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Asbestos cancer is frequently known as mesothelioma. All forms of mesothelioma cancer have one confirmed cause: Asbestos Exposure. Malignant mesothelioma is an extremely rare cancer that arises in the cells which line the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma emerges several years after exposure to asbestos. Currently there are three types of mesothelioma cancer acknowledged by the medical and scientific communities.
Mesothelioma is an abrupt and destructive form of cancer brought on by previous asbestos exposure. This cancer takes place unexpectedly around 20 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. Anybody can be exposed in everyday areas, such as homes, offices, schools, as well as direct contact with somebody who has asbestos dust contamination on their clothing. Spouses and children of individuals occupationally exposed to asbestos are also at risk for developing mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos dust that may have been brought into the home within the fibers of an individual’s clothing. According to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the International Company for Research study on Cancer (IARC), there is no level of asbestos exposure that has proven to be safe. In conclusion, any amount of asbestos exposure, no matter how little, has the potential to result in mesothelioma or an asbestos related lung cancer.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing signs such as shortness of breath, coughing, pain in chest or abdomen, seek out a mesothelioma experienced doctor as quickly as possible in order to begin appropriate treatment. If your medical diagnosis is early you will have access to a wider range of treatment options with more promising outcomes.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a fire-retardant and insulation material that has long been linked to sickness. In the last 50 years asbestos has been declared cancerous by the EPA. The Environmental Protection Agency and Consumer Product Safety Commission enforced strict regulations on its use in commercial and industrial products after asbestos was categorized as a known carcinogen. Unfortunately, many of the companies producing asbestos products were well aware of the dangers that asbestos posed and continued to expose workers and laborers to the hazardous asbestos fibers.
Asbestos cancer diagnosis, including diagnosis of mesothelioma and lung cancer can be difficult due to the fact that symptoms of the illness can meticulously mimic those of various other, more minor, respiratory complications. Signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or chronic cough, may lead medical professionals to suspect mesothelioma, particularly if the patient has a known asbestos exposure history.
Analysis tools for mesothelioma diagnosis include CT scans and MRIs for patients where asbestos cancer is suspected. In most cases, these imaging scans will be able to provide a picture of the tumor, but a biopsy will likely be needed to determine a conclusive diagnosis of mesothelioma rather than other lung diseases. In cases where pleural or peritoneal effusions have manifested in the patient, draining these and extracting the fluid through pleurocentesis can allow oncologists to test the fluid for the presence of malignant cells.
Asbestos Cancer Treatment
Asbestos cancer treatment options generally include some combination of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Asbestos related malignancies can be challenging to get rid of due to the fact that the latency period over which the cancer goes undiscovered can typically extend into the time duration of the early stages of the disease. Later on phases of an asbestos related cancer will frequently not be resectable malignancies. While medical diagnosis of early stage asbestos cancer is not common, it can be very beneficial in terms of treatment options. Adjuvant chemotherapy is typically administered after surgical treatment to complement the resection.
Pleurectomy and extrapleural pneumonectomy, both comprehensive surgeries, are often utilized in the treatment of pleural mesothelioma. Surgical treatment is much less common in peritoneal and pericardial cancer, as the origin of the growth is tough to access without endangering the survival of the patient.
Chemotherapy is the most common treatment option for the control of asbestos cancer. Drugs like Alimta ®, Cisplatin, and Gemcitabine have all been utilized with differing degrees of effectiveness to stop or slow the spread of malignant mesothelioma cancer and lung cancer. Continuous medical trials continue to evaluate brand-new drugs and treatment options for management and treatment of asbestos cancer. Researchers are making strides in determining authorized treatment routines not just for malignant pleural mesothelioma, however likewise peritoneal and pericardial cancers.
Currently, the only FDA-approved chemotherapy routine for malignant pleural mesothelioma cancer is a mix of Alimta ® and Cisplatin, delivered intravenously, with 21 days in between each subsequent injection. Pleural Mesothelioma is far more common (and not necessarily attributable to a certain level of asbestos exposure), it is expected that there are more chemotherapy choices available to patients with this disease.
External beam radiation is popular amongst patients getting treatment for pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma patients may also make use of radiation in the control of their cancer, but in lower dosages considering the area’s proximity to the heart. Radiation therapy is thought to be helpful for palliation to prevent malignant cells from taking hold once again following surgical treatment.
