Monday, November 30, 2009

Have you worked in shipyards before? Then you are at risk of asbestos exposure

There are certain jobs that increase one's risk of asbestos exposure. If you worked in shipyards during World War II and the Korean War you were very likely exposed to asbestos. The material was greatly used for shipbuilding because of its ability to resist corrosion and high temperatures. The asbestos dust tended to build up around these areas and other inadequately ventilated parts of the ship, which led to human exposure aboard vessels.

Not only the shipbuilders, but the crews of those ships and the longshoreman (those who load the ships) were heavily exposed to asbestos as well. In fact, before the 1980s, many longshoremen probably even loaded bundles of asbestos onto ships.

Before that time, the health risk associated with asbestos was not known by these workers and no special precautions were taken to prevent inhalation.

A scientific study revealed that 86 percent of shipyard workers with 20 or more years of experience developed asbestos-related lung disease or lung cancer. If you have ever worked in a shipyard or on an old ship and feel you may have been exposed to asbestos, it is important that you discuss it with your physician. As with most types of cancer, mesothelioma is best treated if detected early.

If you or a family member are diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease you should seek to know more about the disease and seek for legal help to you get monetary compensation from those that wrongfully exposed you to asbestos.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

How To Recognise the early symptoms of asbestosis

Asbestosis is one of the disease associated with asbestos exposure and it is characterized by chronic scarring of the lungs. Thankfully however it is not a life threatening disease although it is chronic in nature. Most of its symptoms are common to other respiratory illness but if you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and you start to experience these symptoms you should start suspecting that maybe you have asbestosis.

Early Symptoms of Asbestosis

Asbestosis symptoms generally show up in three stages. In the earliest stage, it is usually assumed that the mild symptoms are due to general illness, being overweight or simply being out of shape. These are some of the early symptoms of asbestosis:

-Dyspnoea{difficulty in breathing} after exertion or exercise. This is usually the first symptom and it is most often overlooked as a symptom of some other milder commoner respiratory illness. Some other people just assume that they may be overweight.-

-Dry cough, especially a chronic cough that isn't associated with other symptoms. For example, a dry cough that is not associated with fever nor other signs of infection.

-General malaise or easy fatiguability. - -Wheezing can sometimes occur early on as well, especially if the individual is also a smoker.

Mid-Stage Symptoms of Asbestosis

Mid-stage asbestosis symptoms include all of the earlier symptoms, plus:

-Dyspnoea{difficulty in breathing} that has now worsened with Dyspnoea now occurring at rest when the victim is not engaged in any physical activity.

-Recurring chest pain or a feeling of tightness in the chest area. Some people feel like they "can't catch their breath" or that they cannot fill their lungs.

-Clubbed fingers or pitted, uneven fingernails - these symptoms indicate that the concentration of oxygen in the blood is reduced as result of poor absorption of oxygen into the blood stream via the lungs.

-A honeycomb-like appearance of the lungs in an MRI scan film.-

These symptoms of asbestosis are caused by permanent scarring of lung tissue, this causes inefficient transfer of oxygen into the blood stream. Asbestos could also result in the development of other more severe types of asbestos related disease like mesothelioma and lung cancer, so you should also be conversant with the symptoms of these other diseases.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

3 Important Medical Costs Associated With Asbestos Related Diseases.

The medical costs associated with diseases that are related to asbestos exposure can be extremely high. Every patient afflicted with an asbestos related disease must be aware of the likely medical expenses he/she will likely incur. Asbestos-related illnesses can be very expensive for a variety of reasons. Understanding the expenses involved in treatment is an important factor when considering filing a claim against the company responsible for asbestos exposure.

1-Long-term care costs.

Asbestosis is a progressive disease with no true cure. If you are diagnosed with asbestosis, your physician will work to make you as comfortable as possible and maintain your lung functioning as long as possible. The use of oxygen therapy (which provides the body with adequate oxygen) is one method of therapy. Another beneficial treatment is respiratory therapy, where the patient works with a respiratory therapist to strengthen the lungs. A respiratory therapist can also teach special breathing techniques that will help the patient clear secretions from the lungs. This therapy can help slow the progression of asbestosis.

2-The cost of combination therapy.

