What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a group of minerals that occur naturally as bundles of fibers. These fibers are found naturally in soil and rocks in many parts of the world. They are made mainly of silicon and oxygen, but also contain other elements. There are 2 main types of asbestos:

Chrysotile asbestos, also known as white asbestos, is the most common type of asbestos in industrial applications. When looked at under the microscope, chrysotile asbestos fibers wrap around themselves as a spiral, that is why this form of asbestos has also been called curly or serpentine asbestos.
Amphibole asbestos fibers are needle-like and straight. There are several types of amphibole fibers, including amosite (brown asbestos), crocidolite (blue asbestos), anthophyllite, actinolite, and tremolite.

Both types of asbestos cause cancer. Amphibole asbestos does seem to be more potent in causing a rare type of cancer called mesothelioma

Asbestos fibers are strong, resistant to heat and to many chemicals, and do not conduct electricity. As a result, asbestos has been used as an insulating material since ancient times. Since the industrial revolution, asbestos has been used to insulate factories, homes, schools, and ships, and to make automobile brake and clutch parts, roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, cement, textiles, and hundreds of other products.

During the first half of the 1900s, growing evidence showed that breathing in asbestos caused scarring of the lungs. In the early 1900s, exposure to asbestos dust in the workplace was not controlled. Beginning in England in the 1930s, steps were taken to protect workers in the asbestos industry by installing ventilation and exhaust systems. In the huge shipbuilding effort during World War II, large numbers of workers were exposed to high levels of asbestos.

As asbestos-related cancers became better recognized in the second half of the 20th century, measures were taken to reduce exposure, including establishing exposure standards and laws that banned the use of asbestos in construction materials. There has been a dramatic decrease in importing and using asbestos since the mid-1970s, and alternative insulating materials have been developed. As a result, asbestos exposure has dropped dramatically in the United States. It is still used in some products, and it is still possible to be exposed to asbestos in older buildings, water pipes, and other settings. Asbestos has been banned in the European Union for several years, although the ban did not require removal of asbestos that was already in place. Still, heavy asbestos use continues in certain countries.
How are people exposed to asbestos?

People are exposed to asbestos mainly by inhaling fibers in the air they breathe. In any of these situations, asbestos fibers tend to create a dust composed of tiny particles that can float in the air.

In addition, asbestos fibers can be swallowed. This may happen when people consume contaminated food or liquids (such as water that flows through asbestos cement pipes). It may also occur when people cough up asbestos they have inhaled, and then swallow their saliva.

Many people are exposed to very low levels of naturally occurring asbestos in outdoor air as a result of erosion of asbestos-bearing rocks. The potential for such exposure is higher in areas where rocks have higher asbestos content. In some areas, asbestos may be detected in the water supply as well as in the air. It may be released into the water through several sources, such as erosion or natural deposits, corrosion from asbestos cement pipes, and the breakdown of roofing materials containing asbestos that are then transported into sewers.

However, the people with the heaviest exposure are those who worked in asbestos industries, such as shipbuilding and insulation. Many of these people recall working in thick clouds of asbestos dust, day after day.

Family members of asbestos workers can also be exposed to higher levels of asbestos because the fibers can be carried home on the workers’ clothing, and can then be inhaled by others in the household.

Asbestos exposure is also a concern in older buildings. If building materials like insulation and ceiling and floor tiles begin to decompose over time, asbestos fibers can be found in indoor air and may pose a health threat. There is no health risk if the asbestos is bonded into intact finished products, such as walls and tiles. As long as the material is not damaged or disturbed (for example, by drilling or remodeling), the fibers are not released into the air. Maintenance workers who sweep up and dispose of the asbestos dust or handle damaged asbestos-containing materials are often exposed to higher levels than other occupants of these buildings. Removing asbestos from homes and other buildings can also cause some exposure, although modern asbestos abatement workers are trained to use appropriate protective equipment to minimize exposure.

Although use of asbestos has declined in the United States, people are still exposed to asbestos in the workplace. In 2008, the Occupational Health and Safety Administration estimated that over a million employees in construction and general industries face significant asbestos exposure on the job.

The mining and use of asbestos is also still a health hazard in some other parts of the world. Mining in the Russian Federation, China, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Canada, and Zimbabwe accounted for almost all of the world production of asbestos in 2006. Much of what is produced is used in the Russian Federation (and other countries in the former Soviet Union) and Asia, and its use is on the rise in some areas. In 2005, the World Health Organization estimated that 125 million people worldwide were exposed to asbestos at work, despite the known links to cancer and other lung diseases for more than 60 years.
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Mesothelioma Types

How are various kinds of mesothelioma cancer categorized?

Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma cancer is not constantly quickly detectable. Frequently, in the early phases of the condition, such as phase 1 mesothelioma, signs may be mild.

Often serum markers are made use of to diagnose of various forms of cancer. Mesothelioma can not be detected using this approach as no serum markers presently exist.

The mesothelioma survival rate for patients detected with pleural mesothelioma cancer usually is low, as patients often do not live beyond seventeen months from the start of signs and symptoms. Just 8 % of those with a mesothelioma medical diagnosis will live 3 to five years from the onset of mesothelioma cancer signs and symptoms.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer stems in the abdominal area and will often spread out to other organs in area including the bowel, liver or spleen. Other signs and symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma cancer may include challenging bowel motions, queasiness and throwing up, fever and inflamed feet.

The survival rate for those detected with peritoneal mesothelioma is typically in the variety of around 10 months from the time that they initially started experiencing the signs and symptoms noted above. Nevertheless, results are fairly variable from one patient to another, so population-based data ought to not be presumed to restrict the result for an individual client.

Pericardial Mesothelioma cancer
Pericardial mesothelioma cancer is the least common type of mesothelioma cancer. Pericardial mesothelioma, as the name recommends, includes the heart. This uncommon kind of mesothelioma cancer invades the pericardium, the cavity that surrounds the heart. As the cancer advances, the heart is unable to deliver oxygen as effectively to the body causing additional decline in health at a progressively rapid rate. The symptoms most frequently related to pericardial mesothelioma cancer simulate those of a cardiac arrest: queasiness, discomfort in the chest and shortness of breath.

Malignant Mesothelioma
The symptoms associated with malignant mesothelioma make it difficult for doctors to detect. Another special factor associated with the condition is that there can be a long latency period between the time of asbestos direct exposure and the real symptom of the illness in the form of malignant mesothelioma cancer.

Benign Mesothelioma cancer
Benign mesothelioma, or non-malignant mesothelioma cancer, is a lot easier to treat than the malignant kind of the cancer and can be dealt with successfully in many cases.

Epithelial Mesothelioma
Epithelial Mesothelioma is the most typical cell type and make up approximately 50-75 % percent of all diagnosed cases each year. These cells are consistent in shape, with an elongated pattern that makes them easily distinguishable when viewed under high zoom. These types ofcancercells are adenocarcinomas, malignancies which are more frequently associated with pure lung cancers instead of cancers of the mesothelium.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma
Sarcomatoid mesothelioma is a less common cell type, accounting for between 7 and 20 % of mesothelioma cases each year. These cells grow forth out of supportive structures, such as muscles and bones.

Biphasic Mesothelioma cancer
Biphasic mesothelioma cancers are those with a mix of sarcomatoid and epithelial cell types. Mesothelioma treatment alternatives do not differ considerably for different cell types, but commonly sarcomatoid mesothelioma cancers are more difficult to deal with as a result of the surrounding affected tissues that they spread from.

Papillary Mesothelioma cancer
Papillary mesothelioma, likewise called well-differentiated mesothelioma, is a form of the asbestos cancer that typically influences females. In many cases this cell type is benign and not likely to spread to other organs in the body.

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Mesothelioma cancer Treatment by Stage

The treatment method for mesothelioma cancer varies based upon the stage that the cancer has advanced to at the time of diagnosis. There is currently no remedy for this condition, current medical advances have made a wider wide range of treatment alternatives readily available to help improve client comfort and quality of life. While there are a number of staging systems offered to examine how far mesothelioma cancer has actually advanced in the body, the Butchart staging system stays the most extensively utilized, particularly for pleural mesothelioma cancer.

Phase 1 Mesothelioma Treatment
Mesothelioma surgery is the most frequently advised course of treatment for pleural mesothelioma patients having a Phase 1 medical diagnosis. It is frequently identified with stage 1 mesothelioma cancer that those adjunct treatments are not required.

Stage 2 Mesothelioma cancer Treatment
Clients diagnosed with Stage II Mesothelioma still have a relatively broad range of treatment alternatives offered to them. Surgical treatment may or might not continue to be a viable treatment choice at this phase.

Stage 3 Mesothelioma cancer Treatment
The treatment options for Phase III Mesothelioma cancer clients are less than those available for Phase I and II clients as the cancer, in this phase, has typically spread beyond the point of origin to other crucial organs in the body or the lymphatic system. Treatments suggested for Stage III clients are mostly focused on offering patient comfort and improving quality of life.

Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treatment
A diagnosis of phase 4 mesothelioma normally shows an extremely undesirable mesothelioma cancer prognosis. At this phase, the cancer has typically metastasized throughout the body to other organs and as with stages 2 and 3, can not be treated. Clients with phase 4 mesothelioma may likewise be interested in taking part in specialized scientific trials offered at leading cancer healthcare facilities and.

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Mesothelioma Patient Support

Friends and family are always important when you have mesothelioma, but you might also find it beneficial to be in contact with others who share comparable difficulties. It has actually been revealed that emotional support and open client discussion of problems helps cancer patients’ quality of life.

There are different categories of support. Do not undervalue the value of support from household and good friends.

In addition to family and friends, mesothelioma patients ought to consider a variety of possible support services:

Spiritual Leaders: Members of the clergies of lots of faiths are trained to handle the issues of mesothelioma patients: pain, fear of death, feeling alone, and searching for definition.
Home Care Solutions: State and city governments provide numerous services beneficial after cancer treatment. A nurse or physiotherapist might be able to concern your home. Examine the phone book for for-profit and non-profit Social Services, Health Solutions or Aging Services.

It is important to remember that various support groups might have different focuses and procedures when it comes to cancer or mesothelioma cancer support groups. Some groups are helped with by a psychologist or social worker, however the core of the meeting is the personal sharing of the members. Others are led by group members, and are referred to as peer or self-help groups. Some groups are developed to be structured and academic, others emphasize emotional support and shared experience. The key is in finding a group that matches your needs
Support system characteristics

It is normal to be hesitant about sharing individual problems with a group of unfamiliar people, however it is important to bear in mind that support groups are developed to provide a personal environment where patients can freely exchange details about their illness and the psychological implications of cancer, along with useful issues such as the best ways to manage the negative effects of treatments.

For the caretakers of cancer clients, support groups are likewise important in dealing with the stresses of monetary concerns and changing roles within the family. Some support groups are specific to the family and friends of those with cancer; other groups motivate family and friends to participate along with the patient.

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Mesothelioma Cancer Life Expectancy Guide

Although mesothelioma, likewise referred to as asbestos cancer, is a rare disease, it is among the most lethal types of cancer ever detected. In addition, it is among the most hard types of cancer to discover because of its long period of dormancy: a mesothelioma cancer client can live in between 20 to 50 years before the first signs and symptoms of mesothelioma cancer show up. When a patient does become symptomatic, doctors commonly lose precious treatment time due to the fact that mesothelioma cancer indication mimic signs of common respiratory disorders. In addition, it is also an aggressive type of cancer that can spread out rapidly from the influenced body locations to other organs. These factors, when combined with the demographics of who is more vulnerable to the illness, make mesothelioma especially fatal.

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According to a 2009 report by the Centers for Illness Control (CDC), 18,068 clients diagnosed with deadly mesothelioma passed away in between 1999 and 2005. Year-to-year figures might differ, the annual death rate of mesothelioma cancer clients is an average of 14 per every million.

Although survival rates in mesothelioma cancer patients depend upon a vast array of factors, a patient can expect an post-diagnosis survival time of between 4 months to a year and a half. Keep in mind, however, that there are constantly exceptions to this rule and each patient need to talk with their doctor about their own individual health and expectations.

Typically, how long a patient lives after mesothelioma has actually been detected depends on a selection of variables such as age, gender, race, and overall health. Clients such as these benefit from early detection and surgical treatment of the condition.

The average survival rates for older patients is bleaker. According to the American Cancer Society (ACC), although 5-10 % of patients diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer can live for 5 years or more after the preliminary diagnosis, these people are typically young with cancers that can be surgically dealt with. Considering that the typical mesothelioma patient has the tendency to be a white male aged 60-70 who was heavily exposed to asbestos during his active work years, the cancer is already well-developed and can not be treated with surgery. Older clients also may have debilitating health concerns, such as cardiopulmonary illness and hypertension, which assist to reduce their lifespans. Patients in these 2 age brackets (65-74 and 75-84) have the greatest death totals. From the years 1999 through 2005, 12,150 out of the 18,068 tape-recorded mesothelioma deaths were occurred to victims ages 65 through 84.

