Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Your Mesothelioma Case

Your Mesothelioma case is important to you. You have been robbed of years of your life because of someone's negligence. The question is what are you going to do about it? Mesothelioma is a serious disease. Mesothelioma is caused from exposure to asbestos materials. Often times, Mesothelioma takes decades for this disease to come to the surface. When it is noticed, Mesothelioma is often in its last stages, beyond medical treatment. What does this mean to you, the injured? What does it mean for your family as well? Mesothelioma is also reason to look into litigation.
There are many websites out there that will tell you about Mesothelioma, its causes and its treatments. What about the suffering that it causes? What about the years it takes off someone's life? This is where Mesothelioma laws come into play. Every state has very stringent laws regarding asbestos material. Although it has been banned from use for many years, it is often found and people are exposed to it in older buildings. Most of the time it is not known to be there but, every state also has laws regarding proper care of asbestos material and precautions regarding its removal in order to prevent Mesothelioma. That is because of how serious a disease Mesothelioma is.
If you are one of the people who have been exposed to asbestos and are now dealing with Mesothelioma, you should know that you may have a lawsuit claim. Now, perhaps you feel it is no ones fault. Or, perhaps it was so long ago that you just don't want to dig it back up. The bottom line is this. If you were exposed to asbestos and it leads to Mesothelioma, you may have a case to help with your care, your family's care, and even your medical bills. Mesothelioma is quite serious and someone should have to help with all of this, right?
To begin your search for information on Mesothelioma laws in your state, you can look on websites like http://www.thesmartattorneys.com . You can also look to that site for more information on finding a Mesothelioma lawyers. Your Mesothelioma attorneys will help you decide if and when you should pursue a Mesothelioma case. Find out what the laws in your area are regarding Mesothelioma. Find out if you have a Mesothelioma case.

S A Baker is staff writer at [http://www.thesmartattorneys.com]

Sunday, November 27, 2011

What Are The Four Stages of Mesothelioma Cancer?

One rare form of cancer is called Mesothelioma, a malignant tumor in the mesothelial tissues of the lungs and the abdomen, arising from the inhalation of asbestos. Its rarity is one of the reasons why a lot of people are not aware of this kind of fatal disease. In fact, many people die of Mesothelioma undiagnosed. Although there is now a growing awareness of the hazards of asbestos to health, still many have not heard of Mesothelioma and thus, have not understood its nature, cause, signs and treatment. Even some physicians find it hard to detect Mesothelioma because its symptoms are akin to other diseases like lung cancer and pneumonia. Furthermore, it takes decades for a patient who was exposed to asbestos to develop Mesothelioma -- fifty years, at most.
Being unaware of Mesothelioma poses higher risks since it deters diagnosis and treatment. A person undergoing treatment must know the different stages of the cancer or the extent of the disease. Chances of recovering from Mesothelioma and the kind of treatment depend on the stage of the illness. There are basically two staging systems used for Pleural Mesothelioma (lungs): TNM system and Brighan system. These staging systems are also used in other kinds of cancers; however, the first is commonly used. There is no established method in determining the stage of the Peritoneal Mesothelioma cancer (abdominal) so the TNM system is used.
There are three variables in the TNM system: tumor, lymph nodes and metastasis. In the earliest stage of Mesothelioma, stage I, the malignant Mesothelioma cells start to grow and multiply only one layer of the pleura. The pleura is the membrane that encloses the lungs and lines the wall of the chest cavity. However, there are some instances wherein the pericardium (membrane that covers the heart) and diaphragm cover are already affected. In this case, the cancer patient is still in stage I Mesothelioma.
In the second stage, the two layers of the pleura are already affected by Mesothelioma. Take note, however, that in this stage, only one side of the body is affected. Normally, the pleura produces only small amount of lubricating fluid that allows easy expanding and contracting of the lungs. The excess fluid is absorbed by the blood and the lymph vessels so there's a balance between the amount of fluid produced and removed. During the second stage Mesothelioma, fluid starts to build up between the membrane of the lungs and the membrane of the chest wall, resulting to pleural effusion. The increase in the volume of fluid produced causes shortness of breath and chest pain. Other Mesothelioma cancer patients experience dry and persistent cough. Diagnosis of the pleural effusion is achieved through a chest x-ray.
Stage III Mesothelioma means that the malignant cells have already spread to the chest wall, esophagus and the lymph nodes on one part of the chest. The patient may suffer severe pain near the parts affected. When not treated immediately or when the Mesothelioma patient doesn't respond well to medication, the cancer may advance to the fourth stage. The fourth stage Mesothelioma is formidable since at this stage the Mesothelioma cells have penetrated into the bloodstream and other organs in the body like the liver, the bones and the brain. The lymph nodes on the other side of the chest may also be affected by Mesothelioma in stage IV.
Brighan staging system, on the other hand, determines whether the Mesothelioma can be surgically removed or not and whether the lymph nodes are affected or not. In stage I Mesothelioma, the lymph nodes are not yet affected and the patient can still recover through surgery. In stage II, surgery can still be executed but some lymph nodes have already been infiltrated by the cancer cells. In stage III, the heart and chest wall are already affected; thus, surgery is no longer advisable. The lymph nodes in this stage, however, may or may not be affected. In the final stage, stage IV Mesothelioma, cancer cells have already gone to the bloodstream and other parts of the body like the heart, brain, bone and liver. In most cases, a patient who has reached stage IV Mesothelioma only has four to twenty-four months to live.

