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What is Mesothelioma? | Malignant Mesothelioma
What is Mesothelioma?
So the big question, What is Mesothelioma? Malignant mesothelioma is a rare cancer that arises in the cells which line the body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium. All forms of mesothelioma have one demonstrated cause: Asbestos Exposure.
Mesothelioma is an abrupt and destructive form of cancer brought on by asbestos exposure. This cancer takes place unexpectedly normally 20 to 40 years after asbestos exposure. Anybody can be exposed to asbestos in everyday areas, such as homes, offices, schools, as well as direct contact with somebody who has asbestos dust on their clothing. Spouses and children of individuals occupationally exposed to asbestos are also at risk for mesothelioma because asbestos dust 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 proof of any asbestos exposure level that is considered safe. In conclusion, there is not a specific level of exposure that can reduce your possibility of contracting the disease. Any level of asbestos exposure may result in mesothelioma or another form of lung cancer.
If you or a loved one has been exposed to asbestos and are experiencing mesothelioma symptoms such as shortness of breath, coughing, pain in chest or abdomen, seek out a mesothelioma experienced doctor as quickly as possible in order to get appropriate treatment. If medical diagnosis is early you will have access to a wider range of treatment options with more promising outcomes.
What is Mesothelioma? | Types of Malignant 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.
Mesothelioma Symptoms | What is Mesothelioma?
We must understand how to detect malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma cancer can take a long period of time to develop, and the signs of the illness typically do not present themselves until the cancer has advanced to later phases. Early indications of mesothelioma cancer can be misinterpreted for typical daily conditions, and as a result, early signs are frequently disregarded, dismissed, or misdiagnosed. Signs can likewise differ substantially based upon the kind of mesothelioma cancer an individual has.
How to Get Diagnosed | What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma patients often develop symptoms such as coughing, shortness of breath, chest or abdominal pain, and the build up of fluid in the chest or abdomin. One of the first aspects of figuring out whether or not you have mesothelioma is to be properly diagnosed. For malignant 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 malignant 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 this 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 malignant mesothelioma may be present in the body.
Mesothelioma Staging by Type | What is Mesothelioma?
One of the most important things to do when you believe you or a loved one has mesothelioma is to get a proper diagnosis. This will help determine what stage the disease is in.
An approved staging distinction program is present only for pleural mesothelioma, the most common form of malignant mesothelioma cancer. No approved staging systems are identified for peritoneal, pericardial, or testicular mesothelioma. There are no staging systems for less common forms of mesothelioma, the American Joint Committee on Cancer (AJCC) has published general guidelines for staging cancer in its AJCC Cancer Staging Manual. Even when doctors do not have guidelines for a specific form of cancer, they can still refer to the general guidelines to help determine the stages of extremely rare cancers like peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma.
Malignant mesothelioma cancer staging typically happens during the medical diagnosis of the illness through a medical professional. When the question, “What is mesothelioma?” is asked, one of the most important things to do is to get a proper diagnosis so we may understand what stage the disease is in. Although the cancer may recede or progress, the stage of mesothelioma at diagnosis will not change. If a Stage 1 mesothelioma tumor spreads to other parts of the body, it is called Stage 1 with metastasis. If a Stage 4 mesothelioma tumor reduces in size or goes into remission, the stage will not change. While the initial treatment program may depend on the mesothelioma stage, actual treatment may vary depending on how the disease progresses.
Common Mesothelioma Stages | What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma staging demands a variety of diagnostic examinations to identify the tumor area, overall size, and whether it has spread beyond the immediate location. The four stages of pleural mesothelioma cancer vary marginally within each system, but they could be generalized as suggested below. Please click into the individual pages to get more information about each stage. So when the question, “what is mesothelioma?” is asked, there are a few stages that it could be answered in, the following are the known stages of mesothelioma.
Stage 1 Mesothelioma
Within stage 1, the mesothelioma tumor is generally in one location, and the cancerous cells have not dispersed to lymph nodes or other organs and tissues. In general, surgical treatment may be an option for eliminating the cancerous growth.
