancerous (malignant)tumor that begins in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a membrane that lines and protects the lungs, the heart, and the abdominal cavity. There are three main types of mesothelioma:

Most cases of mesothelioma are because of exposure to asbestos on the job. Other causes include:

Most people with pleural mesothelioma note shortness of breath and chest pain (especially under the ribs), but other symptoms can include:

Diagnosing mesothelioma can be difficult since there are many conditions that cause similar symptoms. Your physician will first take a careful history, especially questioning you about your employment history, and then perform a physical exam. Imaging studies are often doneand may include x-rays of your chest and abdomen, CT scans, MRI scans,or PET scans.

If your doctor suspects mesothelioma, she will need to schedule a biopsy. Depending upon the location of your tumor, she may recommend a thoracoscopyor video-assisted thoracoscopy (VAT), a procedure where a tissue sample is taken from the pleura, or a peritoneoscopy, a similar procedure to obtain tissue from the abdomen. If the biopsy reveals mesothelioma, further studies are then done to determine the stage of the cancer (how advanced it is).

Mesothelioma is divided into 2 primary stages:

Depending on the size and location of your tumor, and if it has spread, treatment options may include:

On top of the heartbreak, a diagnosis of cancer brings, many people with mesothelioma lack the emotional and psychosocial support that those with other forms of cancer find readily available. In addition, medico-legal battles related to asbestos exposure on-the-job can be emotionally draining. Participating in a support group, either through your cancer center, community, or online, can help you wade through the maze of treatment options, and find camaraderie in others who are living with mesothelioma.

The most important thing you can do to prevent mesothelioma is to use appropriate precautions if you are exposed to asbestos at work. OSHA has asbestos safety standards for individuals who may be exposed on the job. If you work with asbestos, it is important to follow these guidelines to minimize your families exposure as well. Asbestos insulation in homes is usually not a problemunless it is damaged or disturbed by remodeling projects. If you may have asbestos insulation (homes built prior to 1950) make sure to hire a contractor certified in asbestos management before you begin any home improvement projects.

Some people who have been exposed to asbestos may want to consider CT screening for lung cancer. At this time, recommendations for screening include only those people aged 55 to 74 with a 30 pack-year history of smoking. Yet studies show that some people who have been exposed to asbestos may be at an even higher risk of developing lung cancer than heavy smokers. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos make sure to talk to your doctor about lung cancer screening.

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What Is Mesothelioma? Causes and Treatment

Mesothelioma Information on Cause, Symptoms, Prognosis …

Mesothelioma has become a widely known and publicized disease despite its relative infrequency because of the fact that the only proven cause for its development is asbestos exposure specifically, inhalation or ingestion of tiny, microscopic asbestos fibers that eventually cause the development of mesothelioma. Asbestos related diseases are among the primary industrial medical afflictions of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

The disease has an unusually long period of latency. Persons exposed to asbestos may not develop symptoms of asbestos related disease for twenty to fifty years after the asbestos exposure has taken place. For that reason, the widespread use of asbestos through the 1970s is still causing new diagnoses of mesothelioma today among workers who have long been retired. Although today there are only about 3,000 new cases of the disease diagnosed in the U.S. annually, mesothelioma has taken tens of thousands of lives in this country since asbestos was introduced as an industrial material in the late 19th century.

Asbestos fibers are the primary cause of mesothelioma. They are microscopic, cannot be seen with the human eye and when they are ingested or inhaled go unnoticed. Asbestos fibers are given off by asbestos products that have deteriorated and become friable, which means that they easily crumble at which point the fibers can become airborne in dust clouds. In thousands of industrial sites and repair shops where asbestos insulation or other products were used, workers inhaled asbestos fibers on the job sometimes on a daily basis.

When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, the human body cannot excrete them through any natural means such as coughing, sneezing or any other physiological function. The fibers remain within the body, eventually embedding themselves in tissue; in most cases that tissue is the mesothelium. Asbestos fibers remain in the body forever; eventually they begin to cause problems with the mesothelium tissue. They can cause abnormal cells to develop and those cells begin to reproduce uncontrollably. Often they are cancerous cells, which begin to form the diffuse tumors that characterize most cases of mesothelioma.