As part of developing research studies into the control of asbestos cancer through radiotherapy, researchers have started using brachytherapy to control mesothelioma growth spread and development. Brachytherapy is an internal radiation source implanted in the afflicted area which has revealed promise in clinical research studies in minimizing tumor mass and slowing down disease spread. Every year, survival rates are extended even further and more funding is now being invested in research study to examine new choices for treatment. The goal is to one day discover a cure for mesothelioma.
Treatment Options By Mesothelioma Stage
Stage 1 Mesothelioma Treatment
Surgery is one of the most common treatment options for mesothelioma patients during Stage 1 diagnosis. The most common surgeries that are recommended include pleurectomy/decortication or extrapleural pneumonectomy. Following these surgeries, doctors may want to evaluate the patient further to determine whether chemotherapy or radiation treatment is needed. However, it’s usually determined that those additional therapies are not required for Stage I Patients.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma Treatment
Patients that are diagnosed during Stage II Mesothelioma still have a reasonably wide range of traditional treatment opportunities. The most common treatment options are chemotherapy and radiation therapy. During this stage, surgery is still a possible option. There are also a few other treatment options that are experimental and alternative, which can be utilized in order to slow the progression of the disease, strengthen the immune system and minimize the stress and pain caused by the treatment procedures.
Stage 3 Mesothelioma Treatment
Options are limited during Stage III Mesothelioma. During this stage, the disease most likely has spread across the body to other vital organs or the lymphatic system. The most common option at this point that is recommended by doctors is to set a goal to improve comfort and quality of life.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment
Diagnosis during Stage IV Mesothelioma is usually very discouraging when considering treatment options. At this point, the disease has already progressed throughout the body and organs. During this time, patients experience severe symptoms and the primary focus of the medical team is to manage pain and symptoms. The most common option chosen by patients at this point is finding a local Hospice program to enhance the remaining quality of life, while also offering support to the patient and family members affected. Patients that are in the 4th stage may have the option to participate in clinical trials researching new treatments for Mesothelioma.
Types of Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma arises in the membrane which surrounds the lung, called the pleura. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of this deadly cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdominal cavity, called the peritoneum. Peritoneal mesothelioma is less common but is more often found in women than in men.
Pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.
How to Get Diagnosed
For Mesothelioma, cancer specialists will approach a mesothelioma diagnosis by first testing symptoms. This initial testing is usually to see if symptoms are being caused by a more common disease. As part of this process, the doctor will obtain a full medical history from the patient. This usually will include asking the patient about any exposure to asbestos.
After these steps have been taken, the doctor will usually perform a series of tests, some of these tests could include imaging scans and blood tests. Most of the time if these tests indicate a potential for mesothelioma, a biopsy will be taken. Biopsy Tests are normally the only way to give a definitive Mesothelioma Diagnosis.
All forms of Mesothelioma have a poor long term prognosis. Catching the disease early on can potentially improve life expectancy. Having mesothelioma diagnosed before it spreads can increase the effectiveness of treatments and clinical trial options.
In light of the current difficulty in curing the disease, most research and development around all forms of mesothelioma is focused around improving early detection and diagnosis of the disease. This includes recent developments of new biomarker blood tests, which can detect the presence of substances that indicate mesothelioma may be present in the body.
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Asbestos Exposure & Cancer
The only known cause of Mesothelioma is Asbestos Exposure. Asbestos dust and particles that have been inhaled or ingested cause inflammation and disruption of normal cell growth on a microscopic level. This can lead to the development of mesothelioma cancer. Thousands of industrial, commercial and consumer products were manufactured with asbestos from the 1940’s through as late as the 1990’s in some cases. Most of these companies knew the deadly effects that exposing their employees and customers would cause and yet still continued to use the deadly substance due to corporate greed. For this reason many lawsuits have been brought against these companies on behalf of Mesothelioma Victims. Understanding that Mesothelioma is a lethal cancer, this directly means that whoever exposed you or your loved one to Asbestos dust is responsible for their death.
Here at the Asbestos Cancer Organization we have teamed up with a Top Mesothelioma Law firm. The Lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White have been fighting and winning Mesothelioma cases for Mesothelioma clients for over 40 years. We strongly suggest that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma that they seek legal consultation with our partners at Goldberg, Persky & White. They are the best of the best. Their experienced Mesothelioma lawyers will continue fighting Mesothelioma cases for their clients and assist all persons diagnosed with Mesothelioma.