Mesothelioma is aggressive and highly resistant to treatment. Once diagnosed with the disease, the average mesothelioma patient survives roughly one year. There are several reasons why mesothelioma is so difficult to treat. One factor is the difficulty in detecting the cancer. By the time the patient is diagnosed with mesothelioma, it has often spread. Another factor is the location of the tumors, which are sandwiched in the mesothelium lining. Because of these factors, any hope for a cure must include aggressive treatment. This may entail surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation in any combination, and includes frequent medical monitoring to determine how well the treatment is working. This form of combination therapy is usually very expensive requiring the use of expensive drugs and highly specialized medical personnel whose services do not come cheap.

3-The cost of participating in clinical trials.

Because mesothelioma is often a terminal disease, many mesothelioma patients are advised to participate in clinical trials. Clinical trials are used to test the efficacy of new drugs to treat diseases before approval for general use by the drug regulatory agencies {FDA in the US}. Involvement in clinical trials is strictly voluntary, and may provide a last hope of successful treatment for many patients. The costs of participating in clinical trials are not usually covered by insurance, as they are not considered standard methods of treatment. Some expenses of a clinical trial will be paid by the hospital conducting the trial and some expenses will not be covered which the participant will have to bear.

Medical treatment for asbestos related diseases can be very expensive and every victim should file a lawsuit against the companies that were responsible for the wrongful exposure to asbestos to be able to claim much needed compensation.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Mesothelioma Settlement-Structured Lump Sum Payments

When you are diagnosed with mesothelioma, you should seek for monetary compensation from the people who wrongfully exposed you to asbestos fibers which ultimately led to the development of the deadly terminal cancer. This compensation will be needed to offset the huge medical bills that will arise from the treatment of the cancer and it will also provide necessary funds for the family of the victim when the victim most likely passes away.

Some lawsuits can result in payment of large sums while others are not that successful and result in the payment of little or nil compensation. The defendant may also opt for an appeal of the verdict in which case payment is further delayed.

Monetary settlements come in various forms and one of the payment methods that can be adapted is the structured lump sum payment. In this type of settlement the victim will receive an amount of money at periodic intervals like monthly, or every two months or quarterly until the money is paid in full.

One major draw back of this type of settlement is that since the money comes in small batches getting huge amounts of money to make the needed big lump sums of money for medical treatment is difficult. However you can by pass this obstacle by seeking the services of lawsuit funding companies who will turn intermittent payments into a big one time lump payment for you for an agreed fee, this will help you to raise the big lump sum amounts that you need for your medical bills especially.

In some cases, payments are made by settlement trust funds set up by companies that have gone bankrupt, many of them are offer lump sum structured settlement payments to the victims of asbestos related disease.

Asbestos laws and lawsuits are very complex so every mesothelioma patient should learn as much as they can about mesothelioma lawsuits and they must always seek for the services of an expert mesothelioma lawyer to handle their case.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Mesothelioma Doctors- Who Are They?

Most mesothelioma doctors are specialist doctors in different fields. It can be an overwhelming experience when you have to see different specialist and having a basic understanding of the different types of doctors that you are likely to see will help you handle the anxiety that you are bound to experience. These are the different kinds of specialists that you are likely to come across:


Oncologists are doctors who specialize in treating not only mesothelioma but cancers of all types. They specialize in using chemotherapy or radiation therapy for cancer. There are two types of oncologists, those that specialize mainly in the use of radiotherapy known as radiation oncologists and those that specialize in using chemotherapy known as chemotherapy oncologists.


A pulmonary specialist, or pulmonologist, or chest physician is a specialist in treating lung diseases. They treat diseases like asthma, COPD and other diseases of the lungs. Mesothelioma doctors who are pulmonologists can also treat other asbestos related diseases such as asbestosis which may not involve an actual tumor or cancer.

Thoracic Surgeons

These doctors are highly specialized in doing invasive surgery on the lungs, heart and chest. These surgeons are needed when surgery is being considered as the form of treatment for mesothelioma. They can perform various curative and palliative surgeries on the mesothelioma patient.


Mesothelioma doctors will need the support of a medical pathologist who will do tests on you regularly to monitor progress. The pathologist will do blood and urine tests and interpret some biopsies in order to determine the condition and extent of your illness. The pathologist works mainly in the laboratory and hardly ever gets to meet the patient, but their contribution is very crucial to determining the type of treatment and the likely prognosis of the disease.

