Mesothelioma Law Firm Articles

Mesothelioma Law Firm Articles
Asbestos Soil Testing: Identification And Testing

Asbestos Soil Testing: Identification And Testing

Asbestos soil testing for contaminated sites is more complex than treating a site or a building. The soil, sediment and also the surface and ground water may also become polluted with asbestos which may present a risk to human health. Also, it poses problem for the environment. Asbestos soil testing Sydney involves where the contamination may have arisen because of some human activities or it is naturally occurring in the soil. For the both the cases there are some guidelines to be followed that can keep the inhabitants safe.

Asbestos may be found in soil of any property, both residential and commercial. It may have been present in the site as the building contained asbestos and it was demolished without properly treating it or asbestos-contaminated soil was used as the top soil or filling material for the site.

Asbestos soil testing Sydney experts are aware of such issues and guide the property owner for collection and subsequent removal of asbestos. Asbestos soil testing experts ensure that the collection process has been completed following the guidelines so that the site remains out off bound for people till the time any visible asbestos-containing material or ACM has been removed.

If at a later stage ACM again becomes visible in the soil it must be inspected again for asbestos soil testing. Asbestos soil testing Sydney suggests that in some cases it is more cost-effective to remove and dispose the soil instead of following the cycle of inspection and clearance processes that may otherwise be required.

Not everyone is authorised to inspect or test the soil to determine the expected amount of asbestos contamination. The degree of the inspection that may be needed depends on many factors like background knowledge of the soil and also the site, the probable amount of asbestos, extent of contamination and the probable source of the contamination etc.

Asbestos soil testing Sydney experts considered asbestos in soil to be harmful only if it was present in a large quantity. But, very recently, current ideas on asbestos in soil have changed because of some recent initiatives by different industry bodies. Presence of asbestos in soil is a risk because as the soil dries and forms dust that can become airborne. It also comes in tact with shoes, dresses and vehicles and therefore is carried to other locations. It also disperses with air. This makes the asbestos soil testing process complicated.

Currently there is no Soil Guideline Value or SGV for asbestos and presence of more than 0.1 per cent is considered to be hazardous waste and above 0.001 per cent to be risky for human health. Asbestos soil testing Sydney involves gross visual screen; detailed screen using standard optical microscope (x10 - x40); Phase Contrast Optical Microscopy or PCOM; Polarised Light Microscopy or PLM; Transmission Electron Microscopy etc.

Asbestos soil testing methods vary depending on the concentration of asbestos, its fibre size, extent of dispersal etc. Only accredited laboratories can take up the jobs and you should rely on their reports as they know about legally and medically safe limits. They would issue the certificates which are again legally valid and indispensible for future references.
Asbestos Air Testing And Monitoring

Asbestos Air Testing And Monitoring

Friable or not, asbestos will always sound like a life threat whenever someone hears that you are having an asbestos removal. In order to avoid misunderstandings, Airsafe recommends you to opt for asbestos air monitoring while the procedure is carried out by one of their specialists. Besides keeping your neighbors happy, asbestos air monitoring will also allow you to keep an eye on the level of safety at the removal site.

When it comes to asbestos air testing and monitoring, no other company can carry out the procedure better than Airsafe. With more than 30 years of experience with hazardous material testing, the company has the right technical expertise and knowledge to provide fast and reliable diagnosis. It is highly important to monitor the level of toxic substances in your home, especially because it will be you and your family the ones that are exposed to health risks.

Nowadays, everyone is aware of the dangers implied by the inhalation of toxic substances, such as asbestos. It was only during the late 20th century when people have realized that repeated exposure to asbestos can cause some serious illnesses related to respiratory issues. In some countries, the substance has even been banned from commercial use because of that reason.

Nowadays, there are still many buildings or sites that contain this toxic substance. If you have any suspicion about the presence of asbestos in your house, it is recommended to call a consultant as fast as possible for an inspection. In case it turns out to be true, you will most probably have to remove the toxic substance. The biggest problem comes when the asbestos is friable, which means that it can be released easily in the atmosphere. There are more delicated procedures in this situation.