David Arnold Livingston is a believer in gaining knowledge around Health issues and recommends, as a resource: [http://www.newmesothelioma.com/Mesothelioma]

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Types and Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is a cancerous tumor involving the mesothelial cells that make up the pleura or lining around the outside of the lungs and inside of the ribs. It can also involve the heart and abdomen. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers, including chrysotile, amosite, or crocidolite that occurred twenty or more years before the disease becomes evident. These fibers are ingested into to the body through breathing or swallowing. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75% of all cases.
Types of Plural Mesothelioma
"Localized and benign" mesothelioma is non-life threatening and can be removed by surgery.
"Diffuse and malignant" mesothelioma is a cancer that generally results in death within one year of diagnosis.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
Chest wall pain, pleural effusion, or fluid surrounding the lung, shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue or anemia, wheezing, hoarseness, or cough and blood in the sputum (fluid) coughed up. Patients may develop several tumor masses. Patients may experience pneumothorax, or collapse of the lung. The disease may metastasize, or spread, to other parts of the body.
Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma
There are four stages of this disease. Localized pleural mesothelioma cancer ranging from - Stage I; the cancer remains on the membrane surface where it originated to Stage IV; advanced. In this final stage, the cancer has (metastasized) spread beyond the original membrane surface to other parts of the body, such as the lymph nodes, lungs, chest wall, or abdominal organs.
Screening and Diagnosis
Doctors first review the patient's medical history including any exposure to asbestos. The doctor may perform a complete physical examination. Doctors are then likely to order x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. These tests include various imaging tests such as CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI.
A biopsy is needed to confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer. Doctors perform a thoracoscopy on patients showing symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma. This procedure involves making a small cut through the chest wall then inserting a thin, lighted tube called a thoracoscope into the chest between two ribs. Doctors suction out any access fluid in the lungs through a procedure called thoracentesis. They can then obtain tissue samples for analysis. Other types of tube insertions include bronchoscopy or a mediastinoscopy
Treatment Options
Here are some of the most widely used treatments at this time.
Surgical removal of the entire lung and a part of the chest lining, the diaphragm and part of the sac surrounding the heart.
Radiotherapy is applied to the sites of chest drain insertion, in order to prevent growth of the tumor along the track in the chest wall. Though not particularly successful, radiation is preformed to relieve symptoms arising from tumor growth, such as obstruction of a major blood vessel.
Chemotherapy is used to stop the cancer cells from growing and dividing.
It is important to note that there are no successful treatments for pleural mesothelioma to date. Patients usually have a median survival time of 6 - 12 months after presentation of the symptoms.

Dave Casey is a medical writer for Mesothelioma-Adviser.com, a guide for mesothelioma cancer victims. Visit the site for mesothelioma cancer help, articles on asbestosis symptoms and legal advice.
Copyright 2007 Mesothelioma-Adviser.com

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Reduction In Mesothelioma Cases In Sweden