The primary cause of asbestos exposure has always been job related. Through World War II exposure occurred in asbestos mines and mills, in textile and pulp & paper mills, in auto assembly plants, steel mills, auto brake shops, in the shipbuilding industry, as well as a large percentage of veterans. Workers in refineries, power plants and petrochemical plants have historically been at risk because of the use of asbestos products for insulation. Construction workers using asbestos laced cement, and asbestos insulation in buildings and the installation of heating systems have historically been at high risk for asbestos exposure.

During the first three quarters of the twentieth century, family members of workers who were subject to on the job exposure were at risk of inhaling asbestos fibers from clothing worn on the job and brought home by the workers. People who lived near asbestos mills were also exposed to asbestos laden clouds of dust. People living in households with asbestos workers were found to have significantly elevated lung burdens of asbestos, often in the same range as found in individuals occupationally exposed to asbestos, such as shipyard workers.

In 1990, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimated that approximately 568,000 workers in production and services industries and 114,000 workers in construction industries potentially were exposed to asbestos.

The key to understanding mesothelioma is understanding the various locations that the mesothelium is found and the role that it plays. The lungs are surrounded by a portion of the mesothelium, and the chest cavity wall opposite the lungs is also covered by the mesothelium. These two layers of tissue comprise the pleura, or pleural mesothelium. Another portion of the mesothelium wraps around the heart; this tissue is known as the pericardium. The third important portion of the mesothelium covers the abdominal cavity wall; this portion of the protective tissue is called the peritoneum, or peritoneal mesothelium. The three main malignant types of mesothelioma are:

Pleural Mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs. It accounts for about seventy percent of all malignant mesothelioma cases. Because asbestos fibers that affect humans are most commonly inhaled the diseases they cause are most often in or around the lungs.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma develops in the abdominal cavity and often attacks the liver, kidneys and other organs. About fifteen to twenty percent of all mesothelioma cases develop in the peritoneum.

Pericardial Mesothelioma impacts the sac around the heart, is exceedingly rare occurring in about five percent of all cases. Pericardial mesothelioma can have a fatal impact on cardiovascular function because of the pressure the swollen pericardium applies on the heart.

Three medical characteristics of this disease make it particularly insidious. One is the fact that mesothelioma has a latency period that makes the disease far removed from its cause and that much more difficult to diagnose. The second problem with mesothelioma symptoms is the fact that so many of them are similar to symptoms found in far more common afflictions. Finally, because of the latency involved with the onset of mesothelioma and often with asbestosis, the disease usually impacts people entering into their senior years, when medical problems become more common. Diagnosing a rare disease such as mesothelioma under these circumstances often takes an extended period of time.

The most common symptoms for pleural mesothelioma are:

All of these symptoms can be easily associated with far more common physical problems such as pneumonia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), bronchitis, or the onset of lung cancer. If the patient has been a smoker, the diagnosing physician is going to be looking for these diseases first.

The symptoms for peritoneal mesothelioma include:

Many of these symptoms are consistent with liver disease, intestinal disorders or kidney malfunctions. The fact that mesothelioma tumors are difficult to see with medical imaging systems make early diagnosis of this disease a rarity.

The symptoms for pericardial mesothelioma include:

Heart disease is perhaps the most common serious illness among people over fifty years of disease, and several forms of cardiovascular problems result in similar symptoms. A pulmonary embolism, cardiovascular thrombosis (blocked artery) and congestive heart disease all show these characteristics and they are usually the diseases attending physicians look for first.

Because mesothelioma is cancer that develops upon a membrane, more often than not it develops as a diffuse form of cancer rather than as a singular mass, or tumor. A series of small tumors spread across the mesothelium membrane are much more difficult to identify with medical imaging equipment than a single tumor is. For that reason X-rays, CT scans and MRI exams usually arent enough for a mesothelioma diagnosis.

The most common form of the disease, pleural mesothelioma almost always causes pleural effusion, or excessive fluid accumulation, to develop as a primary symptom once the disease begins to advance. Once this condition is established the physician can draw out some of that fluid with a surgical needle to analyze the cell content in the lab. Usually a biopsy extracting a small piece of mesothelial tissue is also conducted. Analyses of these samples will generally expose the existence of malignant cells.