No matter whether the asbestos is friable or not, it is important to consider asbestos air monitoring during any asbestos removal work. For you peace of mind, you will avoid any complications during the removal procedure. Besides that, asbestos air monitoring will also keep your neighbors happy. You will avoid complaints to the local council or WorkCover and everything will be absolutely safe for everyone.

At Airsafe, any testing or removal procedure is done in the highest level of safety. It is absolutely essential to work with a reliable contractor when you have to deal with something as delicate as asbestos. All the specialists from Airsafe are trained and they have enough experience to carry out all the procedures successfully. The company is accredited by The National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) and it provides results that are 100% reliable. They recommend asbestos air testing whenever you have to go through an asbestos removal and they can assist you with many types of similar procedures.

Friable or not, asbestos will always sound like a life threat whenever someone hears that you are having an asbestos removal. In order to avoid misunderstandings, Airsafe recommends you to opt for asbestos air monitoring while the procedure is carried out by one of their specialists.
Los Angeles Asbestos Removal Company

Los Angeles Asbestos Removal Company

Asbestos removal is the process of ridding a building or material of the asbestos that it may have been originally built with. Abatement companies all over Los Angeles are busy with asbestos removal, in part due to the influx of asbestos litigation and mesothelioma lawsuits. Asbestos removal by a professional abatement company is only a fraction of the cost of a mesothelioma lawsuit.

Asbestos litigation can cost a company millions while asbestos removal only costs a few thousand dollars by comparison. Granted, large companies may have to spend more than a drop in the bucket to an abatement company for adequate asbestos removal, but it is still only a drop in the bucket when compared to the cost of a mesothelioma lawsuit, not to mention the human cost.

Companies of the seventies and earlier were permitted to build their buildings with large amounts of asbestos in order to protect them from the potential of fire damage. Companies and buildings created post 1980 were subject to different laws and were permitted what was then considered minimal amounts of asbestos in their production. Unfortunately, asbestos was still used in the automotive industry, construction companies, and a few other companies during this time.

Even older homes and office buildings were built using asbestos. Asbestos removal has become increasingly important as it is not so difficult to trace back one case of mesothelioma to a company, which means there is likely to be more asbestos litigation on the way. An abatement company can have the toxic material removed from the building in a very short period of time and workers can return to their employment with a renewed sense of safety.

Ironically, companies have become less devoted to their employee safety over the past 20 years. Abatement companies were much busier with jobs concerning asbestos removal with companies voicing concern for workforce safety ten years ago than they are today.

High turnover and the potential to leave a job and create a cheaper workforce are all reasons cited for this, but asbestos removal is appropriate regardless of the turnover rate or employee dissention. Asbestos litigation can occur regardless of whether the employee worked for the company all their life or only worked there just long enough to get sick.

Asbestos removal is a company's best chance at avoiding costly asbestos litigation and defending themselves in a mesothelioma lawsuit. A mesothelioma lawsuit can cost a company upwards of ten million dollars by the time damages are awarded and court and attorney fees are factored in. Asbestos removal by a certified abatement company is really much cheaper.

While mesothelioma may take decades to surface after an employee has gone off to other employment or retired, many companies are finding that the damages awarded in a mesothelioma lawsuit are considerable less if they have gone through an abatement company and requested asbestos removal.

By following through with asbestos removal, juries do notice that there is obvious concern for employee health at a later time and do take that into consideration. Most companies who are involved in asbestos litigation are under new management or ownership by the time asbestos litigation is filed, and the public appreciates a minimal effort of asbestos removal.

Of course, this changes nothing for a mesothelioma victim, and asbestos litigation is still necessary in order to attain the financial means needed to fight for their lives. Doing something is still better than doing nothing.

Mesothelioma lawsuits and asbestos litigation are in effect helping to prevent asbestos related diseases as companies who follow through with asbestos removal are effectively removing the danger for future and present employees. This means that there is a chance that mesothelioma victims are helping to save lives by filing a mesothelioma lawsuit.

