Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Mesothelioma awareness

Hello All,

This is a truly offbeat (and very belated) post, quite unlike what I normally post. I was approached by Heather Von St. James, a strong and determined survivor, to post about Mesothelioma. She is hoping to bring knowledge to people so that the chances of survival of the patients of this disease go up.

I wish I had had the time to post this on 4th February but better late than never. This blog-post is dedicated to awareness towards Mesothelioma, a rare type of cancer. I will copy what Wikipedia has to say below (as I am no authority on the subject).

Mesothelioma (or, more precisely, malignant mesothelioma) is a rare form of cancer that develops from transformed cells originating in the mesothelium, the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body. It is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.[1]
The most common anatomical site for the development of mesothelioma is the pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), and the pericardium (the sac that surrounds theheart),[2] or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).
Most people who develop mesothelioma have worked in jobs where they inhaled asbestos, or were exposed to asbestos dust and fibers in other ways. It has also been suggested that washing clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos increases their risk for developing mesothelioma.[3] Unlike lung cancer, there seems to be no association between mesothelioma and tobaccosmoking, but smoking greatly increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers.[4] Some people who were exposed to asbestos have collected damages for asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma. Compensation via asbestos funds or class action lawsuits is an important issue in law practices regarding mesothelioma (see asbestos and the law).
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall) or chest wall pain, and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss. The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, but must be confirmed pathologically, either with serous effusion cytology or with a biopsy (removing a sample of the suspicious tissue) and microscopic examination. A thoracoscopy (inserting a tube with a camera into the chest) can be used to acquire biopsy material, and allows the introduction of substances such as talc to obliterate the pleural space (a procedure called pleurodesis), preventing more fluid from accumulating and pressing on the lung. Despite treatment with chemotherapyradiation therapy or sometimes surgery, the disease carries a poor prognosis. Research about screening tests for the early detection of mesothelioma is ongoing.

Heather Von St. James writes her own blog on this link and this is one of the most inspiring and empowering links I have come across ever. Do spread the word through your blogs, forwards, FB etc., specially to those people who work in the proximity of asbestos processing plants etc.

Let's increase awareness and lower the mortality rate of mesothelioma........

Wishing everyone happy health and safe and healthy life


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