Mesothelioma is a terrible illness. It affects those persons who are exposed to asbestos fibers and asbestos dust. Mesothelioma may be cancerous (a malignant form) or non-cancerous (a benign form of mesothelioma), When asbestos fibers or asbestos dust is inhaled, it enters the body and travels through the body organs, The body organs like heart, abdomen and lungs have a lining called as mesothelium lining. When this lining comes in touch with the asbestos particles, it starts behaving abnormally. The asbestos fibers make the mesothelium cells to divide rapidly. Also, these cells start to outlive the other cells. This leads to tumors in that part of the body. This body condition is called as mesothelioma. The tumors may also spread to other parts of the body.
The worst part of this disease is that it has a very long latency period of about 20 to 40 years. Also, this disease has no known cure. So, the only way to check the spread of this disease is by banning asbestos. Though many countries like USA, UK and Japan have banned asbestos, mesothelioma deaths still continue. This is because the disease has a huge latency period. It is expected that the member of deaths due to mesothelioma is going to skyrocket in the years 2015 to 2020. However, there is only one country, 'Sweden', which has shown a steady decline in the number of cases of mesothelioma. Let us see how and why this was possible in Sweden.
Mesothelioma Statistics in Sweden
There are around 100000 mesothelioma cases all around the world now. Even more is expected in the next 10 years all around the globe. In 1961-2000, Sweden registered around 2190 cases of mesothelioma. On an average, this statistics is around 52 cases per year. However, the year 1993 was a terrible period as the number of mesothelioma cases reached a very high peak in this year.
After 1993, there was a gradual decline in the number of mesothelioma cases. By the year 2003, Sweden had about 20 mesothelioma cases per million populations per year. In the same year, Britain had around 39 cases per million populations. While the entire world was facing the problem of increasing mesothelioma cases, Sweden was the only country where there is a steady decline in the member of mesothelioma cases. The reasons for this change should be analyzed.
Immediate Action taken by Sweden
Sweden is the only country that took immediate action against the deadly mesothelioma. It imposed an immediate ban on asbestos. The first immediate reaction of Sweden was started in 1964 itself. The first asbestos regulations of Sweden dates back to 1964. In the year 1976, Sweden started imposing very strict regulations on the import and the use of asbestos. 1986 to 1988 was another landmark for Sweden. During these years, Sweden imposed a complete ban on asbestos. Sweden is the first country in the entire European union to impose a complete ban on all types of asbestos. Many countries do not ban white asbestos or chrysolite. The reason given by them is that the white asbestos does not cause any harm if used with proper safeguards. However, as the real reason behind their inaction is that the immediate economic returns make them blind to the future public health of millions. Sweden makes an exception to this. It banned all types of asbestos.
Another important lesson to be learnt from Sweden is that white asbestos is also very harmful. 90% of the asbestos used in Sweden was white asbestos. When all

Types of asbestos were banned in Sweden. There was a drastic decline in

the number of cases of mesothelioma. This clearly proves that even white asbestos is very harmful. It may lead to lots of diseases like asbestosis, fibrosis, asbestos warts and the deadly mesothelioma. The main reason for the decline in mesothelioma cases in Sweden is because Sweden took quick and immediate action to control the disease.
Sweden's campaign against the disease started in 1964 itself. Still the highest number of deaths due to Occupational diseases in Sweden is because of mesothelioma. If this is the case in Sweden, then it is scary to think of the condition in other countries. The other countries should start acting immediately. Countries like India have still not banned white asbestos claiming that there is no scientific evidence that it is harmful. This is utter gibberish. White asbestos is also highly harmful and all countries should follow Sweden's example and ban all types of asbestos mining, manufacture and use. Only then the number of mesothelioma cases will reduce in the future. The world will be a better place to live in, in the future.

The writer is a research expert at a medical research firm. Webmaster: http://www.rarehope.com

Monday, November 21, 2011

Surviving Mesothelioma - Fighting This Life Threatening Enemy

Mesothelioma, a disease linked to asbestos exposure, is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are located in the Mesothelium - a shielding sac that covers a large amount of the body's internal organs. Malignant pericardial, malignant pleural and malignant peritoneal Mesothelioma are the three main types of Mesothelioma cancer. The peritoneal form involves the tissue covering the abdominal cavity and the pleural form involves the sac that protects the pleural cavity around the lungs.
Mesothelioma is frequently mistaken for lung cancer. Generally the symptoms of mesothelioma can include: cough, shortness of breath, husky voice, and difficulty in breathing, difficulty swallowing, abdominal pain and swelling, chest pain, anemia, insomnia, loss of appetite, cachexia, fatigue, weight loss, and fluid in the abdomen or chest. It is not easy to properly diagnose mesothelioma since numerous symptoms can be confused with other illnesses such as flu, bronchitis, pneumonia and heart disease.
Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos. No amount of asbestos exposure is harmless. Some mesothelioma victims have experienced occupational exposure to asbestos over a long period of time. An example would be a plumber, boilermaker or HVAC repairmen in the 1960's; a time when many of the parts and equipment contained some asbestos. Some mesothelioma victims were exposed in a "secondary fashion" from the clothes of the person who was directly exposed. An example of this would be a woman who washes her husband's work clothes and inadvertently inhales or ingests some of the microscopic asbestos fibers. A third category of victim would be someone who was exposed to only small amounts of asbestos through casual contact with an asbestos containing product. All forms of exposure can cause mesothelioma.
Today, there is still not a complete ban on asbestos containing products in the U.S. The EPA has, however, put in certain limits on the amount of asbestos that is permitted in some products. Nonetheless, because of the costs of litigation, many manufacturers of asbestos containing products have voluntarily removed asbestos from their products. Products from other countries, however, may still contain asbestos. For example, recent testing by the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization found asbestos in children's toys coming from China.
Typically, 20 to 50 years elapse between asbestos exposure and the diagnosis of Mesothelioma cancer. This latency period varies by individual but is the reason that mesothelioma typically strikes seniors.
Although mesothelioma is a particularly aggressive cancer there are treatment options available including: standard therapies - surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, alternative or complimentary therapies and clinical trials. Clinical trials are a broad category that includes various types of treatments that are being tested. Currently these therapies include: Monoclonal Antibody Approaches, Anti-angiogenesis Drugs, Vaccine Approaches - Immunotherapies, and other "biological modifiers."
There is a lot of disheartening Mesothelioma News and information on the internet regarding mesothelioma survival rate. Despite this pessimism, there are a few long term mesothelioma survivors including: Stephen Jay Gould, Rhio O'Connor, Paul Kraus, and others. In fact, Paul Kraus wrote an inspirational book about his recovery from mesothelioma titled "Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient's Guide." Today, "Surviving Mesothelioma" is the best-selling mesothelioma book in the world, according to a testimonial from a former brain surgeon. This Mesothelioma book has all the information a cancer patient needs to learn what survival behavior is all about.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article.

