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.
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.