Mesothelioma Lung Cancer is a Deadly
Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer of the lungs and the abdominal cavities. Unlike other diseases, the cause of mesothelioma is not natural. In most of the cases, it is a cancer of lungs inflicted on the human beings by the modern economic factors, which are also credited to bring prosperity to the corporate world.
The disease has left many dead and many more fighting for the failing health. The common symptoms related to the disease are breathlessness, dry cough and pain in the respiratory tracts followed by vomiting. The prime Cause of mesothelioma is the exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a natural fibrous material that was widely used in various industries and building materials because of its stability and heat resistant properties. However, asbestos is also a deadly contaminant and responsible for serious diseases such as asbestosis, mesothelioma cancers and lung cancer. Most of the diseases are caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers that could settle in the internal body organs and cause serious diseases. Mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases can lie dormant in the body for decades before diagnosis. The worst part is that after diagnosis the patient has hardly any left for fighting these diseases.
Asbestos has extensively been mined in South Africa and exported to UK & US factories for reprocessing. For many years, the industrialists enjoyed the benefits of asbestos as a cheap substitute to wood in Building Material Industry and an integral part of Brake Lining material used extensively in vehicles during the World Wars. Asbestos was also widely used as an Insulation material in the buildings and industries in the US and Europe.
The victims of mesothelioma can file lawsuits for seeking compensation against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure. They can seek compensation for medical expenses, loss of income, lost earning capacity, pain and sufferings. The family members and relatives of the people who die because of mesothelioma cancers can also file lawsuits for compensation to recover the loss of consortium care. A dozen of companies who made an exit from the business decades ago are still fighting the huge compensation bills pending against them for causing a major biological disorder. The courts have ordered huge amounts as compensation in most of the mesothelioma lawsuits.
An understanding of asbestos is necessary before we try to understand mesothelioma lung cancer. Asbestos, a natural fibrous mineral, used commonly in construction process and manufacturing industries is detrimental to human health. Continuous inhalation of its fibers enhances the susceptibility to respiratory disorders and can lead to many dangerous diseases. A leading example of such dangerous disease is Mesothelioma lung cancer. Actually, mesothelioma lung cancer is misnomer because mesothelioma cancers affect the lining of lungs (pleura) and abdomen and not the lungs. Since mesothelioma cancers mostly affect the lining of the lungs, it is generally called mesothelioma lung cancer. The workers who had worked in industries such as shipbuilding, asbestos mining, and asbestos production are vulnerable to mesothelioma cancers.
Mesothelioma and the Role of Carcinogens:
What is mesothelioma cancer and how does the lining of the lung become cancerous? Cancer is a tumor that is malignant in nature. Tumor is formed when there is abnormal cell division and cell multiplication in the cancerous cells. Exposure to carcinogens or cancer-causing material like cigarette smoke, asbestos and silica dust is instrumental in this abnormal cell division and formation of tumor.
Mesothelioma cancer is directly linked to asbestos exposure. However, those already exposed to asbestos have a greater chance of developing lung cancer if they are exposed to other carcinogens such as cigarette smoke. A study reports that the workers with a history of asbestos exposure and cigarette smoke are more prone to lung cancer than the non-smokers and those with no history of asbestos exposure.
Complications Associated with Mesothelioma Cancer:
Normally, the latency stage for asbestos-related diseases in general and mesothelioma cancers of the lining of lung in particular, 20-50 years, which makes detection of Mesothelioma a complicated issue. This situation is further aggravated particularly where the worker is also addicted to cigarette smoking. By the time, the disease shows its symptoms, a considerable exposure to additional carcinogens linked to cigarette smoking has already taken place. This makes a worker more vulnerable to lung cancer besides the vulnerability to mesothelioma cancers.
Mesothelioma Cancers and Legal Redress:
The Government is conscious of the ill effects of asbestos exposure and the seriousness of mesothelioma cancer. The employees working in factories with significant risk of asbestos exposure are eligible for Mesothelioma compensation, if the exposure is the cause of Mesothelioma. There has been a spate of lawsuits for seeking compensation for mesothelioma and lung cancers. In many cases, the courts have awarded heavy sums as compensation against the asbestos manufacturing companies.
Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer of the Lung Lining
Pleural Mesothelioma or malignant pleural mesothelioma is cancer in the layer of the lungs that can spread to the lungs. The spread of the tumor over the pleura results in pleural thickening. This hinders the reflexivity of the pleura and encases the lungs in an increasing restrictive belt. With the lungs thus restricted, they get constricted in no time and a person is always out of breath.
Pleural mesothelioma can be:
– Diffuse and malignant (carcinogenic)
– Localized and benign (non-cancerous)
Benign pleural mesothelioma can be removed surgically, but the malignant tumors are the real terror heads.
Most common among other mesothelioma cases, Pleural Mesothelioma is caused due to exposure to blue asbestos for a longer period of time, say 20 years, in which time the disease incubates only to show its fearful countenance via certain symptoms.
The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma include difficulty in breathing, difficulty in sleeping, pain in the chest and abdominal regions, blood vomits, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, lower back pains, persistent coughing, hoarseness of voice, sensory loss and difficulty in swallowing.
Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma
The first step is to go through a chest X-ray or a CT scan (computed chest tomograph), which will reveal a pleural thickening and an effusion. This is followed by a bronchoscopy. However, it should always be left to a medical practitioner for a better understanding of the respective cases. Another method is a biopsy, which can be a needle biopsy, an open biopsy, or a thoracoscopy, where a mini camera is inserted inside the body and with that a tissue sample is attained for further diagnosis.
Treatment is directly proportional to the time of the revelation of the disease, i.e., at an early stage the tumor can be removed through surgery.
A pioneering mesothelioma treatment option is immunotherapy, e.g., intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a useful mesothelioma treatment in which an effort is made to intensify the immune response.
Radiation treatment and chemotherapy is probably then the answer to the malignant pleural mesothelioma, but this can aid the pain management only; there’s no escaping death with Pleural Mesothelioma.
The side effects and penalty of mesothelioma lung cancer treatment are more than its treatment, which is damaged healthy tissues, a state of absolute fatigue ness; excessive radiation causes the skin to become red, dry and itchy.
Other side effects of radiotherapy are nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, urinary discomfort and a sudden reduction in the number of white blood corpuscles.
The average life span of a person with Pleural Mesothelioma is up to 6 months to a year and the maximum can reach up to 5 years – the magnesium-silicate mineral fibers take its toll that’s more than painful.
Other factors that may accelerate the possibility of pleural mesothelioma are chronic lung infections, tuberculous pleuritis, radiation (Thorotrast), exposure to the simian virus 40 (SV40) or mineral fibers (Zeolite) and tobacco smoking to a certain extent.
Pleural Mesothelioma does not give a person the avenue for fair play. Though the existence depends much on the various stages of the disease, it is an ultimate killing menace that sucks out the life of the common man.