Mesothelioma is a cancer of tissue, typically associated with frequent and prolonged exposure to asbestos material. Due to an increased awareness of the dangers associated with asbestos, many companies are eliminating this material from manufacturing. The most common products that can have asbestos are cement piping, sheet material, tiles, roofing, asphalt floor tile, vinyl floors and home insulation. Here are some frequently asked questions when it comes to knowing more information about asbestos and mesothelioma.
Is Mesothelioma Inherited?
No, mesothelioma is not an inherited disease nor it is contagious to others. Family members who may have been second handedly exposed to asbestos material can be vulnerable to developing mesothelioma cancer. For example, if a family member who works around asbestos brought home material accidentally with their clothes or uniform, that is unfortunately putting others in the home at risk.
What is Mesothelioma Cancer?
It is a rare cancer which is due to a person inhaling or ingesting asbestos fiber material. It develops among the mesothelium, a membrane of tissue that lines our chest cavities, abdominal cavities, lungs and other organs internally.
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed in Patients?
The first couple signs of mesothelioma involve a dry cough or shortness of breath. Malignant mesothelioma is not very easy to diagnose, can be quick to spread and resilient. A shortness of breath is caused by water building around the lungs, making it challenging to take a full inhale and exhale. Many patients who have these symptoms do receive treatment, however the symptoms do not always go away or only recede for a brief period of time. Diagnostic testing can include x-rays, CT scans, and MRI. However, a tissue sample is the best way to diagnose mesothelioma.
Can Mesothelioma Be Cured?
Unfortunately, there is currently no known cure for malignant mesothelioma. Some treatments can help ease the discomfort and pain associated with symptoms, in addition to potentially extending the patient’s life expectancy. Doctors and researchers are continually looking for advanced drugs and options for treating mesothelioma.
Can Smoking Increase Chances of Getting Mesothelioma?
No, this type of cancer is so far only known to be caused from asbestos. However, researchers have found that patients who do smoke after a cancer diagnosis can have increased pain compared to those who never have. Patients who smoke and have to undergo surgery may be increasing their chances of heart, lung and anesthesia complications. Smoking can prolong the healing of wounds and can increase the chances of a wound infection. Additionally, smoking may also cause a reduction in the effectiveness of cancer treatments.
Mesothelioma is a very serious cancer, but current treatment options have the potential to reduce the frequency and intensity of symptoms. Contact your doctor right away if you have shortness of breath or difficulty breathing and may have been exposed to asbestos. Your health is important and your doctor can run appropriate tests to determine if treatment for a condition is needed. You can also contact people who specialize in asbestos abatement Los Angeles CA trusts to make sure you’re ahead of any issues.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Nielsen Environmental for their insight into asbestos.