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Mesothelioma: It Can Happen to Anyone

September 1st, 2008

mesothelioma-warning-sign.jpgFor the past few years, mesothelioma was something that I knew very little about other than its use as a relatively high value keyword that is displayed generously by made-for-AdSense (MFA) sites. Earlier this morning, I had the chance to read through this article by Clara Osei-Yeboah, which provides a brief overview of what mesothelioma is and why it is being taken so seriously by lawyers, doctors, and even Internet marketers.

Throughout the past decade, the term mesothelioma has become more recognizable as people are beginning to realize its dangers and the threat it may pose to society. Once an obscure disease that meant relatively little to the general public, mesothelioma is now one of the various sections of cancer research itself.

Simply put, mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer in which malignant cells develop in the mesothelium – a protective lining that covers most of the body’s internal organs. The cells become abnormal and divide without control or order. They can invade and damage nearby tissues. It is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, specifically inhalation of dangerous asbestos fibers. It is very serious and potentially life threatening. Learning of your diagnosis of mesothelioma should not be taken lightly as it is a very lethal and dire matter.

Mesothelioma is often seen in older patients. Statistics have proven that due to their work history, the disease most often tackles men between the ages of 50 and 70 who were at one point of their life employed in an asbestos-laden environment. Though women still have a much lower frequency of the disease, cases of what are known as second-hand exposure to asbestos have facilitated much more diagnoses among women. Second-hand exposure to asbestos is a case where people are exposed to asbestos in a more indirect way. They are usually not working with it, but instead may be living with it in their homes or in their community.

Those who have developed mesothelioma have worked on jobs where they inhaled the asbestos particles in the air, or came into contact with the asbestos dust and fibers in other ways – an example would be washing the clothes of a family member who previously worked with asbestos. This was before bans and warnings of asbestos existence became commonplace in most workplace environments. Now people are much more cautious about the risk of exposure.

When inhaled or introduced to the body, asbestos becomes lodged in the mesothelium – the protective lining of the body’s internal organs. Once asbestos has made its new home in the body, the durability and high resistance of the asbestos fibers prevents the body from discharging them or breaking them down chemically. The fibers then cause a chronic inflammation of the surrounding tissue, which leads to the development of harmful scar tissues and unfortunate growth of tumors.

Asbestos is the name given to a group of minerals with long, thin fibrous crystals. It is soft, pliant, and able to withstand heat. This material became increasingly popular among manufacturers and builders in the late 19th century due to its resistance to heat, electricity and chemical damage, its sound absorption and tensile strength. Steam pipes, boilers, and door gaskets are a few examples of products containing or composed of asbestos. As a caution to consumers, today such products are typically labeled as containing asbestos.

There are different types of mesothelioma, depending on exactly where in the body it is located and just how severe the disease actually is. Different types of mesothelioma will usually require different types of treatment that may vary from one patient to another. For example, the treatment of pleural mesothelioma, one of the more aggressive types of this disease, is difficult and more complex. It is best to go through each treatment option with your doctor.

Mesothelioma is scary. This article was written to inform people of its unseen dangers, ways to overcome the disease, symptoms and available treatment options.

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