Most of these specialist doctors work in the big hospitals in the major cities and the mesothelioma patient will need to search for more information about them to be able to locate them.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Mesothelioma Compensation-Are You Aware Of Structured Settlements?

The National Cancer Institute defines Malignant mesothelioma as a very rare form of cancer, in which the cancer (malignant) cells are found in the sac lining the chest (the pleura), the lining of the abdominal cavity (the peritoneum) or the lining around the heart (the pericardium).

Mesothelioma is a killer. People that have lived or worked around asbestos can show up with this killer disease 20-40 years later. Sometimes a brief exposure to asbestos is all it takes to develop the disease. Some of the places that a person might have been exposed to asbestos include: pipe insulation, insulation around fireplaces, some types of siding, clutches and brakes, tiles for floors and ceilings, boiler insulation, shipyard workers, paper mill workers, mechanics, electricians, bricklayers, millwrights, plasterers, refinery workers, carpenters, and others.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with Mesothelioma, you should consult mesothelioma attorneys for legal advice. You may be entitled to millions of dollars from negligent companies. Many Mesothelioma attorneys will work with clients on a contingency basis, meaning that the lawyer will take his fee from winnings of the structured settlements and that the client doesn't have to come up with money out of his pocket to hire and pay an attorney. Most mesothelioma lawyers will take about 40% of the compensation amount.

Asbestos cancer is a cancer that should have been prevented it is the result of deliberate negligence on the part of companies. People that have been exposed to it and developed this killer cancer from it and their families deserve to be compensated. Compensation in the form of structured settlements or payments can take care of the now disabled victim and the victim's family.

These companies have set aside millions of dollars in the form of structured settlements to pay the claims of injured workers and people who have been wrongly exposed to asbestos and developed the cancer Mesothelioma as a result of that exposure.

Structured settlements are legal arrangements that provide the plaintiff with a personal injury claim regular payments, sometimes of various amounts, over the period of several years, and sometimes for the rest of the plaintiff's life. These structured settlements can also be passed on in a will to survivors in some circumstances when the plaintiff dies. When a terrible accident or injury has occurred, negligence for example, structured settlements can be very substantial and a continuous stream of income can often be expected.

Most Mesothelioma attorneys will tell clients that the downside to structured settlements or a Mesothelioma claim is that it could take a long time for payments to begin, but the truth of the matter is that it does not always take that much time.

You should discuss with your mesothelioma attorney on the possibility of getting a structured payment for you and your family members.

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Mesothelioma Clinical Trial-An overview of three important clinical trials

Clinical trials are used to find out whether the treatment is safe for general use and whether it is actually effective against diseases. Participation in clinical trials is an important treatment option for many patients with mesothelioma as much of the currently used treatments offer little hope for a cure.

Mesothelioma is very resistant to treatment h and medical experts believe that there could be an epidemic of mesothelioma cases in years to come. Clinical trials (research studies with people) are designed to find new treatments and better ways to use current treatments, raising hope for victims of this devastating disease. These are three important ongoing clinical trials for mesothelioma treatment.

1-Phase III Vorinostat (SAHA) clinical trial for progressive or relapsed malignant pleural mesothelioma patients. This trial is studying the use of chemotherapy drug vorinostat to kill cancerous cells and stop their division, it is also believed that the drug can inhibit enzymes that are needed by the cancerous cells for growth and multiplication. These studies are currently in the third phase to understand its effects on epithelial, sarcomatous, and recurrent mesothelioma. Phase III Vorinostat (SAHA) trials for progressive or relapsed malignant pleural mesothelioma patients are currently underway at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center at UCLA and Warren Grant Magnuson Clinical Center - NCI Clinical Studies Support, Bethesda, Maryland.

2-Phase II AZD2171 clinical trial for patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma Phase II AZD2171 for patients with unresectable malignant mesothelioma is investigating the use of chemotherapy drugs to inhibit enzymes that slow the growth and block the supply of blood into the cancerous cells. Cancer cells depend on the formation of new blood vessels to bring blood that will supply the nutrients that they need for growth, new drugs are being studied that will inhibit the development of these new blood vessels. This study hopes to result in the development of drugs that will be used to treat epithelial, sarcomatous, advanced, and recurrent malignant mesothelioma. These clinical trials are underway in Arizona, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington, and Wyoming.

