Thursday, October 16, 2008

Asbestos Cancer: What You Need to Know

Asbestos Cancer

Gone are the days when the term 'mesothelioma' was not familiar with the masses. These days just a mention of the word brings about uncomfortable picture of factories and mines scattered with asbestos and the hapless victims working over there in dangerous conditions. More insight is thrown into the plight of mesothelioma patients owing to the concern of medical professionals, researchers and other organizations. Still there is a long way to go regarding the early diagnosis and treatment of the fatal condition.

Mesothelioma is commonly referred to as Asbestos Cancer. This is an aggressive cancer which is caused mainly due to the inhalation of dangerous asbestos fibers. The disease affects the mesothelium, a protective two layered membrane which covers the internal organs like lungs, heart and abdominal organs. Between these layers, the cells produce fluid which helps in the easy movement of the internal organs. Mesothelium can affect any of these cells. Most of the victims are usually older individuals since the disease takes almost 25 to 50 years to develop. Even washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can prove fatal.

The symptoms of the disease include shortness of breath, chest wall pain, weight loss etc. Chest X-ray and CT scan can be used as diagnostic tools and the disease can be confirmed with a biopsy and microscopic examination. In spite of treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or sometimes surgery, complete cure of the disease is not possible. Researchers are trying their utmost for the early detection of mesothelioma. Other treatment options are gene therapy, immunotherapy, photodynamic therapy etc. Since it is very difficult to diagnose the disease in the early stages, the symptoms are quite serious. Later diagnosis means the cancer must have spread making treatment unsuccessful.

Statistics prove that the disease mostly affected men between the ages of 50 and 70 who were employed in asbestos companies before awareness was created in the 1970s. Second hand exposure to asbestos has resulted in more diagnoses of the cases among women, whose family members worked with asbestos. The residents of the localities where asbestos mines and companies are located are also prone to the disease. Shipyard workers, electricians, plumbers, construction industry workers, pipe fitters etc are also in the danger zone.

The reason for this illness is usually lack of protection given to those work with asbestos. If the employers properly take care of the health of the workers the disease can be prevented to a large extent. Even though there is no complete cure for the disease, the helpless victims can avail many options for support. It is the duty of the family and friends to stand with the victim during this terrible time. Legal help can also be sought very easily these days. But it is important to contact a qualified mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible.

If you want to know more about Mesothelioma Cancer then feel free to visit Mesothelioma Information.

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