What You Need To Know About Mesothelioma

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There are a lot of maybes that get thrown about when talking about cancers of the various types. But the maybes I want to talk about are those that come with one of the most silent, and devastatingly tragic forms of cancer: mesothelioma.

Maybes:

Maybe you've been diagnosed. Maybe a close relative or beloved friend. Maybe you are noticing the symptoms, and have yet to brave going to the doctor to see what it's all about. Regardless of the maybes, or mights, mesothelioma is tragic, scary, and a heavy load to bear, whether you're afraid you have it, or have heard of someone who has had it.

What is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the outer sac of the internal organs such as the lungs. One of the more prevalent forms of mesothelioma is the mesothelioma cancer that occurs in the tissue in your abdomen (peritoneum). This form is called peritoneal mesothelioma and accounts for 10 percent to 20 percent of all mesotheliomas.

Mesothelioma is very painful, and very hard to treat. It is also incurable, but doesn't develop until very late after exposure to the carcinogen that causes it. I'll get into that a little later on this article.

Is Mesothelioma contagious?

Fortunately for those who do not contract mesothelioma from exposure to the cancer causing agent, the disease is not contagious, and cannot be caught from anyone who has it. Although, if you have worked with someone who has gotten this rare cancer, it might be wise to get a doctor to look at you, and see if you have any early stages of this disease.

What causes Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is believed to be caused by the mineral asbestos. Asbestos is found in many building supplies, and most workers who handle this deadly cancer causing material without protective gear suffer from the deadly cancer.

Asbestos is used in insulation such as amosite insulation board, and other building materials. Since it has been commercially mined and sold in the late 19th century, casualties of this deadly carcinogen have climbed to strike almost 3000 people every year.

What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?

Most symptoms of mesothelioma start with a tightening of the chest, and an inability to take full, deep breaths. Once these symptoms begin to show, however, it is too late for any treatment to cure the disease.

Are there treatments for mesothelioma?

There are only treatments to prolong a person's life, or ease the pain of this disease. Treatment for mesothelioma also depends on the location of the cancer, the stage of the disease, and the patient’s age and general health.

Most cases of diagnosed victims of asbestos poisoning have lived only 1 - 2 years after the cancer is found in their body. Standard treatment options for this cancer can include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

There is really nothing to be said when someone contracts mesothelioma cancer. The maybes begin to pile on top of each other, and fear, doubt, and worry seem to be the only constant thing in many peoples' minds. Consult your doctor if you or a loved one have been exposed to asbestos products, or building materials.

If you or a loved one need more information on mesothelioma, go to Bryan's blog: "what is mesothelioma?"
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