The health effects of mesothelioma cancer

The hazards of long-term asbestos exposure

Long-term asbestos exposure increases the risk of a person to develop mesothelioma cancer.

Mesothelioma cancer is a disease that affects the pleural linings of the lungs, which also causes other pleural disorders. Not much have been studied about how the disease develops in the human body after a long time of asbestos exposure. The risk of developing mesothelioma cancer is determined by the period of exposure to asbestos, the frequence, the type of asbestos fibers that the person is exposed to, and the concentration.

Of the cancer patients, majority of them are employees frequently exposed to asbestos for more than 15 years or more. They start to develop general symptoms like tightness of the chest, weight loss, loss of appetite, shortness of breath. Ultimately, the symptoms manifest into mesothelioma cancer.

Experts and scientists have long recognized the threat of asbestos to the human health. Largely, because these smallest of fibers are lodged within the lungs. Long-term asbestos exposure hastens the accumulation of these fibers when they are inhaled. Asbestos has been in use widely as an industrial material at the start of the 20th century. As more and more industries proliferated, the use of asbestos became a commonality which has a direct effect on the statistical rise of patients with mesothelioma cancer.

One problem that face scientists is that the disease can be hardly detected at its onset, primarily because mesothelioma cancer manifests only after a period of more than ten years, depending on patient's exposure to asbestos.

Once a person is afflicted with the disease and confirmed by an accurate diagnosis, the patient has a fair number of treatment options, like radiation therapy surgery and chemotherapy. Although treatment results vary on a case to case basis, scientists are not sure if positive results will continue over long periods of time.

Exposure to asbestos is not only confined to industrial place, it is also present in school areas, insulation materials, offices and, especially in construction sites. Even in our own homes, asbestos is present in some products that we buy like roofing materials, adhesives, electrical wiring and thermal paper products. It is just that significant exposure to it will increase an individual's risk to develop mesothelioma cancer.

Lately, there have been asbestos related lawsuits filed in court due to some companies' irresponsible handling of asbestos material. In fact, there have been evidences of the danger of long-term asbestos exposure as early as the 1950s, but there have been some cover-ups which kept these out from public awareness. At present, large amount of information are already available to the public. Awareness to the disease helps in reducing the number of people diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer due to asbestos exposure. It pays to be informed.