3-Phase II clinical trial on the use of Pemetrexed Disodium with Gemcitabine or Carboplatin in advanced malignant mesothelioma patients. The Phase II clinical trial on the use of Pemetrexed Disodium with Gemcitabine or Carboplatin in advanced malignant mesothelioma patients clinical is a study to study the effects of chemotherapy drugs pemetrexed disodium, gemcitabine, and carboplatin on advanced and recurrent malignant mesothelioma. This study is in phase II and is being conducted in several locations across the country including Delaware, Florida Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.

Mesothelioma victims should always endeavor to ask their oncologist about available clinical trials in their area.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Mesothelioma Case Value-How Strong Is Your Case?

If you are suffering from an asbestos exposure related disease you must seek the advice of a competent mesothelioma attorney who will review your case to determine the strength of your claim whether your case is worth pursuing. The factors that will be considered by your lawyer will most likely include:-

1-A genuine diagnosis of asbestos related disease. Your lawyer will want to know if you have been diagnosed with this disease by a competent qualified doctor. A diagnosis by a medical expert is a clear indicator that you were at some time exposed to asbestos.

2-Your work history. Where have you worked? For how long did you work there? What was the nature of your job? Many asbestos related industries, like ship work, electrical work, certain aspects of automobile work have a proven history of asbestos exposure in the workplace.

3- Your prognosis. The worse the prognosis of your condition the more likely you are to get compensated. A bad prognosis will place extra financial burden on you to cater for expensive medical bills and treatment, it will also put on you the responsibility of providing money for your family after you might have passed away.

It is imperative for an asbestos mesothelioma victim to get an expert lawyer to guide him/her through the complex asbestos litigation.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Mesothelioma Lawsuits- Looking at the Case Response Stage

The second stage of a mesothelioma lawsuit typically is the response of the defendant to the lawsuit filed against them. The defendants in mesothelioma lawsuits are the asbestos companies responsible for exposing the victims to asbestos. The defendants are given around 30 days to respond and the plaintiff does not have to wait for ever. This is known as the case response stage of the lawsuit.

The defendant is served court papers either by mailing the petition to the company or by contacting the people involved especially if the company has been declared bankrupt.

Upon filing paperwork and sending it to the defendant, your lawyer may receive a number of possible responses. The defendant rarely admits to any form of guilt, most times they will make allegations against the petition.

The kind of allegations you should expect are:

- Your health problems were caused by smoking, drinking or drug abuse.

-There is a strong family history of similar diseases in your family.

-You were exposed to asbestos at some other places where you worked.

-You have not been properly diagnosed by a qualified medical professional.

-Your petition was not properly filed, even if you filed it on time.

-You were exposed to asbestos and other dangerous substances in your own home, not just at work.

-You do not have the authority to file a wrongful death lawsuit on behalf of the deceased.

-Your medical condition has nothing to do with exposure to asbestos. Do not be alarmed if the response you receive contains one of the above (or a similar response), as this is to be expected. Some of the elements in their response may be used if the case goes to trial and your lawyer will be fully prepared to refute such fallacious claims. The response may include a settlement request, but this is rare.

If a company has dealt with asbestos cases in the past, they may be willing to settle right away in order to avoid a lengthy and costly lawsuit. However, this first settlement offer may be very low. Most often you will have to wait till when the trial is close or when the trial has commenced before they offer a reasonable amount. Every mesothelioma patient should have a good knowledge of mesothelioma lawyers and mesothelioma lawsuits to be able get the compensation they deserve.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Mesothelioma Lawsuits-Important facts for you to know

Passing through an asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit is usually a very challenging experience for most victims of asbestos related diseases. They are faced with legal technicalities that they have very little knowledge about. They will need an experienced mesothelioma asbestos lawyer to carry them along and explain things to them in a very simple manner that they can understand, their lawyer should explain every stage of the legal process to them and should also endeavor to explain certain legal terms which they will be exposed to, to them.Some of these legal terms are:

-Plaintiff and defendants-The victim is known as the plaintiff while the company that is being sued by you, are the defendants-

-Petition:-This is the official legal complaint that your lawyer presents to the court stating who you are and why you are instituting legal action.