A similar approach is often taken with peritoneal mesothelioma, which commonly causes fluid accumulation in the abdomen. A tissue sample from the abdominal wall extracted with a laparoscope along with a fluid sample help to determine the presence of malignant cells. Analysis of kidney and liver functions and protein levels can help to eliminate other potential causes of the symptoms.

Surgery is often the choice when mesothelioma is diagnosed early enough, such as a stage I and stage II mesothelioma. In many cases with pleural mesothelioma this means a pleurectomy, a procedure where the entire pleura is removed. In cases where pleural effusion has been severe, the two surfaces of the pleura might be fused in a process called pleurodesis; generally this is a palliative treatment. Many procedures also take a piece of the lung. An extrapleural pneumonectomy removes part of the lung, part of the diaphragm, part of the pericardium and part of the parietal pleura, which is the tissue covering the chest wall.

Surgery with peritoneal mesothelioma follows a similar model, except that removing nearby organs is not always a viable option as it is with a pneumonectomy. Surgery on the pericardium often occurs on an emergency basis as mesothelioma causes the membrane to swell and put dangerous pressure on the four chambers of the heart.

The use of chemotherapy is widespread in mesothelioma treatment; in recent years it is almost always conducted in conjunction with a radiotherapy program. Most chemotherapy drugs have not proven to be terribly effective against mesothelioma; there are two that have been approved by the FDA thus far for mesothelioma treatment. Researchers are constantly searching for innovative methods to attack malignant mesothelioma cells and avoid damaging healthy cells in the mesothelium membrane. Often chemotherapy is used in tandem, especially when treating biphasic mesothelioma a form of the disease that features two types of malignant cells. Surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy together are referred to as multimodality therapy.

Recently there has been some use of radiotherapy during the surgical process itself. Rather than target cancerous cells with radioactive ions the tissue is targeted directly while the patient is on the operating table. Chemotherapy drugs have been applied in a similar fashion, to give a more powerful application of the treatment than can be provided by intravenous delivery; one such procedure called Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy used heated medication in a peritoneal mesothelioma surgery.

Other options include immunotherapy and other experimental concepts such as gene therapy. These concepts are creative efforts at attacking cancer cells in new and innovative ways. While they remain in the seminal state, hopefully continued research and trial activity will yield results.

Clinical trials are staged for the benefit of medical research, but they are also a prerequisite for the approval of a new medication or new treatment use of an existing medication by the FDA. That process is divided into stage I, stage II and stage III procedures. It is the stage III studies that are conducted on groups of humans in order to determine the efficacy of a treatment.

There are usually several mesothelioma clinical trials are occurring at any given time, being conducted at one or several locations. It is not easy to find mesothelioma patients who are in condition to participate in a lengthy research project, so recruiting is generally conducted at several locations. Many of these trials involve the use of pemetrexed, marketed under the name Alimta. This is the only drug that has been approved by the FDA for mesothelioma treatment and it is generally used with patients who are not candidates for surgical treatment. Many clinical trials have been conducted using pemetrexed and other effective cancer chemotherapy drugs, cisplatin in particular.

But clinical trials continue not only for chemotherapy options but for new treatment concepts such as immunotherapy.

Prognosis for mesothelioma patients is usually a question of life expectancy rather than recovery. The figures vary for types of mesothelioma, for treatment modalities and, to an extent, on who you ask. Often diagnosis of this disease is a lengthy process, which means that it has advanced significantly since the symptoms first manifested. One of the issues is the nature of the cells being attacked; epithelial mesothelioma patients have an average survival rate of about one year, while those diagnosed with the more unusual sarcomatoid mesothelioma, or biphasic mesothelioma (a combination of the two cell types) is closer to six months. These are average figures; the percentage of people who live beyond one year is significant but most figures for mesothelioma and morbidity are based on limited case studies.

These figures are changing slowly as diagnoses occur more readily, as some forms of chemotherapy prove to be effective against some forms of mesothelioma, and as new treatment modalities are tried and found to help. The overall gain in average survival time is a matter of weeks or months with these clinical tests, but slow progress is being made.