For a limited time, free copies of "Surviving Mesothelioma" are available to newly diagnosed Mesothelioma patients on this website.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium; the protective sac that covers and protects most internal organs of the body. The mesothelium has two layers, one, which covers the organ, and a second, which forms a sac around it. The mesothelium has different names depending on the location in the body. The pleura is the name for the mesothelial tissue surrounding the lungs and lining the chest cavity. The peritoneum covers most of the organs in the abdominal cavity, while the pericardium covers and protects the heart.
The mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid that allows organs within it to move and glide easily. The fluid allows the lungs to breathe and the heart to expand and contract without creating any type of internal friction.
Like other forms of cancer, mesothelioma occurs when cells become abnormal and divide or grow out of control. When someone has mesothelioma, the helpful lubricating fluid described above may be over-produced. This excess fluid encases the organs with a thick layer of tumor tissue, described as a rind type of layer. In advanced cases of mesothelioma, cells metastasize, or grow and invade other organs and spread to other areas of the body.
The majority of individuals suffering from mesothelioma have cancer in the lining of the lung. Sometimes, mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneal mesothelioma) or in the lining of the heart (pericardial mesothelioma).
The symptoms of mesothelioma are common to a number of illnesses which means that mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose. Unique types of treatment for mesothelioma are still being investigated through clinical trials and research, but as a general rule, mesothelioma does not respond well to most treatments that are currently being offered.
Mesothelioma is caused by breathing or ingesting asbestos fibers. The coarse fibers cause scarring of the mesothelial tissue which can cause asbestosis or pleural plaques. Unfortunately, the scarring can also lead to cancer known as mesothelioma.
It often takes 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos before the symptoms of mesothelioma develop. This period of time is referred to as a latency period. Because of the latency period, the disease commonly affects men and women that are at least 50 years of age and that worked with asbestos between 20 and 50 years ago. Many workers working 20 to 50 years ago did not use any type of protection in the workplace while they were exposed to the dust or fibers from asbestos. At the same time, however, many of the companies employing the workers had full knowledge that asbestos was dangerous and that exposure to asbestos would harm the health of many of the workers. Insulators, plasterers, electricians, pipefitters, mechanics, ironworkers, ship builders, ship workers, brick layers, carpenters, and other tradesmen are just a few examples of workers that were likely to work with asbestos on a day-to-day basis. Also at risk are the families of these workers, as the asbestos fibers may be brought into the home from the clothes, skin, or hair of the worker.
If the mesothelioma is detected in the earlier stages and treated aggressively, studies have shown that half will survive two years and 20 percent will survive five years. However, if the diagnosis is for Advanced Mesothelioma, only 10 percent have a three-year survival rate and only 5 percent have a life expectancy of five years.
Keep in mind that these statistics should only be used as general guidelines, and not as a definitive idea of an individual patient's survival rate. Patients are encouraged to speak with their physicians about their individual prognosis.
Unfortunately, millions of people have been exposed to asbestos over the years. Only now are we able to see the disastrous effects of asbestos exposure in the workplace.
As with other cancers, a speedy diagnosis is important to effective treatment of mesothelioma. If you believe that you may have mesothelioma and that you worked with asbestos in the past, you may wish to inform your doctor of this fact.
If you or a loved one have been diagnosed with mesothelioma in the last five years, you may wish to meet with an attorney to discuss your legal rights. Anyone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma should consider this option. If you have a loved one who is deceased because of mesothelioma, their spouse or an executor of the estate should also consider legal representation.
There are different avenues to consider regarding representation and the possibilities of obtaining compensation. We believe it is important that you choose representation by a firm that is exclusively devoted to mesothelioma claims. We believe you should choose a firm that has years of experience and a proven track record with mesothelioma claims.