-Interrogatories: - During the third stage of the lawsuit you may be required to fill out written questionnaires as part of an interview to collect data and facts about the case by the defendant's lawyers, these questionnaires are called interrogatories.

-Deposition: - Also during the third stage of the lawsuit known as the discovery process, the lawyers might record the proceedings of their interview of you on a videotape, this is called a deposition and this can be done in your home.

The case process is a bit different when a wrongful death lawsuit is filled by the family members of a dead mesothelioma victim. Even if the victim passes away during the personal lawsuit the initial case will be closed and a wrongful lawsuit will be filed instead.

In any case whether a personal injury suit or a wrongful death suit is filled the involvement of the victims and their relations is very limited and the entire stages of the lawsuit are handled by their lawyers. The victim should also note that he/she would not be required to pay upfront for the services of a mesothelioma lawyer as most of them work on contingency bases meaning that they only get paid a percentage of the compensation that you receive , if you do not get compensated they do not get paid.

One of the major challenges you are going to face as a mesothelioma victim is the choice of the right lawyer to handle your sensitive case. Your choice of lawyer goes a long way in determining how successful you are going to be in your pursuit of justice.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Mesothelioma - History, Hazards and Dietary Advice

History of asbestos.

There are four main types of asbestos; Amosite (brown fibers), Anthophyllite (gray fibers), white Christie, and blue Crocidolite. Chrysotile has curly fibers while the other three have rod like fibers. These fibers fragment into dust quite readily and waft into the air. They can adhere to skin or clothing and are easily swallowed or inhaled.

Half a century ago, asbestos was hailed by many as a miracle product. They said nearly anything could be made from this mineral. It as used as an additive to reinforce mortar and plastics. Asbestos fibers can also be separated into fine threads that do not conduct electricity and are unaffected by heat or chemicals.

Use of asbestos drastically increased during World War II. Shipbuilding incorporated asbestos extensively in freighters and support vessels to insulate boilers, steam pipes and hot water pipes. Asbestos became the miracle construction material as it was readily obtained, processed, and transported. After WWII cars used asbestos in brake shoes and clutch pads. Asbestos found its way into residential and industrial building materials, water supply, sewage materials, ceiling and floor tiles, and vermiculite garden materials to name a few products.

In the 1970's, following the discoveries of the health dangers of asbestos dust inhalation, the U.S Consumer Product Safety Commission prohibited the use of asbestos in several products that could liberate asbestos fibers into the environment during use. Regulations governing the use of asbestos and public concern since 1970 have created a significant drop in the use of asbestos in the United States. The same pattern has been seen in most of the developed world.

In 1989 all new uses of asbestos were banned by the Environmental Protection Agency while any old uses before that year were still allowed. The EPA suggested that schools inspect for damaged asbestos and eliminate any exposure or enclose it in protective barriers. Vermiculite, widely used in horticulture, became a concern of the EPA . They recommended outdoor use, limiting the amount of dust used, and keeping vermiculite damp.

Health hazards

Asbestos may create serious health hazards such as coughing, lung damage, shortness of breath, and lung cancer. Most people do not become sick in the early stages of contact but usually need continued exposure. This often means on jobs such as mining, milling, manufacturing asbestos products, and the building construction industry. Firemen, demolition and destruction workers, drywall removers, and anyone else involved in trades that involve destruction of buildings, ships, and automobiles are also exposed to the hazards of asbestos.

Over a number of years continual exposure to asbestos can cause very serious health problems, such as mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare type of carcinoma of the membrane that lines numerous cavities of the body, including the lungs, abdomen and heart, and has been associated with exposure to asbestos dust. In mesothelioma, the cells of the mesothelioma metastasize and damage adjacent organs and tissues.

Mesothelioma may not develop for a long period of time, often as long as twenty-five or thirty-five years before full blown symptoms appear. Not all workers who have been exposed will develop diseases, but workers who have been exposed to it may bring fibers on their clothing, hair, shoes, and skin home to their families. To circumvent this risk, most industries require workers to bathe and change their clothing before they leave work.

Dietary advice for Mesothelioma patients

Doctors and nutritionists may recommend a special cancer diet because many mesothelioma patients tend to lose their appetites due to worry over their condition. Also, those who are undergoing treatment may choose not to eat because of the unpleasant side effects they may experience. Chemotherapy and some medications may cause an imbalance of nutrients that must be corrected in order to keep the body as strong as possible and to keep the patient from losing an excessive amount of weight. Other side effects of mesothelioma treatment can include nausea, vomiting, constipation,dry mouth and a change in the sense of smell or taste.