Most asbestos exposure originates from the thousands of products that contained asbestos. People who worked in industries like steel mills, foundries, power plants, chemical plants, refineries, paper mills, glass manufacturing, iron smelting and aluminum manufacturing from the 1940s through the 1990’s were most likely exposed to asbestos dust. A lot of the insulation, refractories and friction products used by these industries during this time period contained asbestos. Construction workers including laborers, insulators, brick layers, electricians, machinists, millwrights, plumbers, pipefitters, steamfitters, iron workers, boilermakers, carpenters, plasterers, drywall workers and even superintendents, engineers and architects who worked in any form of construction from the 1940’s through the 1990’s could have been exposed to Asbestos dust. There were numerous asbestos containing construction materials sold by the asbestos companies.
The chances of being exposed to asbestos particles in these settings does not decrease even if a worker was never personally handling asbestos containing products. If someone worked in the same area where work with asbestos products was conducted they also inhaled the deadly toxins. Most companies that manufactured or sold asbestos products did not provide warnings to their customers, many workers unwittingly introduced asbestos dust into their homes on their contaminated work clothing, subjecting their wives and even their children to enough asbestos exposure to cause mesothelioma. It has recently been found that some common talcum powders, including baby powder, shaving powders, cosmetic and hygiene talcum powders, contained dangerous levels of asbestos sufficient to cause mesothelioma.
Top Mesothelioma Doctors
Only the best, just for you.
Dr. Raphael Bueno is the Chief, Division of Thoracic Surgery and Vice Chair of Surgery for Cancer and Translational Research at Boston’s Brigham and
Dr. Harvey Pass is a renowned thoracic surgeon that has dedicated his career to bringing increased awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Dr. Robert Brian Cameron currently serves as the Director of Thoracic Oncology at University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine, Department of Surgery.
Dr. David Sugarbaker is a world-renowned doctor and certified thoracic surgeon widely credited for developing the first tri-modal treatment approach for malignant pleural mesothelioma.
Dr. Lary A. Robinson is currently the Director of the Division of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute in Tampa, Florida.
As director of the mesothelioma program at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center at the University of Texas in Houston, Anne Tsao M.D. is one of the nation’s foremost authorities on malignant mesothelioma.
What Treatments are Available for Mesothelioma?
On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we recommend you immediately consult a professional Mesothelioma experienced medical physician for any advice related to treatment options and care. We care deeply about your situation and only want the very best for you & your family. We have links to some of Top Mesothelioma Doctors & latest Clinical Trials listed on our website. Why not check out the Top Mesothelioma Doctors page or even the Clinical Trials page for more accurate information on who can best help you & what clinical trials are currently available to apply for. We also have the Top Cancer Centers listed and linked on our website.
Regarding your health, it is always best to make final decisions when speaking to a professional medical doctor. Please contact us and we will do our best to connect you with a Top Mesothelioma Doctor.
We’ve collected a database of the Top Mesothelioma Doctors from around the country. Search for them here.
Costs Related to Mesothelioma
As with all types of cancer, Mesothelioma costs can be extremely high, often hundreds of thousands of dollars. The costs associated with the disease can be lumped into several categories: Diagnostic Testing Costs, Treatment Costs, Follow up, Recovery and Care Expenses.
How much a family spends on mesothelioma care will likely depend on a variety of factors. Some of these factors include, but are not limited to: the exact diagnosis, the stage when the disease is diagnosed, what is covered by insurance, and even where the patient lives. Asbestos exposure is the only proven cause of mesothelioma, those who are diagnosed with this deadly cancer may be able to receive financial assistance for many different things, from lost income to medical costs, as well as damages for pain and suffering related to the disease. On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we would like to recommend that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed, you should strongly consider taking legal steps to help offset this potential financial burden.
Learn more about the financial assistance that is available if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma. Financial aid options available to you can include Mesothelioma trust fund claims and a lawsuit against responsible members of the asbestos industry. Companies that exposed you or your loved one to Asbestos dust are directly responsible for your current condition. You should explore your legal right to compensation from asbestos companies liable for your exposure to asbestos. Here at the Asbestos Cancer Organization we have teamed up with a Top Mesothelioma Law firm. The Lawyers at Goldberg, Persky & White having been fighting and winning Mesothelioma cases for Mesothelioma clients for over 40 years. We highly suggest that if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma that they seek legal consultation with our legal partners at Goldberg, Persky & White. They are the Best of the Best. Their experienced Mesothelioma lawyers will continue fighting Mesothelioma cases for their clients and assist anyone who develops Mesothelioma.
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