Patricia Hughes works for an Internet marketing firm ePlus Marketing
For more information contact: Maune Raichle Law firm 1-800-358-5922.
The firm specializes in mesothelioma cases. Or go to: legal-mesothelioma-help.com

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The Relationship Between Asbestoses and Mesothelioma

In order to fully understand the relationship between asbestosis and mesothelioma, and clearly distinguish between these diseases, we must first learn about the cause, then set about defining each condition in a clear, yet non-technical manner.
What is Asbestos?

The name Asbestos was first given to this toxic mineral by the Ancient Greeks, and the word "Asbestos" literally means inextinguishable. Throughout much of the twentieth century asbestos was widely used in industry because of it's resistance to heat and flame, resistance to electricity and excellent insulation and sound proofing qualities. It is estimated that there are approximately 3,000 different commercial products which include the use of asbestos in the manufacture process.
Asbestos is made up of tiny microscopic fibers which are invisible to the naked eye, and these fibres will often become airborne when the material is damaged or disturbed. Once carried by air, the fibres may be inhaled into the lungs or even swallowed into he digestive system where they will almost certainly cause long term, significant health problems. Inhaled asbestos fibers will remain in the body and never be expelled, and because of this, the fibers penetrate body tissues and will often deposit themselves in airways and lung tissue.
There are six minerals which are defined as "asbestos" types. These are chrysotile, crocidolite, amosite, actinolite, tremolite and anthophyllite. The three most commonly used asbestos types are classed as white, brown, and blue, and it is the brown and blue asbestos types which are most often associated with being the cause of mesothelioma. Millions of people all over the world have been affected by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, putting them at risk of contracting asbestosis, mesothelioma, lung cancer, or other deadly diseases directly caused by these toxic levels of asbestos.
What is Asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a noncancerous, chronic inflammatory medical condition which scars the parenchymal tissue of the lungs, and is caused by the inhalation of toxic levels of asbestos fibers. The asbestos fibres activate the lung's immune system which causes an inflammatory process resulting in connective-tissue-based scars to form a condition known as fibrosis. This scar tissue will slowly builds up, to the extent where it reduces the lung's ability to deliver oxygen to the blood and remove carbon dioxide. The lung capacity may also be reduced which in turn will lead to breathing problems. In severe cases of asbestosis the impairment of lung function places a tremendous strain on the heart, causing heart disease, such as right-sided heart failure or "cor pulmonale." Signs and symptoms of asbestosis will typically not become apparent until years after exposure. But once diagnosed, the condition will often worsen and lead to severe disability and even death if the exposure to asbestos continues.
What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the cells that form the mesothelium, the membrane surrounding the main organs of the body. Mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos fibers or dust and primarily strikes those individuals who have worked with asbestos products. Others have been exposed to asbestos fibers in their homes, often without knowing it. Because of the latency of the cancer, it will typically not appear for 20 to 50 or more years after the initial exposure. There are approximately 3,000 to 4,000 new cases of mesothelioma reported in the United States each year, mostly amongst men over the age of 40, and the figure is on the increase. It is estimated that there will be approximately 250,000 cases of Mesothelioma before 2020.
Whilst asbestosis and mesothelioma share a common cause.. the inhalation of asbestos fibers... they are entirely different conditions, and there are few similarities between the two illnesses. Asbestosis is the build up of scar tissue on the lungs, which restricts their expansion and contraction. Early signs of the illness include a shortage of breath after physical exertion. During the later stages, the shortness of breath occurs even at times of rest. Other symptoms of asbestosis are chest pains and bouts of coughing. Asbestosis is quite often mis-diagnosed as being asthma particularly because many of the symptoms of the two conditions are similar. Physicians deal with a lot more cases of asthma than they do asbestosis. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium of certain internal organs. Although the symptoms of asbestosis and mesothelioma are similar, in the case of mesothelioma, it is cancerous cells that are causing these symptoms. Asbestosis is a non-cancerous illness...Asbestosis is quite often mis-diagnosed as being asthma particularly because many of the symptoms of the two conditions are similar. Physicians see a lot more cases of asthma than they do asbestosis.
There are also major differences in the treatments of asbestosis and mesothelioma. Whilst treatment for asbestosis centers around preventing the condition from deteriorating and easing the symptoms, treatment for mesothelioma will depend on how far the cancer has developed. If diagnosed early enough, there is a good possibility that the cancerous tumors can be removed or abnormal cells killed using radiation or chemotherapy. Later stages of mesothelioma cancer can be treated, but treatment becomes more difficult if the cancer has spread to other parts of the body. Regardless of the type of treatment, both asbestosis and mesothelioma have a very poor prognosis.

