Mesothelioma and Asbestos
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is caused due to the exposure to Asbestos. This affects the protective tissues that cover the lungs and abdomen. There are four types of Mesothelioma namely:
- Pleural Mesothelioma that attacks lungs having an incidence of over 75% of the reported cases
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma found in the abdomen region, and is seen in 10 to 20 % of incidence
- Pericardial Mesothelioma affects the tissues of the heart and it is found in about 1% of cases
- Testicular Mesothelioma targeting the testicle tissues in men is a rare form that has an incidence rate of less than 1%
As such the Pleural and peritoneal Mesothelioma are the most common form of this asbestos related cancer.
The most important and primary cause of all these types of Mesothelioma is the prolonged exposure to asbestos. This usually has the highest incidence among the workers who are working in asbestos related work places and becomes one of the most important health hazards for these people. The lung cancer form of Mesothelioma is caused by breathing in the dangerous asbestos fiber for long times while the abdominal cancer or the pericardial Mesothelioma occurs by swallowing the hazardous asbestos fibers.
It is now conclusively proved that Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to Asbestos and every one of the patients diagnosed with this dreadful form of cancer had exposed themselves to the potentially dangerous asbestos fibers during some part of their lives.
Thus the Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure is caused
- Occupationally during the work life of those diagnosed with Mesothelioma
- Environmentally when they are exposed to asbestos when they remain in the asbestos fiber infested places
- Secondary exposure caused by exposure to those who have asbestos fibers in their bodies, clothes or tools and equipments that have been exposed to asbestos
There are some factors that increase the risk of Mesothelioma by exposure to asbestos and these include:
- Professional hazard for those who are working at an asbestos mine, or a plant that is processing and fabricating asbestos based products
- Working in a factory or following an occupation that makes one to remain at a construction site or automotive industries that use asbestos as their raw material or use products made of asbestos
- Working on a ship or submarine for sufficiently long periods in which asbestos is extensively used as a construction material
- Residing or working in a place near an asbestos mine or a processing plant
- Disturbing or demolition of old asbestos material during home or building renovation without taking any precautionary and preventive measures
In the early part of the last century, before the health hazards of asbestos were fully studied and proved asbestos was one of the most used materials in man y of the household and industrial products. It was a favored material for building drywalls, wiring materials, and used in many adhesives and glues. It was also extensively used in the manufacture of ceiling tiles, cements and shingles.
When awareness about the health hazards of asbestos grew, many studies were conducted and it was proved that the asbestos fiber that comes out of the asbestos material was the primary cause of different types of Mesothelioma. Now asbestos is not in use as it was. But still asbestos remains in many of the old structures and it is harmless as long as it is not disturbed and left to remain in its stale state. It is natural during the renovation or demolition of these structures the workers who are working on these projects have a higher chance of getting infected by Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
To prevent these suitable preventive measures must be taken to prevent the spread of asbestos fiber into the surroundings. The men who are working in the renovation and demolition process must be properly informed of the health risks and they have to clean themselves and the equipment they used during the project so that no secondary exposure to asbestos occurs to their family members or who work in close proximity to them.
Mesothelioma is a very difficult disease to control and cure and hence it is better to prevent it rather than going for treatment after getting this disease due to accidental or professional asbestos exposure. Your chance of a positive prognosis depends mainly on the type of Mesothelioma you are having and the stage of the disease in your body. We have many specialized treatments for this asbestos cancer. Your ability to find the right Mesothelioma specialist with good experience will have a very strong impact on your prognosis.
The primary types of treatment for Mesothelioma are the
- Chemotherapy and
With so much of advancements in these fields of medicine, now it is possible to treat Mesothelioma in a better way than in the past decades. But still Mesothelioma is a deadly affliction that is capable of adversely affecting your quality of life and hence the best way to prevent Mesothelioma is to say a big no to any product that is made of asbestos and escape exposure to asbestos at all places.