Mesothelioma is considered to be a rarer cancer form, but you have likely seen the name pop up in the news more frequently these days as patients have been coming forward with claims against employers after contracting the disease.
What causes Mesothelioma?
The disease comes from the mesothelium cells, which is create the lining that protects several organs within the body. The most common cause of mesothelioma is a prolonged exposure to asbestos chemicals.
There are usually different parts of the body that contract the disease, and are most frequently seen around the lungs. However, the abdomen, heart and testes can all be the location for mesothelioma.
Who is most prone to Mesothelioma?
The majority of patients that have developed the disease work (or have worked) in careers where asbestos fiber is inhaled. Even those that have washed clothes for workers that have been exposed to asbestos are at an increased risk for mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is different from lung cancer, but many people consider it to be the same. There isn’t any correlation that has been found between tobacco use and mesothelioma, but smokers are more suscep to asbestos related cancer.
What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Difficulty breathing, chest pains, sudden decrease in weight and fluid in the lungs are the most common symptoms that are seen with mesothelioma. If you have any or all of these symptoms, make sure to consult with a physician right away.
The disease may be diagnosed by a CT scan or X-ray, but a biopsy is usually needed to confirm suspicions. A tubed camera in the chest may also be required in the biopsy and will also keep further fluid from entering the lungs. Patients that have been diagnosed with mesothelioma may receive a grim prognosis, but there are treatment options available.
What are some of the mesothelioma statistics I need to know?
There are four different stages in the diagnosis of mesothelioma, and all four carry a life expectancy. Here are those numbers:
- Stage I (Up to three years)
- Stage II (One and a half years)
- Stage III (One year)
- Stage IV (6 months)
Here are some other statistics to consider:
- Over 2,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year
- The most common age group is 50-70 years old
- Males have been diagnosed with the disease at a 4:1 ratio over women
- The higher stage numbers signal a more advance case of the disease
- Nearly 75 percent of diagnoses are found in the lung area
What should I do next?
If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it’s important to begin treatment right away. In addition, your loved ones are encouraged by law professionals such as the Law Firm of Baron and Budd to take action against the employer that subjected workers to dangerous working conditions.
Here are some facts to know about receiving treatment for mesothelioma:
- It’s important to eat while chemotherapy sessions have started. This typically means that protein intake should increase by nearly 50% and calories should increase by nearly 20%.
- A second evaluation will happen after a few cycles of chemotherapy that last about two or three weeks each.
- Mesothelioma patients are likely to undergo radiation treatment, which lasts as many as five times a week for over a month and last just a few minutes each.
The diagnosis of mesothelioma can be a scary one, but it’s important to stay positive through the process and keep your family strong. After the year 2020, it’s expected that mesothelioma diagnoses are expected to fall dramatically as new plans have been put into place to remove asbestos from workplaces.