At least, it is considered hopeful that their fight will save a few lives down the road. Nobody can be certain of this, but asbestos removal, even if prompted by a legal case, is always the best preventative measure against mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a terrible disease that attacks thousands of victims every year and is only caused by exposure to asbestos, a toxic chemical that can be removed from a building by an abatement company. It is unfortunate that it has cost so many lives and so much time tied up in asbestos litigation to encourage asbestos removal by companies who knowingly are exposing their workforce to this deadly and dangerous toxin.

The effects of asbestos have been understood since the 1920's. With that knowledge, abatement companies should no longer have asbestos removal jobs to take on.
Asbestos Abatement Is A Great Way To Protect The Environment

Asbestos Abatement Is A Great Way To Protect The Environment

Hazmat is the shortened form of hazardous materials. As the name indicates these are goods that can cause harm to human beings and the environment if they are not handled in a proper way. Asbestos is also categorized under hazmat (hazardous materials) when wear and tear in the asbestos sheets is seen. There are many houses where asbestos roofs are used.

Proper supervision should be done that the roof is not undergoing any wear and tear. If any such thing starts, it is best to go for asbestos abatement. In many countries of the world, asbestos abatement has been made mandatory. Asbestos is being banned in many countries as it is being categorized as hazmat and has potential threat of affecting human beings and the environment in a big way.

Asbestos in itself is a harmful and toxic substance and the toxins increase with time. Since in many houses, the roofs are made of asbestos, the direct onslaught of nature comes on the asbestos sheets. This leads to release of various asbestos particles in the environment and are very harmful. In such cases there is no other way than to go for asbestos abatement and avoid the risk from the hazardous materials.

Removal of these kinds of asbestos sheets is also quite harmful and might affect the people doing it. Therefore trained experts should be involved in the job of asbestos abatement. They know how to handle the hazardous materials in the best possible way without hampering the lives of the human beings and the environment. There are also many asbestos abatement companies that deal with the removal of this hazmat.

In case your house has asbestos roofs or asbestos is used in any other parts of the house or building, you must immediately contact an asbestos abatement company or an expert and trained professional for supervision. Asbestos does not become hazardous materials in the initial stages of the property. More the property gets older, more are the risks involved from asbestos.

In such stages, the metal begins to release particles in the environment that can lead to various kinds of diseases and ailments particularly in children. It is best to adopt asbestos abatement at this stage. Asbestos abatement is also required in many factories and small offices where there are asbestos roofs on the head of the employees. It is quite obvious that nobody even cares if the roofs are in good condition or not and if they have started emitting hazmat (hazardous materials) particles.

The impact from various kinds of hazmat is long lasting and in worse cases is passed on from one generation to the other. Asbestos abatement is a step that is being taken up by government of many countries to stop the ill effects that are caused by asbestos. It is very difficult for a common man to understand at what stage the asbestos starts becoming hazardous materials.

Therefore the job should be left to some expert asbestos abatement contractors and companies. They can supervise the place and then give their suggestions. This will protect the people and the nature as well.
The Importance Asbestos Testing Removal In Florida

The Importance Asbestos Testing Removal In Florida

Whether you are living in an old home, buying a new house or simply renting a place, it is of utmost importance to conduct asbestos testing. Though the use of asbestos and lead based paint was banned in the late 1970s, there are many homes that still have traces of these hazardous and banned substances. If these substances are in your home or in the crawlspace region of your house, you will need to call on a crawlspace repair specialists immediately. There are many reasons why it is downright dangerous to live in homes that have traces of asbestos or lead based paints in them.

Need for Lead Paint Removal
When it comes to environmental illnesses, lead poisoning due to lead based paint is the number 1 cause of illnesses in children as well as adults. Children under the age of 6 are particularly susceptible to lead poisoning since they are in their developmental or growing phase of life. Lead poisoning can result in a number of problems such as:
  • Stunted cognitive development in children
  • Brain damage that is by and large irreversible
  • ADHD symptoms
  • Autistic disorders
  • Other behavioral problems
  • Developmental issues for the fetus in a pregnant mother
As you can see, it is very important to get an environmental assessment of your home. You can find such assessment specialists in directories or through recommendations of people who have used such services in the past. Lead paint removal is the only way to prevent these issues from arising at all. It is important to trust only professionals who are licensed to conduct lead pain removal since there is a chance that amateurs may do more harm than good by allowing lead particles to be released in the home while conducting removal. Even if they do not do this, there is a strong chance that an amateur will not solve the problem and your time will be wasted dealing with someone who is not qualified to tackle this problem. Certainly your money will be wasted.

