Sunday, May 30, 2010

Signs Of Mesothelioma Lung Cancer

Exposure to Asbestos can be an occupational or environmental hazard. People who live in central Turkey are environmentally exposed to the naturally occurring asbestos in that area with some families having a genetic predisposition to the erionite in asbestos which causes Mesothelioma. Others at risk are families that live in old buildings containing asbestos. Children that are exposed are at a much higher risk to contract Mesothelioma. People who are occupationally exposed to asbestos are those who work in mines, mills, factories, naval shipyards that use the mineral in manufacturing. Other people subject to exposure to asbestos are construction workers who remodel old buildings or are involved in their demolition. Also asbestos can be brought home on clothing which can cause second hand exposure to family members.  Finally, studies show asbestos exposure and cigarette smoke (a carcinogen) put you at a 90 times greater risk for lung cancer.
Symptoms to the conditions above include coughing, shortness of breath (due to pleural effusion which is fluid between the lung and chest wall), chest wall pain, and weight loss. Diagnosis is suspect by chest x-ray and CT scan. It is confirmed with a biopsy and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy test (camera and tube into the lung) may also be done. Treatment involves chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and surgery. Sadly to say, all carry a poor prognosis and screening tests for early detection are ongoing. At this time an elevated serum osteopontin level may be the only clue available to the onset of these illnesses.
Since asbestos exposure is unhealthy and hazardous and leads to serious health conditions, today occupational safety standards against exposure in the work place are in force. The use of respirators, protective clothing, exposure monitoring, hygiene facilities and practices, warning signs, labeling, record keeping, and medical exams. The key factor against exposure is the wearing of personal protective equipment which is essential to lowering the risk.
Because asbestos has been in use for over a century now, millions of American workers have been unknowingly exposed to its devastating effects to the body if inhaled. If you have become a mesothelioma patient yourself you need to be aware of your rights and pursue legal action if necessary. Hopefully this article has made you aware of the dangers and warning signs to you and your family that you may be able to avoid exposure and its serious consequences