Asbestos Disease Mesothelioma – Over the past 20 years asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma have been reported with increasing frequency. Estimates from the National Institutes of Health indicate that about 3500 people affected by mesothelioma die each year in the US. The use of asbestos in the US has been severely curtailed following a ban during the 1980s.
However, the enormous bulk of the material used in homes, ships, power plants, vehicles and furnaces may prove to be a looming disaster in the near future. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the frontline government body that monitors the use and disposal of asbestos bearing products.
Asbestos related diseases like mesothelioma, lung cancer and asbestos is occur in people who come in direct or indirect contact with the mineral. Hence, the material has to be handled with utmost care and secured in locations away from human access. Contractors who undertake work to clear asbestos from homes, offices and workplaces are required to obtain licenses from the EPA to carry out the clearance.
Asbestos is categorized as friable or non-friable material. Friable constitutes products containing less than 1 percent asbestos in a form which is easily crushed under pressure. Non-friable material contains large amounts of asbestos which is bonded with cement, vinyl, plastic or resin.
EPA rules do not require the removal of asbestos that is well secured within homes, schools and offices. However, strict monitoring of air quality is mandatory during demolition and construction of buildings. Despite these precautions there have been quite a number of violations of these guidelines. This adds to the risk of asbestos diseases mesothelioma.
Construction sites where asbestos containing structures were demolished, transported and dumped in violation of these rules, have led to a number of mesothelioma occurrences. New York state has witnessed a significant number of convictions of unscrupulous contractors who dumped such wastes in areas near villages and towns.
Asbestos is an extremely brittle mineral that stays airborne for long durations. Thus, people far away from the actual origin of asbestos may also be affected. Similarly the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) guarantees the safety of workers involved in removal, transport and disposal of asbestos.
The guidelines specify limits for 8 hour work shifts and short periods of high exposure help to protect the workers against the unknown levels of asbestos that may be present at such sites. Although asbestos specific diseases like mesothelioma have not been reported, many rescue workers at the site have reported acute asthma and respiratory disorders.
The attack on the World Trade Center on 11 September 2001 is a perfect example of the high level of exposure that emergency workers may experience. Common gas masks do not prevent the entry of asbestos particles. Asbestos is transported easily through water, and is dispersed as minute particles by the action of fire.
Hence, the current guidelines may require modifications to take into account the huge magnitude of disasters. Similarly, advanced guidelines may be required for the safe maintenance and eventual disposal of ships and other monster structures of the past that contain asbestos in huge quantities. All this to help control asbestos diseases mesothelioma.
Malignant mesothelioma is a disease in which cancerous cells start to develop in the membrane lining of the heart, abdomen or chest cavity. Asbestos exposure is the foremost reason for mesothelioma.
The mesothelium cells are harmed when asbestos dust enters into the body through air or food. The average life expectancy for a mesothelioma patient in its advanced stage is just 1 to 2 years.
There are 3 main types of malignant mesothelioma. They are:
Pericardial mesothelioma that occurs in the heart lining- Pleural mesothelioma that develops in the lung cavity- Peritoneum mesothelioma that occurs in the abdominal cavity.Each malignancy form has different characteristics and symptoms.
1) Pleural mesothelioma symptoms:- Fever- Pain in chest area- Feeling tired- Weight loss- Heaviness in the voice- Presence of blood in the cough spittoon- Feeling breathless- Facial swelling- Loss of sensation in the feet or hand area- Excess fluid in the chest area
2) Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma: Vomiting- Nauseous feeling- Detection of abdominal mass – Hernia- Weight loss- Stomach pain- Excess fluid in the abdominal cavity
If a person is diagnosed with asbestos disease mesothelioma, he/she should get immediate treatment at major cancer hospitals that provide superior quality medical care for cancer patients.
Oncologists consider the facts and brief the patients regarding the spread of disease and the current stage. They recommend treatment and they brief them on the associated risks and side effects. All these important factors are discussed with the patients.
In many cases, specialists recommend EPP or Extra Pleural Pneumectomy. It is a surgical procedure for removal of the infected chest or lung lining, which are layered with small tumorous growths or mesothelioma.
Modern therapies and treatment for mesothelioma involves the following methods:
Chemotherapy – new combined methods and drug supplements are used after they have been approved during the clinical trial phase.
Diagnostic Tests – Related to the cancerous tissues, affected cells and blood samples to learn more about the presence of cancer cells in the blood vessels.
Multimodality – A combination treatment that includes radiation, surgical invasions and chemotherapy.
Immunotherapy – Treatments that tend to use the patients very own immunity system to attack the mesothelioma growth.
Gene therapy – Injecting a virus that infects the cancerous cell and makes it receptive to anti-cancer drugs.Asbestos disease mesothelioma has a long unknown history.
The pleural form of mesothelioma first came into focus during 1940s when a certain German doctor suspected the dangerous connection between such cancers and asbestos mineral exposure. Thus, the asbestos related industry got wind of the hazardous consequences of asbestos exposure.
But, industrial suppression of workers guaranteed that such delicate medical knowledge remained under wraps for many decades. In 1970s, with the spread of the disease among many workers who worked under high risk asbestos environments, medical fraternities started speculating about the possible connection between the mesothelioma cancer development and asbestos exposure.
Slowly the secret was revealed to public eyes by media, press and newspaper personalities. Mesothelioma victims have legal rights to sue the company that was responsible for their condition.
Last, I hope the article about asbestos disease mesothelioma can help you to get out from your problem.