Asbestos Testing and Abatement
More than 50 percent of people spend more than half their time indoors. This is particularly true for children. In a situation like this, it is very important to conduct asbestos testing in homes as the presence of asbestos fibers can have detrimental effects on children as well as adults.

There was a time when asbestos was freely used as building material. This substance is now considered one of the most hazardous environmental problems. The presence of asbestos filaments in the air can be detected by proper asbestos testing. This serious indoor pollutant has been linked to many health hazards like:
  • Respiratory disorders
  • Shortness of breath
  • Severe diseases like asbestosis and lung cancer
  • Mesothelioma which is a cancer of the inner lining of vital organs
  • Impaired development
Like lead paint removal, asbestos abatement also needs to be conducted by professionals who have the proper asbestos testing and abatement license.

Though both these processes may be cost intensive, when conducted by professionals they are effective and infinitely beneficial in the long run.
History, Hazards and Dietary Advice For Mesothelioma

History, Hazards and Dietary Advice For Mesothelioma

History of asbestos.
There are four main types of asbestos; Amosite (brown fibers), Anthophyllite (gray fibers), white Christie, and blue Crocidolite. Chrysotile has curly fibers while the other three have rod like fibers. These fibers fragment into dust quite readily and waft into the air. They can adhere to skin or clothing and are easily swallowed or inhaled.

Half a century ago, asbestos was hailed by many as a miracle product. They said nearly anything could be made from this mineral. It as used as an additive to reinforce mortar and plastics. Asbestos fibers can also be separated into fine threads that do not conduct electricity and are unaffected by heat or chemicals.

Use of asbestos drastically increased during World War II. Shipbuilding incorporated asbestos extensively in freighters and support vessels to insulate boilers, steam pipes and hot water pipes. Asbestos became the miracle construction material as it was readily obtained, processed, and transported. After WWII cars used asbestos in brake shoes and clutch pads. Asbestos found its way into residential and industrial building materials, water supply, sewage materials, ceiling and floor tiles, and vermiculite garden materials to name a few products.

In the 1970′s, following the discoveries of the health dangers of asbestos dust inhalation, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibited the use of asbestos in several products that could liberate asbestos fibers into the environment during use. Regulations governing the use of asbestos and public concern since 1970 have created a significant drop in the use of asbestos in the United States. The same pattern has been seen in most of the developed world.

In 1989 all new uses of asbestos were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency while any old uses before that year were still allowed. The EPA suggested that schools inspect for damaged asbestos and eliminate any exposure or enclose it in protective barriers. Vermiculite, widely used in horticulture, became a concern of the EPA . They recommended outdoor use, limiting the amount of dust used, and keeping vermiculite damp.

Health hazards
Asbestos may create serious health hazards such as coughing, lung damage, shortness of breath, and lung cancer. Most people do not become sick in the early stages of contact but usually need continued exposure. This often means on jobs such as mining, milling, manufacturing asbestos products, and the building construction industry. Firemen, demolition and destruction workers, drywall removers, and anyone else involved in trades that involve destruction of buildings, ships, and automobiles are also exposed to the hazards of asbestos.

Over a number of years continual exposure to asbestos can cause very serious health problems, such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare type of carcinoma of the membrane that lines numerous cavities of the body, including the lungs, abdomen and heart, and has been associated with exposure to asbestos dust. In mesothelioma, the cells of the mesothelioma metastasize and damage adjacent organs and tissues.

Mesothelioma may not develop for a long period of time, often as long as twenty-five or thirty-five years before full blown symptoms appear. Not all workers who have been exposed will develop diseases, but workers who have been exposed to it may bring fibers on their clothing, hair, shoes, and skin home to their families. To circumvent this risk, most industries require workers to bathe and change their clothing before they leave work.

