This article was originally written by David Arnold Livingston
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What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that grows on the mesothelium, the membrane or protective sac that surrounds the various organs of the body. It guards the organs by producing a special type of fluid to promote mobility of the organs. In the case of the lungs, mesothelium fluid allows ease in the movement when taking in air. Mesothelioma tumor can start on any area of the mesothelium which can be benign or cancerous. Known to be the cause of Mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a heat resistant fibrous mineral used in the industry as the main material in making roofing, gasket compounds, floor tiles and patching compounds. Its versatility makes it a component of various products in the market but it is extremely dangerous once inhaled no matter how small the quantity may be. Inhaled asbestos fiber can pass through the air passages which can come in contact with linings of the lungs which can injure the cells and result to pleural Mesothelioma. Swallowed asbestos on the other hand can affect the fibers lined up on the abdominal cavity resulting to peritoneal Mesothelioma. There are also evidences that link Mesothelioma with Thorotrast, a component used for X-rays but its usage has been stopped for a long time.
The symptoms and signs of Mesothelioma can be very common that is why the patient may just take it for granted. The symptoms may happen from two to three months before Mesothelioma is detected. Pleural Mesothelioma is the commonly occurring type which takes part in almost two thirds of the total detected Mesothelioma cases. The linings of the lungs and chest called pleura are the affected regions of Pleural Mesothelioma. Common signs are weight loss but not related with shift in diet, extreme tiredness, difficulty in swallowing, raspy or hoarse voice, constant shortness of breath, cough that have lasted for a long time, pain the chest or back, extreme sweating and recurring fever. For Peritoneal Mesothelioma, commonly affected organs of the body are bowel, liver and spleen with signs that are similar to bowel related diseases. Early symptoms include pain on the belly area, recurring constipation or diarrhea, increase in the waist area, nausea, vomiting, fever and even anemia. Anyone who encounters these symptoms that have been exposed to asbestos can better consult their doctor for diagnosis to prevent further Mesothelioma complicated problems.
Prevention of Mesothelioma can be best done by avoiding contact with asbestos which is proven to be its main causing agent. Asbestos is found almost everywhere may it be at home, at work or in any public buildings. Workers involved with it must take extra care and precautions to avoid contact through inhalation or swallowing. Low rates of Mesothelioma cases are detected for the past 20 years but nowadays, the number of affected individuals has been growing to a large degree. In United States almost 2,000 new cases are detected each year. It occurs mostly with men since they are commonly the ones involved in business and cases that involve the use of asbestos. Factory workers, miners, railroad laborers, gas mask makers, insulation workers and ship builders are the commonly asbestos related victims.
The patients or the individuals affected with Mesothelioma can file lawsuits against asbestos makers, manufacturers and employers since they have the duty to protect their workers from the negative effects of asbestos including Mesothelioma. Several law firms and lawyers are now available to help the sufferers fight for their right and to attain the justice that they deserve.