Saturday, January 22, 2011

Mesothelioma Treatment

Mesothelioma Treatments
New clinical trials being introduced on a regular basis, there are a variety of treatments being used on mesothelioma. The treatment used is dependant upon a variety of factors, including the extent of the disease, the age and medical history of the patient, and the location and type of the mesothelioma.

The most common treatments are:
Surgery, where the tissue in the affected area is cut out. This may involve removing part of the organ depending on the size of the affected area.

Radiation treatment, which involves the use of radiation treatment to kill off the cancerous cells in the affected area.

Chemotherapy, which is the use of drugs in the body used to kill off the cancerous cells.
A surgical procedure, known as pneumonectomy, can be used for pleural mesothelioma and involves the removal of the diseased lung. An extra-pleural pneumonectomy may be necessary depending upon the spread of the disease, and this may involve the removal of parts of the diaphragm as well as the lung. There is a high risk factor with this surgery, and its viability is dependant upon the patient’s overall health, smoking habits and the extent of the asbestos exposure. A pleurectomy is another type of surgery that may be used, and here part of the chest, abdominal lining and surrounding tissue may be removed.
Radiation treatment
Radiation treatment , which gives the benefit of treating the affected area without exposing the healthy cells and tissue, is another treatment used to treat mesothelioma. This is a speedy and commonly used method for many types of cancer, as well as mesothelioma. It works through the placements of radioactive sources in the affected area, which then give out radiation to kill off the abnormal cells. The radiation continues to transmit for around a year, working to destroy the tumour. Radiation therapy can be used alongside surgery, or if the patient is not well enough for surgery can be used alone.

Chemotherapy treatments
Chemotherapy treatments can be administered in the form of pills or injected medication. The downside of chemotherapy is that the drugs used can contain high toxicity levels and can therefore make patients quite ill. Side effects can include nausea, vomiting, hair loss, weight loss and physical fatigue. There are also a number of post-chemo drugs that are used to alleviate the side effects of the chemotherapy. Because chemotherapy drugs are not targeted towards a specific area, they are left to make their way through the body and find the affected area. This means that they are also able to affect tissue and cells that are unaffected by the disease, which can again cause side effects.
Palliative Therapies
Palliative Therapies may also be used on mesothelioma patients. These therapies entail draining excess fluid from the patient through the use of a needle and suction. To prevent further fluid accumulation drugs may be fed through a tube into the chest following the fluid drainage.
Often, a combination of treatments and a cocktail of drugs have to be used in order to treat mesothelioma patients. Again, the types of treatment used will be dependant upon the age and physical health of the patient as well as upon how far the disease has spread and where it is located.
The above are some of the most common treatments used for the treatment of mesothelioma, but they do not always work effectively on mesothelioma patients. Because of this, sufferers of mesothelioma may be offered treatment as part of a clinical trial as opposed to any of the traditional treatments.
With new mesothelioma cancer treatments are continually being tested through medical research studies, it is hoped that an effective treatment will soon be discovered. These clinical trials enable professionals to asses whether the treatment being tested may one day be effective for general use to treat mesothelioma. And these clinical trials also give hope to the patients who allow themselves to be used as guinea pigs, enabling them to be a part of this important research and find a drug that may help them and others in the same situation.

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Wednesday, February 17, 2010

TNM Staging System

The TNM Staging System uses the same criteria as the systems used to determine the stages of other cancers. The TNM acronym refers to the tumor or “T,” and its size and degree of spreading towards nearby organs, the node or “N,” which means the affect to the lymph nodes, and the metastasis or “M,” which measures the tumor/s spread to organs in other parts of the body. This system also has four stages and is similar to the Butchart staging system.

It does not matter where you are on the mesothelioma disease timeline in regards to the emotional effect it will have on patients when they hear the news. To be diagnosed with mesothelioma can be devastating. In this time of sadness, you need to be able to dedicate your energy towards your health.

There are significant legal ramifications involved with unreasonably exposing someone to asbestos. Therefore, you deserve to have your rights enforced and protected. Accomplish this goal by contacting an experiences attorney today, and let this experienced professional handle your legal affairs in an expeditious and professional manner.

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Butchart Staging System

One of the most widely-used staging systems is the Butchart Staging System. This system includes four stages.

Stage I - The mesothelioma occurs in the left or right side membrane that lines the lungs. This may include the presence of mesothelioma in the membrane sac that covers the heart, the lung, or the diaphragm on the same side.

Stage II - The mesothelioma has spread to other areas, e.g. the chest wall, esophagus, heart or pleura.

Stage III - The mesothelioma has broken into the diaphragm to the lining of the abdomen.