Dietary advice for Mesothelioma patients
Doctors and nutritionists may recommend a special cancer diet because many mesothelioma patients tend to lose their appetites due to worry over their condition. Also, those who are undergoing treatment may choose not to eat because of the unpleasant side effects they may experience. Chemotherapy and some medications may cause an imbalance of nutrients that must be corrected in order to keep the body as strong as possible and to keep the patient from losing an excessive amount of weight. Other side effects of mesothelioma treatment can include nausea, vomiting, constipation,dry mouth and a change in the sense of smell or taste.

In our childhood we were all told to eat our vegetables. Forcing down cabbage and sprouts was supposed to make us bigger and stronger. Well, so it is for mesothelioma patients. Diet is often an overlooked subject for cancer patients, but eating the right nutritional foods for strength and energy is just as important as taking the proper medication.

Mesothelioma patients undergoing treatment must follow a special cancer diet devised by their nutritionists. The details of every patient’s mesothelioma diet will vary. Some patients will need to incorporate more fat into their diets, while others may need more protein. Cancer diets involve eating the correct amounts of protein and calories as well as drinking the right amount of water to keep the ailing body replenished and energized. The body needs plenty of nourishment when it is going through chemotherapy or even when the patient is taking certain medications.

It is important that patients devise a cancer diet under the guidance of their doctor and nutritionist to ensure that they obtain the proper amount of nutrients to improve their quality of life.

Protein is important for any cancer patient because it helps repair tissue damaged by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Protein also helps maintain a strong and healthy immune system, lowering a mesothelioma patient’s risk of infection after aggressive cancer treatments. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing protein in a cancer diet with cheese, milk, ice cream, yoghurt, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, meats and fish.

Fats are an essential part of the cancer diet because they supply the body with the necessary energy it needs while undergoing treatment. The amount of fats a cancer diet should consist of is dependent on a mesothelioma patient’s age and body size. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing caloric intake with such foods as butter, milk, cheese, honey, sugar, granola and dried fruits.

Water is another essential component of the cancer diet. Without a significant amount of water, the body will dehydrate. It is important that anyone undergoing cancer treatment drink sufficient water to keep their bodies hydrated and replenished.
The Science of Recovering Lives in Mesothelioma Prognosis

The Science of Recovering Lives in Mesothelioma Prognosis

A brief on Mesothelioma
A whopping 2,000 to 3,000 new cases of mesothelioma is on the rise in United States of America. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and it is an aftereffect of the asbestos exposure. The cancerous cells tend to destroy the mesothelium, which is a protective sac that holds the internal organs of the body. Initially, pleura or peritoneum are affected and then it spreads to the other parts of the body. It is a fatal disease and the survival time of the victim is almost one year from the time of diagnosis depending on the treatment and other contributing factors.

What is mesothelioma prognosis?
Prognosis for mesothelioma is solely dependent on the merit of diagnosis and the treatment. If treatment is provided with much delay then the survival chance of the victim grows slimmer. Then again, survivability depends heavily on factors like treatment, type of mesothelioma as well as patients health and morale. The stage of the disease during diagnosis is the most crucial factor that decides the prognosis and the minimum survival expectancy of the victim. But disappointingly, mesothelioma unlike other cancers is somewhat difficult to stage. This is because the symptoms of mesothelioma are non-specific due to which the cells are already matured at the time of diagnosis.

What are the determining factors that lead to prognosis?
The early detection of the disease is imperative for pursuing any kind of treatment. The location and size of the cancer, response of the cancer to the treatment, the extent to which the cancer has spread, what impression does the cells give under the microscope and the patients age are some of the contributing factors that determine prognosis. It should be pointed out that diagnosis of the disease is not a child’s play. Further more it becomes all the very more difficult because of the deceptive nature of the subtle symptoms of mesothelioma. Like for example, if you are coughing and you might never know that you have contracted the disease unless and until your doctor clarifies it all by providing a mesothelioma prognosis.

Do you know about the mesothelioma treatment options?
Amongst the staging systems the oldest of them all is the Butchart system, based on the extent of mass, primary tumor and segregates the cancer into four stages. The TNM system is a more recent one while the Brigham system is the latest. It uses resectability and lymph node involvement for staging mesothelioma. The traditional kinds of treatments are also prevalent in case of malignant mesothelioma. Radiation therapy exercises high-energy X-rays to eradicate cancer cells while chemotherapy does it through use of drugs. Immunotherapy helps to strengthen the immune system; photodynamic therapy uses light energy while the genetic therapy resurrects the inherent genetic defects of the patient to fight the disease.

