Friday, January 26, 2007

Pericardial mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of this asbestos-related cancer. This form of cancer affects the lining that surrounds the heart, and is associated with long term exposure to asbestos fibres.
The symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, as with other types of mesothelioma, can take decades to manifest. If a person worked with asbestos twenty or thirty years ago and shows no symptoms, that does not mean that they have the all clear. The symptoms typically take around twenty or thirty years to manifest anyway, sometimes even longer.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Asbestos Types

Individuals who don’t know a lot about asbestos but have heard much about its many dangers may be surprised to learn that asbestos is a natural substance, found in various places on the planet, not a man-made substance developed for commercial use. Indeed, asbestos is mined in many countries throughout the world and was, at one time, widely used in many commercial products, usually for a number of reasons including its high resistance to heat and chemicals, its low electrical conductivity, and its strength and flexibility.

AsbestosThis natural material was first used in 1828 as a lining material for steam engines. For many years, vinyl-asbestos tiles were used for floor coverings and automobile clutch facings and brake linings also contained asbestos. Alarmingly, asbestos was even used in toothpaste, as artificial snow for Christmas trees, and as incision thread for surgery patients.

A total of six different types of asbestos are found in the earth and they’re categorized into two separate groups: 1) serpentine, with a layered form and curly fibers, and 2) amphibole, with straight fibers and a chain-like structure. The latter has been determined to be the most dangerous type of asbestos to which human beings can be exposed.

The serpentine group has just one member…Chrysotile. This is the most common type of asbestos, still found in buildings in nearly every developed country throughout the world. As a matter of fact, figures show that between 90% and 95% of all asbestos found in buildings and other commercial products that contain asbestos is of the Chrysotile variety. Furthermore, this is the only type which is still mined, primarily in Canada, Africa, and the former Soviet Republic. Because of its rampant use, Chrysotile accounts for most asbestos-related health problems.

Chrysotile is usually white or green in color and is most often used in insulation and fireproofing products. It can also be woven into asbestos tapes and clothes and is used in the manufacture of cement in the form of sheets, shingles, and pipes. This type of asbestos is also used in a number of friction materials, largely due to its high resistance to heat. These products include automobile brake shoes, disk pads, clutches and elevator brakes. In addition, roof sealants, textiles, plastics, rubbers, door seals for furnaces, high temperature caulking, paper, and components for the nuclear industry contain Chrysotile.

Five kinds of asbestos are members of the amphibole variety. Only two of them were consistently used in commercial applications – Amosite and Crocidolite. These two forms, possessing strong and stiff fibers, are highly dangerous when airborne fibers are inhaled or ingested.

The commercial production of Amosite, also known as “brown asbestos”, was halted within the last decade. Most often used as an insulating material, the use of Amosite has been banned in most countries for several decades. However, at one time, it was the second most-commonly used type of asbestos, accounting for about 5% of the asbestos used in factories and buildings and was sometimes included for anti-condensation and acoustical purposes.

Crocidolite is a rare form of asbestos, bluish in color, and is highly resistant to chemicals. It’s believed to be the most lethal form of asbestos and was often used as a reinforcement material for plastics. In the mid-twentieth century, Crocidolite was also used in pre-formed thermal insulation and, prior to that, some yarns and rope lagging contained this form of asbestos.

Though the use of most asbestos products has long been banned in most developed countries, many buildings may still contain some form of this dangerous mineral. To learn more about the various types of asbestos and their uses, be sure to sign up for a free information packet, available from this site.

Visit my alocohol problems and solutions blog
Visit my Jokes and masala stuff blog
Visit my money matters blog

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is the second-most prevalent form of asbestos-related cancer, rarer than the pleural variety, and accounting for about 10% - 15% of all diagnosed Mesothelioma cases. This form of cancer affects the lining of the abdomen, known as the peritoneum.

Doctors and researchers offer two theories as to how asbestos fibers are able to enter the peritoneum. Some believe that the fibers are caught and held by the mucus in the trachea or bronchi and ultimately swallowed. The second explanation notes that fibers lodged in the lungs may move into the lymphatic system and be transferred to the peritoneum.

Peritoneal MesotheliomaRegardless of which explanation is correct, peritoneal Mesothelioma can be quite difficult to detect, as the cancer may lay dormant for many years. Like all types of asbestos-related cancers, documented incidences show that this type has, at times, been dormant for up to four decades. That, of course, makes it all the more difficult to treat this disease because, by the time it’s detected, it has reached its advanced stages.

The symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma are non-specific and can often be mistaken as indicators of a much less serious disease. Therefore, it’s important to let medical professionals know that the patient has been exposed to asbestos in the past. Symptoms of this type of Mesothelioma might include:

Location of the tumor will determine which symptoms are present and/or most severe and symptoms may be different according to the patient’s general health and age.

Often, the diagnosis of peritoneal Mesothelioma is accidental, perhaps discovered during an x-ray for another ailment. Additional x-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may be ordered but, ultimately, a tissue biopsy will be the most conclusive test.

