About Mesothelioma Caused By Exposure To Asbestos.

About Mesothelioma Caused By Exposure To Asbestos.

Mesothelioma is a cancer which appears to be increasing. Perhaps more accurately it is now being diagnosed more frequently and often resulting from exposure to asbestos maybe 15, 25, 35 or more years ago. Because the effects usually remain undetected for many years the most at risk categories of becoming a mesothelioma victim are men in their 60s, 70s or 80s who worked with asbestos many years ago. In years past there was obviously less physical protection in terms of protective clothing and masks and fewer health and safety regulations to conform to. The workers were continually exposed to the asbestos fibres (the UK spelling) and dust which caused the cells of the mesothelium to become abnormal. Because the disease frequently takes decades to develop fully many of them were oblivious to the problem until thirty to fifty years later. It is these men who are now issuing multi-million dollar mesothelioma lawsuits seeking compensation against the companies that exposed them to the dangers of asbestos, even though they were aware, in many cases, that it could cause harm to the employees. Mesothelioma legal advice is big business because of the potential for high settlement awards.

There are also other people at risk from the disease, namely those who have had regular contact with a person who has worked with asbestos. People who worked with asbestos would carry asbestos dust and asbestos fibres on their clothes, skin and in their hair back to their home. Once in the home the fibres and dust were a source of asbestos poisoning to all family members. For example a wife who washed her husband?s clothes would herself be at risk of developing mesothelioma, respiratory problems or another asbestos related disease.

About Mesothelioma Caused By Exposure To Asbestos.

In simple terms our internal organs are protected, covered or lined with the mesothelium (the cells are referred to as the mesothelial cells). Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral which is usually presented in a fibre form. Exposure to these fibres, without suitable protective clothing and breathing equipment, means the body then absorbs the asbestos fibers and dust. Old asbestos installations maybe surrounded by accumulated asbestos dust which is also a severe hazard.

Types of Mesothelioma.

  • Pleural mesothelioma - the most frequently diagnosed type of this disease and effects the lungs and breathing.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma - less frequent and is typically found in the abdomen, stomach and bowels.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma - much less frequently found and affects the heart. 

Many of the symptoms are similar in each of the mesothelioma types ? in the early stages at least ? to other less dangerous and more frequently diagnosed illnesses. If you have any reason or cause to believe you had exposure to asbestos then ? consult your doctor and discuss your concerns. The symptoms and the latency period of this disease mean that it is difficult to diagnose. 

Mesothelioma Treatment.

Although there are treatments for mesothelioma, they do not have a high success rate particularly on patients in whom the cancer is in its later stages. The faster the mesothelioma is diagnosed and treated, the more chance of success, which is why it is important to get as fast a diagnosis as possible. 

Current treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy. 
I understand there is an anti cancer drug called Onconase that has been used in some clinical tests and has had some success in the treatment of malignant mesothelioma. In the UK the National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE) has now approved the use of the mesothelioma drug Alimta in the NHS hospitals and mesothelioma treatment centres. Alimta and Cisplatin are used for the treatment of patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma in some circumstances.

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