Stage 2 Mesothelioma
Within stage 2, the mesothelioma tumor is larger and has probably intruded on surrounding organs, such as the lungs or even diaphragm. Lymph nodes could additionally be included. In this case, surgical reapportion might still be feasible, however much more difficult depending on the scope of the growth.
Stage 3 Mesothelioma
Within stage 3, mesothelioma cancer has infested a region or perhaps location, like the chest wall, esophagus or lymph nodes. Surgical treatment is typically not an option as a curative therapy, however various other treatment options may be attempted.
Stage 4 Mesothelioma
Within stage 4 mesothelioma, the malignant mesothelioma cancer has dispersed to numerous locations, such as various other organs and tissues throughout the body. Surgical treatment is no longer an alternative, and most treatments at this stage concentrate on minimizing discomfort and pain.
Mesothelioma Treatment Options | What is Mesothelioma?
After answering the big question, “What is Mesothelioma” and being properly diagnosed, it is suggested that treatment options should be aggressively explored with mesothelioma experienced physicians. There are a number of treatment options for Mesothelioma through surgery, radiation therapy and certain chemotherapy. Several surgeons have pioneered progressive surgical options for mesothelioma victims, including Dr. Harvey Pass, (NYU Langone Cancer Center), Dr. David Sugarbaker (Baylor College of Medicine) and Dr. Raphael Bueno (Brigham and Women’s Hospital). Research on the most effective chemotherapy regimens continues and to date Alimta and Cisplatin have been shown to be very helpful in some patients. ALIMTA is a treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM), a cancer that affects the inside lining of the chest cavity. ALIMTA is used with cisplatin, another anticancer medicine (chemotherapy), when surgery is not an option.
Some mesothelioma patients may want to explore the latest experimental treatment options and clinical trials. Certain non-conventional alternative therapies are being studied and may provide some benefit to patients with malignant mesothelioma cancer. Understanding that all forms of mesothelioma are rare and are considered a form of lethal cancer, it is critical to discuss all available treatment options with your family and mesothelioma experts.
Mesothelioma Treatment Advice | What is Mesothelioma?
On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we would recommend that you consult a professional 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 some of Top Mesothelioma Doctors & Clinical Trials listed on our website. Check out the Top Mesothelioma Doctors page or the Clinical Trials page for more accurate information on who can help you & what clinical trials are available to apply for. We also have some of the Top Cancer Centers listed on our website as well.
Regarding your health, it is always best to make final decisions when speaking to a professional medical doctor. So when asked “what is mesothelioma?” refer your friends and family to asbestoscancer.org for more information. Please contact us and we will do our best to connect you with a top mesothelioma doctor.
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Asbestos Exposure & Cancer | What is Mesothelioma?
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 1940s through as late as the 1990s 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. By understanding that mesothelioma is a lethal cancer, 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 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 1990s 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 1940s through the 1990s 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.
Mesothelioma Treatment Costs | What is 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.
While trying to grasp, “what is mesothelioma?”, cost is a big factor of this. 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 responsible for your current condition. You should explore your legal right to compensation from asbestos companies liable for your exposure to asbestos. When trying to understand, “what is mesothelioma?”, who you consult with for legal counsel is very important. 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 has been diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Doctor Search | What is Mesothelioma?
We’ve collected a database of the Top Mesothelioma Doctors from around the country. Search for them here.
Mesothelioma is often Misdiagnosed | What is Mesothelioma?
All forms of mesothelioma cancer are often misdiagnosed in early stages. This is partially due to the fact that many mesothelioma symptoms resemble the symptoms of other diseases. Mesothelioma is extremely rare and doctors may be more inclined to diagnose a more common disease first. Misdiagnosis can differ depending on the form of mesothelioma a patient may have or how common the displayed symptoms may be with other diseases.
On behalf of the Asbestos Cancer Organization, we strongly recommend you consult a 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 some of top mesothelioma doctors & latest clinical trials listed and linked on our website. Check out the Top Mesothelioma Doctors page or even the Clinical Trials page for more accurate information on who can help you & what new clinical trials are available to apply for. We also have some of the Top Cancer Centers listed and linked on our website.
Get Mesothelioma Help | What is Mesothelioma?
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