Mesothelioma is a serious and tragic cancer that affects thousands of people each year. Mesothelioma is almost always a direct consequence of exposure to asbestos fibers. More than 28 million Americans have had significant exposure to asbestos, whether in an occupational setting, through the use of consumer products that contained asbestos, or through environmental exposure in items like building insulation.
Because mesothelioma has a latency period as long as 50 years before the disease develops, each of those Americans is at risk for mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases. To make matters worse, many of those at risk for this deadly cancer do not know of their exposure to asbestos – a lack of knowledge that can be fatal. Malignant mesothelioma is a rapidly-progressing disease once it begins. If your physician does not know of your prior asbestos exposure, then he or she will not usually consider mesothelioma as a possible diagnosis – a delay that could prove fatal.
This site exists in order to lay out the basic information about mesothelioma that every informed American should know. We discuss the causes and risk factors for mesothelioma, provide an overview of the substance, asbestos, which causes it, and talk about the various treatment options that exist for mesothelioma sufferers. We lay out the various kinds of mesothelioma, and also discuss some of the other asbestos-related diseases which, while not quite as deadly as mesothelioma, are nonetheless very serious. We provide a special focus on the diagnosis and symptoms of mesothelioma, as these are very important for anyone who has ever been exposed to asbestos to be aware of.
Our aim with this site is to provide the framework of knowledge that you need in order to deal with mesothelioma and related issues in your own life, or in the lives of your loved ones. Good luck to you as you deal with this difficult disease, and remember that knowledge is power!
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Asbestos – a discussion of the mineral family known as asbestos, a brief discussion of how it harms the human body, its use in industry, why it was so widely used for such a wide variety of applications, and its current banned status in much of the industrial world.
Asbestos Exposure – we discuss how asbestos is found naturally in the air and water, why asbestos is so difficult to get rid of, and how asbestos gets into the air we breathe and the water we drink. We especially talk about how asbestos is harmless when it is contained, but how damage makes it friable and a genuine menace.
Asbestos Cancer – a discussion of the epidemic of lung cancer, which kills 160,000 Americans each year, and how this deadly disease is associated primarily with tobacco smoking, but also with exposure to asbestos. We discuss the prevalence, symptoms, and treatment of asbestos-related lung cancer.
Asbestos Cancer Treatment – we talk in greater depth about the treatment of asbestos-related lung cancer, including the various diagnostic modalities available, the prognosis for those diagnosed with this disease, and the hopeful research which is being done each year.
Mesothelioma – an introduction to this asbestos-related cancer, including discussion of the anatomy of the mesothelium (the layer of cells where mesothelioma starts), the varieties of this disease, and the prognosis for those who are diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Malignant Mesothelioma – we discuss the anatomy of the mesothelium, the progression of mesothelioma, how asbestos fibers start and encourage cancers to form, and the various types of mesothelioma cells and their varying effects on the body.
Benign Mesothelioma – a brief discussion of this rare, curable form of mesothelioma, its diagnosis and treatment, and the prognosis for those who contract it.
Types of Mesothelioma – a discussion of the three primary forms of mesothelioma (pleural, in the lungs, pericardial, in the heart, and peritoneal, in the abdomen), how they develop, and their symptoms. We also briefly discuss a very rare form of mesothelioma that affects the male testicles.
Pleural Mesothelioma – a discussion of the most common form of malignant mesothelioma, its origin, how the body tries to fight it off and how the cancer spreads through the mesothelium and later, the body, and the progression of pleura mesothelioma.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – the second most common form of malignant mesothelioma. We discuss its origin, progression, symptoms, and diagnosis. We also discuss the scientific debate concerning the exact mechanism by which asbestos fibers are being absorbed into the peritoneal mesothelium.
Pericardial Mesothelioma – a discussion of this relatively rare form of malignant mesothelioma. We talk about the anatomy of the pericardium, the role it plays in the body, and the medical questions still unanswered with this rare form of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Risk Factors – a discussion of the risk factors surrounding malignant mesothelioma, beginning with asbestos exposure but also covering tobacco smoking, radiation, similar mineral substances found in various parts of the world, and the SV40 virus.
Mesothelioma Causes – a discussion of the causes of mesothelioma, with particular interest paid to the question of how asbestos fibers implant themselves in the body and generate a chain of biological events culminating in cancer.
Mesothelioma Symptoms – an in-depth look at the symptoms associated with each of the main types of mesothelioma, with a discussion of the likelihood that a particular mesothelioma patient will show the most common symptoms.
Mesothelioma Diagnosis – a look at the diagnostic tools, techniques and procedures used by physicians and clinicians in the diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma. We also discuss the diseases that commonly accompany mesothelioma, and how this can complicate and delay the diagnostic process.
Mesothelioma Treatment – an overview of the various treatment options available to mesothelioma patients, including surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and experimental/alternative therapies like photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy. We also discuss the side effects of each therapeutic technique and talk about the prognosis for mesothelioma patients.
Mesothelioma Staging – a discussion of the staging systems that physicians and researchers use to classify mesothelioma patients according to the progression and severity of the disease. We talk about both the older Butchart system of stages, as well as the more modern TMN system, discussing the pros and cons of these systems and why they are used.
Navy Veterans, Veterans, and Mesothelioma – a discussion of the use of asbestos in the military, particularly on US Navy ships, and how it is has affected millions of veterans over the last century. We discuss the latency period of mesothelioma and talk briefly about the benefits that veterans suffering from mesothelioma may be entitled to receive.
Asbestosis and Other Asbestos Diseases – Mesothelioma and lung cancer are the worst asbestos-related diseases, but there are several other conditions caused by asbestos, including asbestosis, asbestos-related cancer in other parts of the body, pleural effusions, asbestos warts, and others.