Monday, January 10, 2011

Mesothelioma Incurable Asbestos Cancer

Mesothelioma is an incurable asbestos cancer. This short film was produced to raise awareness of the issues around mesothelioma. It includes interviews with people who have the disease. It was produced for Action Mesothelioma day on behalf of Forum of Asbestos Victim Support Groups.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

What Makes Mesothelioma A Deadly Disease?

What people should know first about mesothelioma in the fact its cause is not natural. Mesothelioma is caused by unprotected or insufficient protected exposure to asbestos fibers and dust. Tiny asbestos particles are inhaled and they pas into respiratory system. They are insoluble, therefore they cannot be eliminated by natural ways and remain into the body becoming lodged in the lungs. Over time asbestos fibers may be transported by the lymphatic system in other places, such abdominal or heart cavities.

Mesothelioma is fatal. Treatments include chemotherapy, radiation therapy and occasionally surgery, but the truth is there is no proper cure.

What makes mesothelioma a deadly disease?

1. The time between getting the cancer and feeling the symptoms of it is very large one. This period is usually between 30-50 tears. Due its uncommon latency, a person who bears mesothelioma is unlikely to know that they have got it. Like any other disease, chance to survive mesothelioma is higher if it is treated aggressively in its early stages. But in majority of cases mesothelioma is accidentally revealed when cancer is usually too advanced to treat effectively.

2. Speaking about symptoms. The common ones associated with mesothelioma are persistent coughing, facial swelling, weight loss, fever, difficulty swallowing, rasping and coughing up blood. Some times cancerous tumor on the lining of the lungs expands causing less and less room for the properly function of the lungs. Then people may report chest pains or shortness of breath.

As you can see all above symptoms are typically to far more common diseases such as pneumonia. For this reason mesothelioma is so hard to diagnose in its early stages, when it is not fully developed and matured.

To improve chances to defeat mesothelioma, it is always advisable that people who have worked with asbestos on a frequent basis in the past inform their doctors when they experience this kind of symptoms.

About the Author: Valerian D is a freelance writer specialized in health issues like mesothelioma. Visit his site for more information


What is Mesothelioma?

What is mesothelioma? It is a lethal cancer that attacks the membranes around the lungs, the heart and the abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma cancer of the lungs is by far the most common form. Perhaps its most unusual characteristic is that mesothelioma diagnosis usually occurs decades after the initial exposure to asbestos.

It takes years for the asbestos fibers to work their way into those membranes; after an extended presence they begin to cause fluid accumulation and tumor development. However the first mesothelioma symptoms are such afflictions as a persistent cough or shortness of breath - symptoms that are often mistaken for evidence of more common lung problems, which delays the mesothelioma diagnosis even further.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma has usually progressed to a later stage in the disease before people notice symptoms significant enough to warrant a visit to the doctor. However, the most common initial symptoms of the disease are:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
As the cancer progresses, other symptoms that may be present are:
  • Increased shortness of breath
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Night sweats
  • Voice changes caused by local invasion of the tumor
  • Loss of diaphragm function
There are also symptoms specific to the type of mesothelioma that you have and where the cancer is located on your body

Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma affecting the lungs is called pleural mesothelioma and the symptoms associated with this type of malignancy are due to accumulation of fluid within the pleura or the membrane that surrounds the lungs.
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are:
  • Shortness of breath
  • Pain under the rib cage or chest
  • Mild to severe constant cough
  • Sudden weight loss

Peritonial Mesothelioma

Peritonial mesothelioma is another type of malignancy which affects the internal lining or peritoneum of the intestine. Peritoneal mesothelioma has many symptoms which are similar to the symptoms of other diseases. So it is very difficult to diagnose mesothelioma of the peritoneum.
The common symptoms are:
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Formation of tissue mass in the abdomen
  • Sudden weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Anemia
  • Mild or severe abdominal pain
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Constant fever (in extreme cases)

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Pericardial mesothelioma affects the pericardium or the lining of the heart and causes fluid build-up between the tissues of the heart and the lining.
The symptoms generally seen in pericardial mesothelioma patients are:
  • Mild to severe chest pain
  • Regular cough
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Breathing pattern irregularities
  • Constant fatigue
Sometimes the symptoms of mesothelioma appear only when metastasis occurs. Metastasis is the condition in which the cancer has spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body.
The main symptoms of metastatic mesothelioma are:
  • General body pain
  • Difficulty in swallowing food
  • Inflammation of the neck or face