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Mesothelioma - Catch It Early To Avoid Big Trouble

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  • Rick Hendershot
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 4, 2005
      Please consider this free-reprint article written by:
      Rick Hendershot

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      Article Title: Mesothelioma - Catch It Early To Avoid Big
      Author: Rick Hendershot
      Word Count: 879
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      ================== ARTICLE START ==================
      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
      for survival.

      About The Author: For more information about the early
      detection of Mesothelioma visit
      http://www.mesotheliomaadvisors.com ==> Rick Hendershot is a
      writer and publisher of Linknet Promo Articles at
      http://www.linknet-promotions.com/promo-articles.php and Power
      Listings at
      ================== ARTICLE END ==================

      For more free-reprint articles by Rick Hendershot please visit:
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