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Article Title: Mesothelioma - Catch It Early To Avoid Big
Author: Rick Hendershot
Word Count: 879
Author's Email Address: rh@...
Easy Publish Tool: http://www.isnare.com/html.php?id=13540
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Many people have never heard of Mesothelioma and are unaware of
its symptoms. Although considered a rare form of cancer, each
year the number of cases grows. With the prevalence of this
disease on the rise, it is critical to understand why and how
Mesothelioma develops and what courses of action can be taken
in the event of diagnosis. The following are some questions and
answers that will provide you with information on Mesothelioma.
**What is Mesothelioma?**
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant
(cancerous) cells are found in the mesothelium, a protective
sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. The organs
most commonly affected are the lungs, heart and abdominal
organs. The most common form of Mesothelioma is Pleural
Mesothelioma -- cancer of the lung lining. But cancerous cells
are also found in the lining of the abdominal cavity (the
peritoneum) and the lining around the heart (the pericardium).
**What causes Mesothelioma?**
Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is often found in building materials used before the
mid 1970�s. In addition, materials such as pipes, boiler
insulation, floor, ceiling and roof tiles may contain asbestos.
It is believed that even insignificant exposure to asbestos in
environments such as asbestos mills, mines, shipping yards,
some older Navy ships or even in patient's homes can result in
mesothelioma. In many cases mesothelioma does not occur for
decades after initial exposure to this cancer-causing asbestos.
2000-3000 cases of mesothelioma per year are currently being
diagnosed. Family members of workers exposed to asbestos can
also contract this disease through exposure to the worker's
clothing. Like many other cancers, smoking greatly increases
the risk of contracting mesothelioma.
**How much asbestos exposure will cause Mesothelioma?**
Generally, the probability of developing this form of cancer is
directly related to the length of time you are exposed to
asbestos. The health risk also increases with the intensity of
the exposure to asbestos.
However, an exposure of as little as one or two months can
result in mesothelioma 30 or 40 years later. At the age of 48,
Canadian Member of Parliament Chuck Strahl, was recently
diagnosed with mesothelioma and traces the cause back to
changing brake pads on logging equipment after he graduated
from high school. Strahl's case is a good example of the fact
that Mesothelioma has a latency period of anywhere from 20 to
50 years. Like thousands of others he developed the disease
long after his exposure to asbestos.
**What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?**
Mesothelioma is a very subtle form of cancer providing only a
few noticeable symptoms until it becomes extremely advanced.
75% of all mesolthelioma cases are Pleural mesothelioma -
cancer of the lung lining. This type of cancer causes shortness
of breath and/or chronic coughing that can easily be mistaken
for allergies or a common cold. Mesothelioma is often
discovered by accident when patients are being examined for
these common symptoms. Other symptoms of pleural mesothelioma
may include: chest pain, shortness of breath, chronic coughing
that worsens over time, fatigue, wheezing, lung infection,
hoarseness, weight loss, difficulty swallowing, chest or
abdominal pain or blood in the phlegm from the lungs when
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining around the stomach
and intestines and can be just as dangerous and deadly.
Symptoms of Peritoneal mesothelioma include: pain or swelling
in the abdomen, weight loss, bowel obstruction (blockage in the
large or small intestines), anemia (reduced number of red blood
cells) , and fever.
The onset of Mesothelioma is usually quite slow. Patients will
begin to experience symptoms such as lower back pain and chest
pain. Unfortunately, once Mesothelioma develops, it quickly
becomes aggressive and treatment must be sought immediately.
**Can Mesothelioma be treated?**
Unfortunately, by the time most infected people become aware
they have mesothelioma it has ceased being dormant and becomes
extremely aggressive. Once it is no longer dormant, this type
of cancer can travel quickly, and this makes it almost
impossible to stop.
While there are treatments that are available in order to keep
the patient comfortable, there is currently no cure for
Mesothelioma, and as many as 75% of those who develop the
disease will lose their life within one year. The remainder may
last for up to an additional six months. Among the treatments
that are used in order to reduce the effects of the disease are
oxygen, postural drainage and pain killers. A wide range of
treatment approaches are being tested, ranging from attempts to
fortify the body's natural immune system to gene therapy which
tries to attack the problem at the DNA level to homeopathy,
herbs and acupuncture. But none have yet been shown to be very
effective once the disease reaches the aggressive stage.
Given the generally poor prognosis for people who do not catch
the disease in time, early detection is the best defence
against Mesothelioma. If you have worked in an industry such as
construction or suspect that you may have been exposed to
asbestos, be alert for symptoms and contact your doctor
immediately. Like all forms of cancer, detecting Mesothelioma
at the earliest stage possible greatly increases your chances
About The Author: For more information about the early
detection of Mesothelioma visit
==> Rick Hendershot is a
writer and publisher of Linknet Promo Articles at
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