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Mesothelioma: More About this Asbestos Cancer
by: David Arnold Livingston
Cancers and other forms of diseases are usually named
according to the part of the body or the internal organ
where abnormal growth of malignant cells takes place.
In the case of Mesothelioma, the abnormal cells grow in
the mesothelium, a surface cell layer that covers and
protects most internal organs. Normally, the
mesothelium produces small amount of fluid in order to
lubricate its layersˇone of which directly covers the
organˇand allow the movement of the organs, like the
expansion and contraction of the lungs. A Mesothelioma
cancer patientÝs mesothelium produces too much of this
lubricating fluid, thereby damaging nearby tissues and
organs. The most common form of Mesothelioma is Pleural
Mesothelioma, which begins in the Pleural or
Peritoneum, the membrane that lines the chest cavity
and covers the lungs.

About 2,000 cases of Mesothelioma have been noted
yearly in United States. This is still a rare disease
to consider, although the reported incidents have
escalated in the past two decades. It has been observed
and proven that heavy and long exposure to asbestos is
the prime cause of Mesothelioma. Asbestos is a group of
minerals in strong, flexible and fibrous form. It is
used in industrial products such as cement, brake
linings, textiles, electrical insulation, flooring
products, chemical filters, fireproofing materials and
others. This explains why most Mesothelioma patients
are working in construction sites, shipyards and
manufacturing companies of said industrial products.
Small asbestos particles float in the air and are
either inhaled or swallowed by workers or persons
within the vicinity. Aside from Mesothelioma, these
people can acquire asbestosis, a non-cancerous chronic
lung sickness and other forms of cancer of the lungs,
cancer of the larynx and kidney.

Asbestos-related Mesothelioma comprise only 70 to 80
percent of the all the reported cases of the said
cancer. There are reported Mesothelioma cases wherein
the patients did not have any known exposure to
asbestos. Some have been exposed only for a short
period of time but still developed the cancer 20 to 50
years after the exposure, like in the case of a
Mesothelioma cancer patient who only washed clothes
that have been exposed to asbestos. Likewise, asbestos
fibers that have been stuck in the hair strands of a
factory worker can also risk the health of others whom
he lives with. It is therefore important for workers
exposed to asbestos to change their clothes and take a
shower before leaving the workplace to prevent his
family members or companions from inhaling the asbestos
particles and thus, from acquiring Mesothelioma.

The Mesothelioma cancer is slow-forming. ThatÝs why one
develops the cancer so many years after the exposure to
asbestos. Some develop the cancer fifty years after the
exposure, which makes it hard to determine whether the
person has Mesothelioma or not, especially when the
patient has no knowledge of the exposure to asbestos.
Moreover, malignant Mesothelioma shows signs similar to
those of other ailments such as pneumonia. Symptoms of
Pleural Mesothelioma also evident in other illnesses
include: shortness of breath, persistence of cough,
weight loss and chest pain. Peritoneal Mesothelioma,
which affects the abdominal cavity, is indicated by
swelling of and pain in the abdomen, weight loss, bowel
obstruction, anemia, blood clotting abnormalities and
fever.

Complete physical examination is needed to make sure
one has Mesothelioma cancer. This includes xrays of the
body part where the symptoms are felt or seen, CT scan
and MRI. To confirm Mesothelioma, a biopsy is also
performed by a surgeon or oncologist (a physician who
is specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of a
cancer). The sample tissue removed by the surgeon is
examined by the pathologist. Once confirmed, the doctor
then finds out the extent of the cancer, which is
crucial to the treatment of Mesothelioma. Although
malignant, Mesothelioma when earlier diagnosed can
still be treated. Most Mesothelioma patients undergo
surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

About the author:
David Arnold Livingston is an advocate for Health
and recommends, as a resource:
http://www.newmesothelioma.com/MesotheliomaCancer/







 



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