Mesothelioma facts: What do you need to know about mesothelioma? Facts about the dangers of asbestos rocked the world in the early 1980’s. But in spite of the large public outcry against the substance, many people are still in the dark about the deadly disease that asbestos exposure can cause: cancer. Even those who know about mesothelioma can have a hard time discerning between fact and hearsay.
Many people exposed to asbestos were not given the facts regarding the risks of disease. Since symptoms of asbestos-related disease may not appear until decades later, many companies were able to slide the facts under the table, hoping they would be forgotten.
Today, thousands of people are facing a disease they were never prepared to face. They are searching for facts they should have known years ago. If you have been exposed to asbestos, you deserve to know the facts about mesothelioma.
The fact is, there is essentially one cause of mesothelioma: asbestos exposure. If you have never been exposed to asbestos, you have almost no risk of mesothelioma.
Asbestos exposure occurs when particles from asbestos are released into the air and either inhaled or ingested into the body. Disturbance can be caused by mining asbestos or using materials which contain asbestos. This occurs mostly at places where construction, demolition, remodeling, or repair is taking place.
Those at highest risk for mesothelioma include:
Although mesothelioma affects a fairly small fraction of the population, this does not lessen the devastation it brings to lives every day. The scope of mesothelioma includes:
Diagnosis of mesothelioma is usually the result of the patient complaining to a certain set of symptoms, depending on the area of the body affected. However, because these symptoms are common to a number of diseases, a mesothelioma diagnosis is usually not a doctor’s first response. Only after other diseases are ruled out and CT or x-ray images reveal possible areas of concerns are blood tests, fluid samples and tissue biopsies done that lead to definitive diagnosis.
Although the lungs are affected in three out of four mesothelioma cases, the disease can also effect the heart lining, abdominal lining, and the testicles. Cancer of each area is defined and treated differently.
One of the hardest mesothelioma facts to deal with is the prognosis. There is no known cure. However, treatment can help improve the quality and length of life. Depending on how early the disease is recognized, almost half of mesothelioma patients experience a lifespan of eight to eighteen months after diagnosis and treatment (4). New research studies are constantly underway, seeking to change these statistics and give patients greater hope for the future.