Trevor Taylor writes of his experiences in the Asbestosis and Mesothelioma arena
Asbestosis Mesothelioma Information
Symptoms Of Mesothelioma
Treatment Of Mesothelioma

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Overview of Malignant Mesothelioma

Over a period of time, the world has witnessed variations of a disease that is caused by the frequent inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers - mesothelioma. The asbestos fibers are known to get lodged within the lung tissues. A variety of related diseases are caused due to prolonged and constant exposure to asbestos like malignant mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestosis. The most fatal of these diseases is mesothelioma, which culminates in death.
Malignant mesothelioma:
This cancer affects the lining of the abdomen or the lungs and is today, not a very rare type of cancer. It is always caused due to the inhalation of asbestos, but can spread due to a weakened immune system too and other internal infections present during the onslaught. The effects of this cancer manifest approximately 20 to 40 years later and this is one reason why it is seen in older patients generally. If mesothelioma life expectancy has to be increased then early diagnosis of the patient helps in determining the right kind of treatment option on time. Of all the cancers, malignant mesothelioma is one of the most painful, aggressive and most fatal.
Mesothelioma cancer types:
The lungs are often the most affected parts of the body in mesothelioma cancer. It also occurs in the peritoneum in rare cases and when the asbestos fibers are inhaled, they also reach the bowel and stomach regions. Pleural mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are the two types of mesothelioma. The pleura or the lining of the lungs are affected in pleural mesothelioma and in peritoneal mesothelioma, the lining of the abdominal cavity or the peritoneum is affected.
To improve mesothelioma life expectancy early diagnosis and treatment becomes indisputable. It takes many years for malignant mesothelioma to develop and manifest. If a person is diagnosed today for example, he or she has actually been exposed to the asbestos fibers about 20 to 40 years back! Those workers who previously had jobs involving prolonged inhalation of the asbestos fiber are the ones most affected by mesothelioma. During the early 20h century, there were not many safety guidelines with regards to the onslaught. Not only the workers themselves, but even their friends and relatives were affected due to the inhalation of the asbestos fibers from the hair, clothing and skin of these primary carriers of the fibers.
Prognosis and symptoms:
It takes decades for malignant mesothelioma to develop. Up to 15 to 20 or sometimes even up to 50 years, no serious symptoms of the condition may manifest in even a construction worker. And even if the symptoms do surface, they have a tendency of remaining inconspicuous very often. The patient usually displays bouts of fever, swallowing difficulty, and pain in the chest, shortness of breath, persistent cough and difficulty in breathing.
It becomes difficult to catch the onslaught in the early stages due to the vagueness of the symptoms related to malignant mesothelioma. The cancer is most likely to reach its advanced stages by the time the victim even goes through the primary diagnosis. This makes the prognosis poor and the situation pretty hapless. Depending on the particular form of mesothelioma cancer, the survival rate could be anywhere between 20-30%. To improve Mesothelioma Life Expectancy, early diagnosis and the timely treatment are absolute necessities.

Right from the 1800s asbestos has been frequently used and even overused. The overview of Mesothelioma Life Expectancy and Malignant Mesothelioma needs to be mapped from the 1940s to the 1980s.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer

The cancer of the lining of the abdominal cavity is called peritoneal mesothelioma. It is not as common as pleural form; it comprises an estimated one fifth to one third of all diagnosed mesothelioma cases. This report of the Surveillance, Epidemiology and End Results (SEER) approximates the number as 54.7% male and 45.3% female, with the age ranging from 65 to 69. The period of latency is shorter for patients exposed in asbestos, the symptoms appearing after 20 to 30 years from exposure; the usual latency period for pleural mesothelioma is 30 to 40 years.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
At the time of presentation, symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma includes abdominal mass, abdominal pain, enlarged abdominal girth, fluid in the abdomen (ascites), distention of the abdomen, weight loss, fever, anemia, fatigue and digestive disturbances. For a few months before a confirmed diagnosis, some patients even complain of symptoms that are non-specific. Incidentally, peritoneal mesothelioma is found in a percentage of cases once the patient has other health complaints such as hernia, gallbladder or pelvic mass.
Doctors who have experiences in this field have noted that typically, patients have these symptoms six months to two years prior to the diagnosis. Men often come to the doctor complaining of a bulge in the groin (hernia) or around the belly button (umbilical hernia). For women, the first sign of a problem often occurs after a pelvic test when a tumor mass have been discovered.
In later stages of peritoneal mesothelioma, among the symptoms are increased occurrences of blood clots and obstruction of the bowel. There is a noticeable increase on the platelet count for 50% of peritoneal patients but this may be caused by various disorders, so this is actually of little help in the diagnosis. Low albumin level and anemia can also be among the symptoms.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Peritoneal mesothelioma has two clinical types which can be differentiated with the help of CT findings, the "dry" type and the "wet". It is classified as "dry" when there are multiple tiny masses or one dominant localized mass and generally little or no ascites. The "wet" type has widespread small nodules, no dominant mass and a presence of ascites.
If fluid is found, the process of eliminating it is through paracentesis; however the analysis of this fluid has limited diagnostic significance. Normally, a definitive diagnosis may be obtained through tissue biopsy.
As there is currently no staging system for peritoneal mesothelioma, the most popular system for general cancer staging (TNM system) is used. TNM system has the following criteria: (T) status of the tumor, (N) lymph nodes and (M) metastases. Other general categories may also be helpful in order to determine the stage.
Category 1 - with a localized lesion that can entirely be removed (resected)
Category 2 - the disease is located inside the abdominal cavity on peritoneal or organ surfaces where there is a probability of removing as much tumor as possible (debulking)
Category 3 - the disease is located inside the abdominal cavity and invades organs such as liver or colon.
Category 4 - the disease extends outside of the abdominal cavity
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Treatment
In the past years, the effectiveness of surgery alone or intraperitoneal chemotherapy in the treatment of peritoneal mesothelioma were not proven, that is why multimodality treatment is becoming more popular. Debulking (cytoreductive) surgery is removing all or nearly all visible tumors and may be combined with IPHC (Intra-Peritoneal Hyperthermic Chemotherapy), intraperitoneal chemotherapy and radiation.
Removing all tumors is not always probable; the prognosis for survival can then be in accordance with the completeness of cytoreduction which is established by these criteria:

Complete cytoreduction

(CC-0): No peritoneal seeding is found within the operative areas
(CC-1): Nodules less than 2.5 cm carries on after cytoreduction which can be penetrated by intra-cavity chemotherapy; thus the process is termed complete.

Incomplete cytoreduction

(CC-2) Nodules with sizes of 2.5 to 5 cm carry on after cytoreduction
(CC-3) Nodules that are larger than 5 cm are found; or there is a merging of tumor nodules that are unresectable at any area within the pelvis or abdomen.
Some patients may have widespread disease where surgery is not considered as "potentially curative", palliative treatment may be done by debulking. Take note that specialized treatments should only be administered by seasoned doctors because peritoneal mesothelioma is a rare malignant disease.
Recently, a clinical trial discovered Alimta (pemetrexed) to be effective as chemotherapy agent on treating peritoneal mesothelioma, either on its own or combined with cisplatin or any platinum-based drug. This reflects the previous findings regarding pemetrexed medication of pleural mesothelioma.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Things to Know About Mesothelioma Attorneys

Mesothelioma attorney are class of lawyers that deal with cases pertaining to mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that happens due to the exposure to asbestos. Malignant mesothelioma is called the most deadly of all cancers. This lethal diseases claims myriad lives each year in the United Sates of America.
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium. Mesothelium is a membrane that is present around our lungs, abdomen, and heart. It is also very difficult to detect the disease in it the initial stage. It develops gradually once you are exposed to asbestos finally claiming the life. It is detected too late usually for a cure.
Asbestos is actually a mineral that naturally was used for insulation, in fire resistant equipment and clothing. Today the use of such mineral has been proscribed completely.
There are three types of Mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma infects areas around the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma, this affects areas around the stomach. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the regions that surround our heart.
If you or family member has been affected by mesothelioma due to exposure to asbestos at your work place and is deciding a file lawsuit against the employer for maintaining an unhygienic work ambience, then you should consult a mesothelioma attorney. People who are vulnerable to such a disease are builders and contractors, coal miners. Those in ship building industry are also affected.
So if you know your legal rights, on being detected of mesothelioma, contact a mesothelioma attorney as soon as possible to exert them. Such a lawyer will enable you to get the finances to pay your medical expenses as well as to meet other assistances you may require during this time period. Now if you want to hire a Mesothelioma attorney, do so by following certain guidelines. Check if the Mesothelioma attorneyhas the specialized expertise and experience in mesothelioma law with which he will build your case.
Also see if the Mesothelioma attorney has contacts with top people in the field. His case has to be backed by statement from good physicians who have done the medical tests and the tissue studies.
However getting the testimony of expert industry consultants who can ratify the type and level of the asbestos exposure is quite expensive. Most Mesothelioma attorney decide to share cost, if the case is resolved successfully. So discuss in details about the fee arrangements by scheduling a face to face meeting with him.
A mesothelioma attorney should be trustable and reliable. This is because he will handle a big onus on your behalf. Therefore he should have your best interests at heart. His advice and suggestions should also be perfect.
Also see if the lawyer that you are hiring will have time to take up the case immediately. Mesothelioma is detected late and by the time you are diagnosed of it you will not have much time in hand. So your lawyer should be prompt at dealing with the case and should take it towards a fair settlement.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011