Stage IV - The cancerous cells have entered the bloodstream, allowing the spread of the disease to other organs.

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Mesothelioma Disease Timeline

The mesothelioma disease timeline progresses in stages, much like many other forms of cancer. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, after further test are performed, a physician can determine what stage of the disease you have reached. Your current place on the mesothelioma disease timeline depends on how far the disease has spread. A physician determines your current mesothelioma stage in order to determine the best treatment plan. A physician will used the help of x-rays, CT scans, and/or MRIs to evaluate what is the stage of the mesothelioma.

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Asbestos is a name actually describing a group of mineral silicates, five of which are shown below. It has been used in insulation, roofing, flooring, cements and automobile brake linings just to name a few. The most common form of asbestos is chrysotile, with amosite and crocidolite being next in line.

Asbestos can cause serious health problems. Three specific diseases - asbestosis (scarring of the lungs), lung cancer and mesothelioma (a cancer of the lining of the chest) - have been linked to asbestos.

Commonly Found Asbestos
Photomicrograph of Chrysotile Asbestos

Chrysotile Asbestos
The most common form. Observed here with a dispersion staining objective and a 1.550 refractive index liquid.

Photomicrograph of Amosite Asbestos

Amosite Asbestos
The second most common type of asbestos observed. Dispersion staining colors with a 1.680 refractive index liquid.

Photomicrograph of Anthophylite Asbestos

Anthophylite Asbestos
Dispersion staining colors using a 1.605 Refractive index liquid.

Photomicrograph of Tremolite Asbestos

Tremolite Asbestos
Colors observed using a Red 1 filter.

Photomicrograph of Crocidolite Asbestos

Crocidolite Asbestos
Dispersion staining colors using a 1.680 Refractive index liquid.

Photomicrograph of Fiberglass

(Mineral Wool)

Glass fibers are commonly mistaken for asbestos.

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Wednesday, October 7, 2009

New York County Pays Fine for Illegal Asbestos Removal

Cayuha Country New York legislators agreed to pay a $10,000 fine in order to resolve illegal removal of asbestos at a county building last year. The fine was issued by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and could have been much higher had they not reached an agreement.

The fine stems from the removal of asbestos from the county’s Board of Elections building in March 2006. Despite the payment, the county still faces at least one more pending violation and a class action lawsuit by people who claim they were exposed to asbestos.

What started as a simple replacement project for asbestos used on a boiler turned into a scandal when it was revealed the asbestos was handled improperly when it was removed. When it was discovered, the building was temporarily closed and the county was investigated by federal prosecutors (though no charges are expected). Earlier this year the contractor in charge of the work pleaded guilty to violating the Clean Air Act.

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Cancer Replacing Heart Disease as World's Leading Killer

The leading killer in the United States and across the globe is currently heart disease however, according to the World Health Organization, that is about to change. Cancer is quickly replacing heart disease as the world's number one killer due to various worldwide factors.

The number of patients diagnosed annually with cancer is expected to continually rise over the next decades. In 2008 the number of new cancer cases is expected to reach 12 million with deaths attributed to the disease in the amount of 7 million.

The world's population is continually growing and with that growth comes an increase in the number of new cancer cases. Smoking has become more popular in many developing countries and the populations of India and China now hold over 40% of the world's smokers. The United States, in contrast, has experienced a decrease in smoking over the past decade and less than 20% of America's adults smoke cigarettes. This fact has caused a decrease in the number of U.S. cancer cases. Improved cancer screening methods and better treatments have also helped reduce America's cancer rates.

Many cancer organizations gathered recently to draw attention to the global threat of the disease. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (a part of WHO) released a report that details the current statistics.

According to the report, "The global cancer burden doubled in the last thirty years of the twentieth century, and it is estimated that this will double again between 2000 and 2020, and nearly triple by 2030."

The report outlined additional issues regarding worldwide cancer care including the fact that narcotics are illegal in some African countries even for use during cancer treatment. Many of those same countries have very limited budgets for health care and communicable diseases spread rapidly.

As the Westernized world has seen a decrease in cancer, poorer countries have seen a huge increase. In fact, today more people die from cancer than from TB, malaria and HIV combined. The recent gathering of cancer organizations hopes to spotlight this fact and get assistance from the U.S. government.

Dr. Boyle said, "The rapid increase in the global cancer burden represents a real challenge for health systems worldwide. However, there is a clear message of hope: although cancer is a devastating disease, it is largely preventable. We know that preventive measures such as tobacco control, reduction of alcohol consumption increased physical activity, vaccination for Hepatitis B and Human Papillomavirus (HPV), and screening and awareness could have a great impact on reducing the global cancer burden."

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