Once this type of Mesothelioma is diagnosed, treatment options will be discussed. While there is currently no cure for this disease, the patient can be treated in a variety of ways to help ease symptoms, reduce pain, and prolong life. Options include:

  • Surgery – the surgery performed for peritoneal Mesothelioma may involve cutting out part of the lining and tissue from the abdominal area in order to remove the tumor. If the tumor is particularly large, a lung or a section of the diaphragm may need to be removed as well. Because this type of cancer is so often diagnosed in its late stages, surgery may not be an option as the cancer has already spread too much by this point.
  • Chemotherapy – the use of intra-peritoneal chemotherapy is often recommended to patients with peritoneal Mesothelioma. This involves the infusion of chemotherapy drugs directly into the abdominal cavity. It can be used after surgery or on its own.
  • Radiation therapy – radiation may be targeted directly at cancer cells or can be used for palliative reasons such as to reduce pain or shortness of breath or to control the spread of the tumor.
  • Clinical trials – some patients choose to participate in clinical trials or employ the use of therapies that have not yet been deemed successful in treating the disease, such as gene therapy or immunotherapy.

Although peritoneal Mesothelioma is not the most prevalent form of asbestos-related cancer, it is indeed a serious problem and many people die each year from the disease. If you, a friend, or a loved one has been diagnosed with this or any other type of asbestos-related cancer, learn about your options and rights by ordering our free Mesothelioma Resource Kit, full of information on the disease, its treatments, and the legal options of an asbestos-related cancer victim.

Visit my alocohol problems and solutions blog
Visit my Jokes and masala stuff blog
Visit my money matters blog

Pleural Mesothelioma

There are two types of Pleural Mesothelioma: Cancerous and non-cancerous.

Benign mesothelioma many times can be surgically removed and is generally not life threatening or a result of asbestos exposure. Malignant mesothelioma is very serious, though. The infliction is quite rare and less than three thousand people in the US get it each year.

The following section is about malignant pleural mesothelioma:

Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer of the cells that affects the skin or inner lining (known medically as the pleura) outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs. This is caused ONLY by exposure to asbestos fibers found in products made mostly by US corporations. The exposure could have occurred many, many years ago because it takes many years for the disease to show up. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma and chances are that if you have mesothelioma, this is the type you have.

Often Mesothelioma is diagnosed when no symptoms are present. This could be because a tumor is present or is randomly discovered through something like a routine exam. When these symptoms do occur, they can include shortness of breath, weight loss, chest pains, pains about the lower back, chronic cough, difficulty swallowing, and severe weakness. In the initial examination a medical examination will often show a pleural effusion, which is a bunch of fluid in the area between the lungs and the wall of the chest.

Pleural EffusionA chest x-ray or CT scan is the necessary first step in identifying mesothelioma, which is followed up with what is called a bronchoscopy. A bronchoscopy requires a viewing scope to look inside the lungs. The diagnosis itself requires a biopsy which allows the medical professionals to take a little piece of tissue from the area in question. This can be done using a tiny needle, an open cut, or even these days through a tube with a camera on the end of it. This is a procedure that must happen at the hospital, but it is not a painful procedure typically.

Any fluid build-up from the pleural effusion can generally be viewed via the x-ray and can be heard through the dr.’s stethoscope during examination. The only firm diagnosis of mesothelioma can be made through the biopsy described earlier. Because other things like tumors and benign effusions can look like mesothelioma, a biopsy is the only safe way to tell as a diagnosis of mesothelioma can be one of the most difficult in the book.

As the tumor spreads over the lining between the lungs and the chest, flexibility can be increasingly painful and restricted. Because of this, breathing becomes much more difficult. It begins with shortness of breath potentially while exercising but as function continues to drop short breath can become more and more of a persistent problem.

Although there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma, the treatment options have improved for managing symptoms. As with any cancer, the prognosis is better for those diagnosed early, and treatment can be more aggressive. Most pleural mesothelioma patients are treated with a multimodal therapy, or combination of treatment options. It is possible for patients with pleural mesothelioma to live for 5 to 10 years after diagnosis, although the average survival time is about a year.

Specific types of treatment include:

Experimental treatments such as gene therapy, angiogenesis inhibitors, immunotherapy, and many clinical trials are also in the development stages.

Although mesothelioma remains uncurable, many other treatments have had success in pain reduction and improving lung function. Surgeries to remove tumors and reduce pressure have shown promise in pain reduction, and pain control medications are constantly improving. In some cases, X-ray therapy has been shown to control tumor pain as well.

Visit my alocohol problems and solutions blog
Visit my Jokes and masala stuff blog
Visit my money matters blog

Monday, January 22, 2007

Mesothelioma causes

What causes mesothelioma?

Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma. After these fibers are breathed in, they travel to the ends of small air passages and reach the pleura where they cause physical damage to mesothelial cells that may result in cancer. In addition, they also cause injury to lung cells that can result in lung cancer and/or asbestosis (replacement of lung tissue by scar tissue). If swallowed, these fibers can reach the abdominal cavity where they have a role in causing peritoneal mesothelioma.

Exposure to asbestos, though mostly occupational, can also be environmental, or familial by household contamination, through the work clothes of an asbestos worker for instance.

Beginning 15 years after the onset of exposure, about 6% of asbestos workers die of mesothelioma. In one study of asbestos insulation workers, the death rate from mesothelioma was 344 times higher than in the general population. (Selifoff IJ et al. Relation between exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma.

Visit my alocohol problems and solutions blog
Visit my Jokes and masala stuff blog
Visit my money matters blog



Mesothelioma and Asbestos

Mesothelioma and Asbestos Top Blogs - Increase SEO of Your Blog, Blogging Resources Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Da Factopedia Octofinder Ready2beat Stories Get subscribers Real Time Web Analytics