There are also always exceptions to these rules. Many patients who respond well to surgery and chemotherapy live on for two years or more. One of the issues that comes into play with these poor prognosis figures is the fact that so many mesothelioma patients are elderly and have other health problems as well. Often a patient does not have the constitution to withstand major surgery, so resection is not an option.

Asbestos lawsuits comprise the largest single civil tort in the history of the nation. More suits have been filed seeking damages for health problems caused by asbestos than for any other civil legal complaint. Hundreds of thousands of American workers have been impacted by mesothelioma and asbestosis over the last half century and many more are getting sick today. The continued diagnosis of mesothelioma is expected to continue at the current rate for another five to ten years.

If you or a family member has a medical problem that you believe is related to asbestos exposure, you should be in touch with an experienced asbestos lawyers who can assist you by providing the specialized legal help that is required in asbestos and mesothelioma liability cases.

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Mesothelioma Information on Cause, Symptoms, Prognosis …

Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Overview

Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma doesn’t include a form of noncancerous (benign) tumor that occurs in the chest and is sometimes called benign mesothelioma or solitary fibrous tumor.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these forms of the disease are very rare.

Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma aren’t specific to this disease and, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to evaluate them. Tell your doctor if you’ve been exposed to asbestos.

In general, cancer begins when a series of genetic mutations occur within a cell, causing the cell to grow and multiply out of control. It isn’t clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It’s likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices.

Asbestos is a mineral that’s found naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful in a wide variety of applications, such as in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and many other products.

When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma. Exactly how this happens isn’t understood. It can take 20 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.

Most people with years of asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. And yet, others with very brief exposure develop the disease. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma or doesn’t. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:

Reducing your exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of mesothelioma.

Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:

Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.

Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, such as wearing protective equipment. You may also be required to shower and change out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home. Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.

Older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. In many cases, it’s more dangerous to remove the asbestos than it is to leave it intact. Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult experts trained to detect asbestos in your home. These experts may test the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. Don’t attempt to remove asbestos from your home hire a qualified expert. The Environmental Protection Agency offers advice on its website for dealing with asbestos in the home.

Dec. 22, 2017

Originally posted here:

Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic

Overview

Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rarer types of mesothelioma affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicles.

Mesothelioma doesn’t include a form of noncancerous (benign) tumor that occurs in the chest and is sometimes called benign mesothelioma or solitary fibrous tumor.

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, causes signs and symptoms that may include:

Signs and symptoms of other types of mesothelioma are unclear, since these forms of the disease are very rare.

Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue that surrounds the heart, can cause signs and symptoms such as breathing difficulty and chest pains.

Mesothelioma of tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma aren’t specific to this disease and, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome, ask your doctor to evaluate them. Tell your doctor if you’ve been exposed to asbestos.

In general, cancer begins when a series of genetic mutations occur within a cell, causing the cell to grow and multiply out of control. It isn’t clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It’s likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices.

Asbestos is a mineral that’s found naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful in a wide variety of applications, such as in insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring and many other products.

When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma. Exactly how this happens isn’t understood. It can take 20 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop after asbestos exposure.

Most people with years of asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. And yet, others with very brief exposure develop the disease. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma or doesn’t. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:

Reducing your exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of mesothelioma.

Most people with mesothelioma were exposed to the asbestos fibers at work. Workers who may encounter asbestos fibers include:

Ask your employer whether you have a risk of asbestos exposure on the job.

Follow all safety precautions in your workplace, such as wearing protective equipment. You may also be required to shower and change out of your work clothes before taking a lunch break or going home. Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.

Older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. In many cases, it’s more dangerous to remove the asbestos than it is to leave it intact. Breaking up asbestos may cause fibers to become airborne, where they can be inhaled. Consult experts trained to detect asbestos in your home. These experts may test the air in your home to determine whether the asbestos is a risk to your health. Don’t attempt to remove asbestos from your home hire a qualified expert. The Environmental Protection Agency offers advice on its website for dealing with asbestos in the home.

Dec. 22, 2017

The rest is here:

Mesothelioma – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic


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