Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Mesothelioma- Still a Dread to Deal With… But Easy to Prevent Cancer!

Though rare, mesothelioma has become a word to dread from. Numerous people till today are becoming victims of asbestos poisoning that leads to this cancer. Though the cancer begins with genetic mutation, in 70 to 80% of people, asbestos plays a major role in development of mesothelioma.

The purpose of this article is to spread awareness regarding the harmful use of asbestos in any type of industries.

It is a substance used in many industries without taking the actual precaution it needs while handling. People working in asbestos mill, shipyard workers, workers in heating and construction industries, are at risk. Asbestos is also used in cement, insulation, breaks, flooring, roof shingles, etc. Asbestos is a group of minerals. They are the masses of strong flexible fibers that can be divided into thin threads and woven. During manufacturing process, the tiny asbestos particles float in the air and may be inhaled or swallowed. The fibers may settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation and the cancer develops, though the exact mechanism is not known. It can take 20 to 40 years or more, before the symptoms become apparent after asbestos exposure. Also, people living in the houses of asbestos workers are at risk, as the workers may carry asbestos dust on their clothes, hair, etc. Smoking does not appear to increase the risk but a combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly raises the chances of air passage cancers.

Are there any other factors besides asbestos?

1)     Minerals like asbestos- Zeolite, a naturally occurring asbestos like mineral is supposed to cause mesothelioma. It is used in countries like Turkey to construct homes.
2)     Family history- as with some other cancers, family history is postulated to increase the risk of mesothelioma. But more research is needed to determine its true role.
3)     Radiation- Some researchers link thorium dioxide to the cancer. It is a radioactive substance used along with the X-rays for the diagnosis of different health conditions. But it is no longer used.
4)     Virus – SV40 is a virus found in monkeys. This virus got in contact with human beings when the monkey cells were used for polio vaccine. It is also stated that this virus can have human-to-human transmission but it is not clear how.

What are the alarming findings of mesothelioma that need to be shown to physician?
(Signs and symptoms of the cancer)-
They depend on the origin of cancer.
1)     If the pleura are involved, the presenting symptoms usually are shortness of breath and chest pain while breathing. Sometimes unusual lumps of tissue can be felt under the chest cage. There can be unexplained cachexia (weight loss) and non-productive cough.
2)     Peritoneal mesothelioma may present with abdominal pain, swelling, change in the bowel habit (unusual constipation or diarrhea), lump felt in the abdomen, etc.
3)     If the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, there may be pain in the affected area, swelling of face and neck region with difficulty in swallowing.
Whatever your signs and symptoms indicate, remember that only a doctor can make a diagnosis of mesothelioma.

Treatment of Mesothelioma-

Modern medicine is still struggling to find absolute cure for mesothelioma or any cancer for that matter. Obviously the baseline therapies like surgery, radiation, chemotherapy etc are opted for depending upon the stage of the cancer. But nowadays doctors emphasize on undergoing clinical trials for patients of Mesothelioma because numerous trials are being carried out in reputed cancer institutes. However the results are uncertain and the process may be excessively expensive.

Considering all the options, many doctors nowadays suggest the alternative therapies like Homeopathy for the dread called Mesothelioma. The homeopaths all over the world are contemplating various possibilities for the treatment of Mesothelioma. Though they do not boast to cure Mesothelioma totally, they do have very good results in terms of alleviation of symptoms of Mesothelioma. The excessive cough, chest pain, and constitutional symptoms like malaise, fever or weakness can be effectively dealt with by different Homeopathic remedies.

One of the definitive treatments in Homeopathy for Mesothelioma is said to be mistletoe therapy. It is an immuno-augmentative therapy in which an herb called Iscador is extracted from mistletoe and administered to the patient in the form of injections or tablets. As the name suggests, the therapy aims at boosting the suppressed immune system and thus giving relief to the troubled patient.

Prevention of Mesothelioma-

Simple use of well-fitting facial mask is sufficient to prevent the dreaded after effects of asbestos handling. Rather, all the employers must take ample precautions to avoid such incidences with their employees. Failing to do this, the employer may have to face stringent justice elicited in the court of law by mesothelioma lawyers. The compensation may cost millions to the employers. It is better to be safe than sorry later!


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