Your Household May Be The Cause of Mesothelioma Cancer

By: Riley Hendersen

Asbestos is a group of minerals resistant to fire and has long been used throughout history for various purposes. It was found in the burial clothes of the ancient Egyptians. Asbestos is mined from metamorphic rocks. When this material is used in materials to increase their resistance of fire, it is often mixed with cement and woven into clothes and fabric.

Asbestos is everywhere in your household, from your brake shoes, in your electric oven, and hot plate wiring, it is in the insulation of your house. It is resistant to chemicals, it is flexible, a material easy to use and very much in demand. However, the inhalation of asbestos is the cause of various serious illnesses.

Therefore, the use of this material has been banned in many countries due to its cancer causing quality. In the US, chrysolite has been widely used in various products such as texture and mud coats, sheeting, adhesives and ceiling tiles, plasters, roofing tars, siding, pipes, fireproofing, and the list continues for long.

Naturally, asbestos is in small quantity in the air we breathe and the water we drink. Studies have shown that members of population, who are not exposed to high asbestos exposure, have around hundreds of thousands of asbestos fibres in every single gram of their dry lung tissue.

Cancer mesothelioma is almost in every cases caused by exposure to asbestos. The mesothelium is a layer of special cells that form a membrane around certain body cavities. This tissue produces a fluid that protects the organs. These organs are enabled to move by the help of this tissue. It is mainly in the pleura, and the outer lining of the lungs.

Most people who develop mesothelioma cancer have previously been employed in a place where they inhaled asbestos, or have been washing the clothes of people working with asbestos. Developing it shows no relation to smoking.

Diagnosing it is often difficult as symptoms may not occur up to 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos. Shortness of breath, coughing, and pain in the chest are signs of cancer mesothelioma. The latter is due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space, which are the membrane around the lungs. Symptoms include weight loss, weakness, fatigue, and anorexia. Abdominal swelling, anemia, and fever are also indicators of the tumor as well.

If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, the mesothelium symptoms will include pain or trouble swallowing, or facial or neck swelling. In severe cases, other signs will show, including blood clots in the veins that may be the cause of thrombophlebitis, severe bleeding in many body organs, and jaundice, in which the skin and the eyes turn yellow. The sugar level of the blood can drop significantly, and pulmonary emboli can develop, which is when blood clots form in the arteries of the lungs.

Mesothelioma cancer does not normally spread to the brain or bones. Pleaural tumors are usually found on one side only of the lungs.

Treatment of mesothelioma cancer with conventional therapies have not proved successful, and patients have a survival time span of 6-12 months only. This fact is mainly due to the slow forming of the tumors after the long exposure to asbestos. Surgery has not proved helpful at all in most of the cases. Only 10% of the patients who have been operated have lived for up to 5 years after the surgery.

Radiation has proved to be useful in relieve symptoms, although, the tumours are highly resistant to radiotherapy. Most successful of the treatments is Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapy which helps the drugs to enter more efficiently into the abdominal and pelvic tissues by way of heating the fluid agent.

There are various societies and organisations which can help you identify the risk of asbestos exposure in your household, and they can provide you with guidance on how to eliminate the risk.

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