The process of removing fluid from the chest is known as thoracentesis while fluid reduction from the abdomen is known as paracentesis. Conventional surgeries and effective drugs like L-NDDP or Platar, Endostatin and somewhat come to the rescue of the victims of mesothelioma. The surgical removal of a part of the chest or the abdominal lining is called pleurectomy and if the lung is removed, then the operation will be termed as pneumonectomy.
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: A Deadly Curse Of Asbestos

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma: A Deadly Curse Of Asbestos

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is a quite uncommon type of cancer caused due to asbestos exposure. While it is difficult to diagnose Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma, it hardly responds to any type of therapy. This is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. The possibility of finding this type of cancer is on the lips and the larynx.

However, in certain cases it may affect the oral cavity as well. Like all other forms of mesothelioma cancers, this cancer is a fatal disease and hardly responds to any method of treatment. Even though radiation therapy is recommended for the treatment of these cancerous tumors, but some of them may not be radiosensitive and may defy radiation for treatment.

Diagnosis of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma:
The differentiation of sarcomatoid mesothelioma from other cell tumors by light microscopy is quite difficult. The role of immunohistochemistry is also not well defined in its diagnosis. Since sarcomatoid mesothelioma is not always cytokeratin-negative, the distinction between it and sarcoma is not always possible. In this context, the doctors undertook a study to investigate the utility of diagnostic immunohistochemistry for distinguishing sarcomatoid mesothelioma from its histological mimics, high-grade sarcoma and pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma.

For its study, the researchers stained the mesotheliomas with sarcomatoid components. They assessed the intensity and distribution of staining with the help of a semi quantitative scale. Only tumors with unequivocal staining were considered positive for tabulation. Then they compared the immunophenotypic profiles of these tumors with 24 high-grade sarcomas. The sarcomatoid carcinomas were also stained for thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1).

The study showed that Cytokeratin 5/6 stained most of the epithelioids but the sarcomatoids were rarely stained. On the other hand, Calretinin and thrombomodulin each stained 70% of sarcomatoid. All 10 sarcomatoids were negative for TTF-1. This led to the conclusion that a wide immunophenotypic overlap exists among different sarcomatoids. Cytokeratin and calretinin have the most value in differentiating different sarcomatoids.

Clinicopathological data, especially information about the gross appearance of the tumor is quite important for sarcomatoid tumors. Thus, it should be noted and carefully correlated with microscopic and immunohistochemical findings.
A Little Explanation of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

A Little Explanation of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

What Is Mesothelioma Sarcoma?
Between the two forms of tumors of the mesothelioma, which are either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), the latter is more common and dangerous, popularly known as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is characterized by its dangerous potential to spread to other parts of the body.

Types of Mesothelioma, there are three different types of Mesothelioma:
1) Ephitheliod: It affects the membranous tissue covering the internal organs and surfaces of the body. Though majority of the mesothelioma cases occurring today belong to this type, it has the best prognosis (outlook for survival or treatment).

2) Sarcomatoid: It is also known as mesothelioma sarcoma. It arises from supportive tissues such as bones, muscles, cartilages and fats. About 7% to 20% of mesothelioma cases are of this type.

3) Mixed/Biphasic: 20% to 35% of mesothelioma cases belong to this type. It carries both the features of the above two types.
The treatment options remain the same for all the types.

Physical Aspects of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma arising from the chest cavity are known as pleural mesothelioma and amounts to an approximate three fourths of the total cases. Peritoneal mesothelioma, which starts and spreads in the abdomen, constitutes 10% to 20% mesothelioma cases. Mesothelioma affecting the covering of the testicles, which is in fact an out-pouching of peritoneum into the scrotum, is rather uncommon. Cases of Pericardial Mesothelioma that starts in the cavities of the heart are also very rare.

