Mesothelioma is a vicious form of cancer that is becoming more and more common. It is almost always caused by prolonged exposure to the chemical asbestos. It is extremely important that you look for information online about Mesothelioma if a loved one of yours has it, and even if they work in a field where they may have come into contact with asbestos. It is important to do research to understand the risk factors associated with this illness. You could get a large amount of money in return that could be used to pay for the treatment if that is the case. There is a lot of information about this online. This disease is tracked by looking at mesothelioma stages, to see how far along it has come.
Mesothelioma is caused when a person inhales dust particles made up of asbestos. Asbestos is a grouping of silicate minerals which are used commercially because of several desirable physical properties. Asbestos is often used for insulation. Many buildings in both the United States and Canada have asbestos insulation, it is not unlikely for someone you know to have come into contact with it. Asbestos is also used in the boat building industry. During World War II asbestos large quantities of asbestos were used wrap the pipes, line the boilers, and cover engine and turbine parts. This was in order to protect them from heat damage. It is estimated that more than one hundred thousand people either have died or will die from exposure to asbestos in the boat building industry.
Even the ancients new of the danger of this material. Asbestos was actually named by the Greeks, however the asbestos currently means 'lime' in the Greek language. The Greek geographer Strabo famously wrote about the effect Asbestos had on slaves. He noted that the slaves used to weave cloth from asbestos often developed severe lung conditions. The Romans, Persians, Chinese and other peoples also had a fair amount of exposure to Asbestos in the ancient world.
There are hundreds and hundreds of products your loved one could have come in contact with that may have caused him or her to get mesothelioma. These include drywall joint compounds, plaster, gaskets, brake pads or shoes, stage curtains, fire blankets, interior fire doors, caulk, roofing tars, transite panels or pipes, vinyl floor tiles, and adhesives. There was even a brand of cigarettes that existed for a short period of time that had this dangerous chemical substance in the filter.
There are other diseases and problems that asbestos can cause as well. One of the first is asbestos warts. These are simply caused when the sharp fibers from asbestos enter into the skin and the body makes a callous like growth over it. These are considered benign. Pleural thickening is also possible. This is where pleural plaques build up inside the lungs and eventually cause lung impairment.
Mesothelioma however is caused when malignant cells begin to build up in the mesothelium in the lung. The mesothelium is a protective lining in the body that protects the majority of the bodies vital organs. Mesothelioma is most likely to build up in the pleura, which is an outer lining of the lung and is part of the mesothelium. Most people who develop this disease have worked in jobs where they are surrounded by asbestos dusts.
Mesothelioma staging, or mesothelioma stages, is the process of finding out how far the cancer has spread. Mesothelioma stages are based on the information gathered through X rays, CT scans, and MRI scans. The treatment options are chosen based on this information. The mesothelioma stages system that is usually chosen is the Butchart System. The Butchart mesothelioma staging system is based almost intirely on the extent of the primary mass of the cancerous tumor. This system divides the progress of the cancer into four main mesothelioma stages.
The first stage of this system is when there is a small amount of cancer that has begun to grow. This cancer can only be growing on one side of the chest, not both. It is also still considered stage one when the cancer has yet to breach the chest wall.
Mesothelioma stage II is when the mesothelioma has began to enter the chest wall. During this stage it might also begin to take over the esophagus. This is the organ that connects the throat to the stomach and allows a passage for food to pass through. The heart and lymph nodes may also begin to get involved. The tumor has not also spread to both sides of the chest.
During the third mesothelioma stage the cancerous tumor has begun to spread to the diaphragm. This is an organ bellow the lungs that aids in breathing. It will have likely grown all the way through the diaphragm and has reaching the lining of the abdomnial cavity. This lining is known as the peritoneum. It can also spread to some of the lymph nodes that are beyond the chest.
The fourth stage is when the mesothelioma cancer has taken over almost the entire body. It has usually gotten into the blood stream and begins to take over other organs in the body. This process is known as metastasis. This is caused because cancer cells have begun to leak, break away, or spill from the primary tumor because it has grown to large. They usually get into the circulatory system and travel through the blood of the patient latching on to virtually every major organ and tissue of the body. This is one of the main halmarks of malignancy, or malignant tumors which contrast with benign tumors. This is the worst of the mesothelioma stages.
Treatment of mesothelioma usually uses conventional methods used to treat cancer. This usually includes radiation and chemotherapy. These have a high success rate if the patient is in stage one or stage two. However it is only likely that it will extend the patients life span 5 years. This however is common when most forms of cancer goes into remission. Surgery by itself has proven to be ineffective by itself for most cases of mesothelioma. The mesothelioma stages can greatly effect the chance a patient has of surviving the disease.