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Mesothelioma Medical diagnosis

The diagnostic procedure for pleural mesothelioma includes various tests and needs the close cooperation of a varied group of medical professionals. While a lot of patients first meet a general practitioner, their diagnosis can involve the expertise of radiologists, specialists, pulmonologists, pathologists and others.

These extra experts can be needed because this type of cancer is so tough to diagnose, even for extremely qualified oncologists. Signs and symptoms rarely appear until the illness has entered its later phases, and even then they are difficult to differentiate from the signs of more typical respiratory illnesses. Lots of patients with pleural mesothelioma do not experience signs till numerous years after their first exposure to asbestos.

A diagnosis usually begins with a patient discussing signs and symptoms and offering an occupational and medical background to a medical professional. The occupational part of the discussion is necessary. Pleural mesothelioma often originates from occupational direct exposure to asbestos. Medical professionals follow up with a physical exam.

If a client explains one or more risk elements for pleural mesothelioma cancer, such as past direct exposure to asbestos, added tests will certainly be needed. These might include imaging scans, biopsies or blood tests.
Preliminary Medical professional’s Consultation

In the earliest phases of pleural mesothelioma, indicators of disease are nonexistent or essentially undetected. While bothersome signs and symptoms oblige most patients to arrange an initial assessment with their physician, problems can be so mild that individuals neglect them at. Hold-ups in the diagnostic process of up to 6 months are commonplace since even medical experts can easily mistake early mesothelioma cancer signs and symptoms for those of less significant conditions.
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Asbestos history and problems!

Pliny the Younger wrote in AD 61-114 that slaves who dealt with the mineral asbestos ended up being ill. Later on in 1899 Dr. Montague Murray kept in mind the unfavorable health effects of asbestos. The very first recorded death related to asbestos was in 1906.

The first such research was conducted by Dr. H. Montague Murray at the Charing Cross Hospital, London, in 1900, in which a postmortem examination of a young man who had actually passed away from pulmonary fibrosis after having worked for 14 years in an asbestos fabric factory, found asbestos traces in the victim’s lungs. Adelaide Anderson, the Inspector of Factories in Britain, consisted of asbestos in a list of hazardous industrial compounds in 1902.
Nellie Kershaw, factory worker, whose death from lung asbestosis was the very first such case to be described in medical literature.
Fireproof asbestos fabric.

The first diagnosis of asbestosis was made in the UK in 1924. Nellie Kershaw was used at Turner Brothers Asbestos in Manchester, England from 1917, spinning raw asbestos fibre into yarn. Her death in 1924 resulted in an official inquest. Pathologist Dr William Edmund Cooke testified that his assessment of the lungs suggested old scarring a sign of a previous, recovered, tuberculosis infection, and comprehensive fibrosis, in which showed up “bits of mineral matter … of various shapes, but the large bulk have sharp angles.” Having compared these particles with samples of asbestos dust provided by Dr S.A. Henry, His Majesty’s Medical Inspector of Factories, Cooke concluded that they “originated from asbestos and were, beyond a sensible doubt, the main reason for the fibrosis of the lungs and therefore of death”.

It concluded that the development of asbestosis was irrefutably linked to the prolonged inhalation of asbestos dust, and included the first health study of asbestos employees, which found that 66 % of those employed for 20 years or more suffered from asbestosis. The report led to the publication of the first Asbestos Industry Laws in 1931, which came into impact on 1 March 1932. The term mesothelioma cancer was initially used in medical literature in 1931; its association with asbestos was first kept in mind at some point in the 1940s.

Approximately 100,000 individuals in the United States have died, or are terminally ill, from asbestos exposure related to ship building. In the Hampton Roads location, a shipbuilding center, mesothelioma event is seven times the national rate. Thousands of tons of asbestos were made use of in World War II ships to insulate piping, boilers, steam engines, and steam turbines. There were around 4.3 million shipyard employees in the United States during WWII; for every thousand employees about fourteen died of mesothelioma cancer and an unidentified number passed away from asbestosis.

The United States government and asbestos market have been criticized for not acting quickly enough to inform the public of risks, and to reduce public exposure. In the late 1970s court files proved that asbestos industry authorities knew of asbestos threats considering that the 1930s and had concealed them from the general public.

In Australia, asbestos was widely made use of in building and other industries between 1946 and 1980. From the 1970s there was enhancing issue about the threats of asbestos, and its use was phased out. Mining ceased in 1983. Using asbestos was phased out in 1989 and prohibited entirely in December 2003. The threats of asbestos are now renowneded in Australia and there is assistance and support for victims from asbestosis or mesothelioma cancer.