Mesothelioma and the Masses
New cases of mesothelioma, even though they are less common, amount from 2000 to 3000 every year only in the United States. Most of the patients diagnosed with mesothelioma are from the age group of 50 years and above with majority being the people in the seventies.

This is primarily due to their exposure to asbestos in the 1940s and 1950s or even earlier. Exposure victims of later year’s i.e.1970s and 1980s are yet to be diagnosed. Men are more susceptible than females with male victims constituting 3 to 5 times higher in numbers than females. This is probably because during that period women liberation movements were started, which resulted into barring them from construction works. On the racial parameters, it is more common among the Caucasians than African Americans.

Even though mesothelioma sarcoma cases are rare, they are extremely dangerous. People diagnosed with the disease are mostly in their last and critical stages, making their treatment more difficult in comparison to other forms of cancer. The survival time ranges from one to two years. With unparallel advancements in modern science and medical technology, chances of mesothelioma treatment and recovery have always been increasing.

The good news is that the patients suffering from mesothelioma sarcoma can file lawsuits for seeking compensation against the companies responsible for asbestos exposure.
Mesothelioma Cancer Caused by Asbestos

Mesothelioma Cancer Caused by Asbestos

The internal organs of the human body are encased in a protective sac called the mesothelium. Examples of mesothelilial membranes are the peritoneum (abdominal organs), pleura (lungs), and pericardium (heart).

Under specific conditions, the cells of the protective membrane divide uncontrolled and become cancerous. This disease is termed as Mesothelioma, a rare form of cancer which is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos dust.

The disease is found to occur among those who work in shipyards, asbestos mines and factories, industries that produce asbestos based products, and the heating and construction businesses. Approximately 3,000 cases occur each year in the US, and most patients are between 50-70 years old. Statistics show that males are commonly affected and among them whites more than African Americans.

First studied in the late 1700s in depth studies were only done in the 1960s. Tumors of the Mesothelioma can be benign or malignant. The malignant Mesothelioma are categorized into three types :
  • Epithelioid, accounting for 50-70% of mesotheliomas.
  • Sarcomatoid, accounting for 7-20%.
  • Mixed or bi-phasic, accounting for 20-35%.
When asbestos fibers are breathed into the lungs they travel through large air passages to reach the smaller passages and from them the pleura. In the pleura they damage: the mesothelial cells leading to cancer; lung tissue causing lung cancer; and the development of scar tissue within the lungs known as asbestosis. When asbestos fibers are swallowed they reach the abdominal cavity and cause peritoneal mesothelioma.

Research reveals that the disease only manifests 20-50 years after being exposed to asbestos dust. The symptoms are not specific to the disease but a patient may develop:
  • Breathlessness.
  • Chest pain accompanied by tightness believed to be caused by accumulation of fluid in the pleura.
  • Low back pain.
  • Swelling of face and arms.
  • Sensory loss.
  • Muscle weakness.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Weight loss that is unexplained.
  • Persistent dry cough.
  • Sore throat.
  • Anemia.
  • Fever.
  • Constipation.
  • Problems with blood clotting.
Since the above are common to minor ailments, patients often ignore the symptoms. It is advisable to consult a doctor if any of the above symptoms persist or if you feel you have been knowingly or unknowingly exposed to asbestos.

A doctor will:
Take down a detailed medical history and try and determine the symptoms and risk factors.

Do a thorough physical examination and check for signs of:
  • Pleural effusion, fluid accumulated in the chest cavity.
  • Fluid in the abdominal cavity.
  • Pericardial effusion, fluid in the lining of the heart.
  • Take a chest x-ray and check for thickening of the pleura, calcifications, and lowered lung fissures.
  • Ask for a CT scan to determine clearly the location, size, and extent of the problem if any is suspected.
  • Recommend tests of tissue samples and pleural fluids.
Other risk factors are cigarette or cigar smoking, exposure to radiation, exposure to zeolite a compound that is similar to asbestos, exposure to or infections caused by SV40, a Simian virus.

Those who work in a risky environment should wear protective clothing, have the surroundings tested regularly for suspended asbestos particles, and ensure that they have regular medical tests and report to the doctor any ailments that persist. Being aware of the disease and its problems helps.
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