Mesothelioma – The largest Man Made Epidemic

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Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which occurs in thin membranes (called the mesothelium) lining the chest, lungs, abdomen and sometimes the heart. Although quite rare, mesothelioma symptoms strike more than 200 people each year in the United States. The majority of mesothelioma cases are directly linked to asbestos exposure.

mesotheliomaIt is documented that Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950’s until the 1970’s.  As a tragic consequence, Australia now has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world.  With more than 500 Australians contracting mesothelioma per year, it is estimated that up to 18,000 Australians will die from this asbestos-related cancer by the year 2020.
Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos, there are many people who have not heard of Mesothelioma.  This asbestos-related cancer is defined as a malignant spreading tumor of the mesothelium of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum, arising from the inhalation of asbestos fibers.  
One of the most baffling and frightening known facts concerning Mesothelioma is that many years may pass, between inhalation of asbestos dust and its deadly legacy of disease;  it is not uncommon for four decades or more to pass before symptoms due to asbestos dust inhalation become apparent. 

The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) continues to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the incurable and often deadly asbestos-related diseases. ADAO is quickly expanding and uniting veterans, fire-fighters, shipbuilders, teachers, and thousands of other innocent people around the world. Asbestos Awareness leads to education, prevention, new treatments and ultimately a cure.

A new mesothelioma treatment method is called intraoperative photodynamic therapy. In this treatment, light and drugs are used to kill cancer cells during surgery for early stages of mesothelioma in the chest. Although there are numerous treatments and drugs for mesothelioma, doctors are losing the battle against this deadly disease. Most mesothelioma treatments involve old techniques combined with different drug cocktails. However, in most cases, these mesothelioma treatments have many side effects including organ damage, nausea, increase in heart failure etc. The rush to find a more effective mesothelioma treatment or even cure is ongoing at numerous clinical labs across the nation. Let’s hope that the mesothelioma treatments will one day erradicate mesothelioma cancer and asbestosis.

Mesothelioma is such a harsh disease. Not only does it take years for symptoms to appear, but there are limited treatements and drugs that will prolong the lives of workers stricken with mesothelioma. In many cases, the death rate of mesothelioma is unfortunately very high. However, with increased funding in mesothelioma research through the government and private grants, the outlook for a mesothelioma cure is quite possible. In the meantime, mesothelioma support groups and local discussions provide the ongoing support for mesothelioma patients.

The key to long-term survival from treatment of mesothelioma is early diagnosis, which enables the greatest potential for success from standard therapies. Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient’s medical history, including any history of asbestos exposure. Diagnosis of Mesothelioma is based on a pathological exam, more commonly referred to as a biopsy.Since this disease can be hard to diagnosis and costly to treat, it may require the consultation of an experienced attorney. When conclusive diagnosis cannot be made from fluid samples, diagnosis is often made through a surgical procedure called a throrascopy.The average age at diagnosis of mesothelioma is between 50 and 70 years old, with men being affected three to five times more often than women. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, and is confirmed with a biopsy (tissue sample) and microscopic examination. The median survival time is 17 months, with ten percent of patients living for three years after diagnosis.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer which is fairly rare although in the last few decades the number of people who have died from it have dramatically increased. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, but the deadliest one of all. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and only affects between 2,000 and 3,000 people in the United States per year. Mesothelioma is less common in African Americans than in white Americans. Mesothelioma is rare in people under age 55. National Cancer Institute stats show that 3000 new diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is reported each year. Mesothelioma is not always fatal and that is the hope to hold on to.
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