Two Broad Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma, like all other types of cancers, can be divided into two broad groups: benign and malignant.
Benign mesothelioma refers to non-cancerous tumors developing usually in the pleura (cell lining around the lungs). The main difference between the benign and the cancerous form is that the former does not spread to other tissues. However, the symptoms of both the benign and the malignant form are the same and it is often difficult to distinguish between the two except through lung biopsies. However, less than 10% of cases of mesothelioma are benign. In half of the cases of benign mesothelioma, there are no symptoms at all.
Patients may learn of the disease through routine X-Ray scans of the lungs. In the other half, benign mesothelioma symptoms include: chest pain, chronic cough, and fever. However, the most distinguishable characteristic is the presence of clubbed fingers. This arises when the blood oxygen level falls resulting in distorted angles in the nail beds. Benign mesothelioma treatment is comparatively easy. It involves removal of the tumors surgically. Patients must continue to have regular check-ups and chest x-rays to ensure that the benign mesothelioma does not develop in its malignant form.
Malignant mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease. This type of mesothelioma can be further classified into the location where the malignant tumor arises or the type of cancer cells produced. Classification into the location of the cancer gives three types of mesothelioma cancer:
(i) Pleural mesothelioma: this arises in the protective lining and the cavity of the lungs. Most of the symptoms associated with it arise due to the build-up of fluid between the chest cavity and the lining of the lungs (called pleural effusion). This results in difficulty in breathing, shortness of breath, persistent coughing, coughing up of blood and fever. This is the most common form of mesothelioma cancer representing 75% of all cases
(ii) Peritoneal mesothelioma: this is the development of cancer in the stomach and the abdomen. The cancer usually starts in the abdominal area and spreads to other parts of the body. Symptoms are due to the pressure of the tumor on the stomach and the abdomen, causing abdominal pain, swelling, loss of appetite, vomiting, breathing problems, anemia and a host of other symptoms. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for 10-20% of mesothelioma cases.
(iii) Pericardial mesothelioma: this affects the lining of the heart cavity. Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath and palpitations. This is the rarest form of mesothelioma, representing less than 10% of cases.
Another way to classify mesothelioma is through the type of cancerous cells that arise. There are basically two types of mesothelioma cells: epitheloid and sarcomatoid. Epitheloid cells arise in the lining of the organs only. The chances of survival are greater with this type of cancer. Sarcomatoid cells are more difficult to treat as it affects secondary tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilage...etc. This type of cancer rarely responds to any form of treatment. In cases where both types of cells arise, it is known as biphasic mesothelioma.

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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an asbestos associated malignancy (cancer) which is almost always fatal.Malignant mesothelioma originates from the lining cells of the pleural and peritoneal cavities and also the pericardium and tunica vaginalis. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common variety and accounts for 70% of all mesothelioma cases and peritoneal mesothelioma forms the most of the remaining 30%. Pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma affecting tunica vaginalis are very rare. This is due to the fact that the fibres of asbestos,which are the the main cause of mesothelioma, are inhaled and the lungs are the organs which are first  exposed to asbestos.Mesothelioma comes under the category of occupational diseases, as it usually occurs in people exposed to asbestos at work, though it can occur in people even without any history of exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is implicated in more than 80%-90% of the mesothelioma cases. Currently there is no definitive cure available for mesothelioma. The prognosis of peritoneal mesothelioma is worse than peritoneal mesothelioma.
Signs and Symptoms of Pleural mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is the commonest form mesothelioma accounting for 70% of all the cases of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma forms the major portion of the remaining 30% of the cases. So the signs and symptoms associated with these two diseases are enumerated below Pleural mesothelioma Most common symptoms are:

Chest pain
Dyspnoea (difficulty in breathing)

The above symptoms usually co-exist and are the first ones to appear. But the individual in some cases my present with only difficulty in breathing without any chest pain.

Some of the late symptoms are
Hoarseness of the voice
Dysphagia ( difficulty in swallowing)

The presence of late symptoms usually signifies the disease is at a later stage and it's a bad sign. Other less common symptoms are:

Weight loss
Chest wall mass

These symptoms are not exhaustive,but are the most encountered ones. Pleural mesothelioma can cause many other symptoms due to extension of the disease to surrounding structures like the heart,major vessels in the chest.

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