In our childhood we were all told to eat our vegetables. Forcing down cabbage and sprouts was supposed to make us bigger and stronger. Well, so it is for mesothelioma patients. Diet is often an overlooked subject for cancer patients, but eating the right nutritional foods for strength and energy is just as important as taking the proper medication.

Mesothelioma patients undergoing treatment must follow a special cancer diet devised by their nutritionists. The details of every patient's mesothelioma diet will vary. Some patients will need to incorporate more fat into their diets, while others may need more protein. Cancer diets involve eating the correct amounts of protein and calories as well as drinking the right amount of water to keep the ailing body replenished and energized. The body needs plenty of nourishment when it is going through chemotherapy or even when the patient is taking certain medications.

It is important that patients devise a cancer diet under the guidance of their doctor and nutritionist to ensure that they obtain the proper amount of nutrients to improve their quality of life.

Protein is important for any cancer patient because it helps repair tissue damaged by surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation. Protein also helps maintain a strong and healthy immune system, lowering a mesothelioma patient's risk of infection after aggressive cancer treatments. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing protein in a cancer diet with cheese, milk, ice cream, yoghurt, eggs, nuts, peanut butter, meats and fish.

Fats are an essential part of the cancer diet because they supply the body with the necessary energy it needs while undergoing treatment. The amount of fats a cancer diet should consist of is dependent on a mesothelioma patient's age and body size. The National Cancer Institute recommends increasing caloric intake with such foods as butter, milk, cheese, honey, sugar, granola and dried fruits.

Water is another essential component of the cancer diet. Without a significant amount of water, the body will dehydrate. It is important that anyone undergoing cancer treatment drink sufficient water to keep their bodies hydrated and replenished.

Reference: Michael Aldridge

Wednesday, November 18, 2009


What is Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has in the beginning generally non-specific symptoms. This may lead to delay in diagnosis. Symptons of mesothelioma patients can be: shortness of breath, chest pain or persistent cough. Some patients even don't show symptoms at all. Other but less common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include fever, night sweats and weight loss. Different versions of mesothelioma can cause fluid, nausea, weight loss, bowel obstruction, anemia or swelling of the feet. Mesothelioma can come in 2 stages. The pleural one and the peritoneal one.

Pleural mesothelioma The TNM system is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group staging system. This is the most commonly used staging system used in cancer staging generally. The system describes the absence or presence of distant metastases (M ), the extent of the primary tumour (T) and the absence or presence of cancer in nearby lymph nodes (N).

Once the TNM categories have been decided, this information is grouped together to give the stage. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 is the most advanced stage.

Stage 1 mesothelioma affects one layer of the pleura only. It may have grown into the covering of the heart (pericardium) and the diaphragm Stage 2 mesothelioma has spread to both layers of the pleura on one side of the body only Stage 3 mesothelioma has spread to the chest wall, food pipe (oesophagus) or lymph nodes on the same side of the chest Stage 4 mesothelioma has spread via the bloodstream to other organs in the body such as the liver, brain or bone or to lymph nodes on the other side of the chest Peritoneal mesothelioma stages There is no established staging system for peritoneal mesothelioma. If your cancer is staged it may be done according to the TNM system. The TNM system is the staging system most commonly used in cancer. The TNM system describes the extent of the primary tumour (T), the absence or presence of cancer in nearby lymph nodes (N), and the absence or presence of distant metastases (M).

Your choice of treatment will depend on a number of factors including, the stage of your cancer any other medical conditions you may have . Your general fitness Unfortunately mesothelioma can be very difficult to treat. Nearly all treatment is aimed at controlling the diseaes for as long as possible and keeping symptoms under control. Mesothelioma can be treated withChemotherapy Radiotherapy Surgery.

Doctors and researchers are working to improve treatment all the time. You may be offered treatment as part of a clinical trial and not as a standard treatment. The results of the trials will be used to improve treatment in the future. There is information about taking part in a clinical trial in CancerHelp UK.

Mesothelioma treatment is designed to treat the immediate area of the pleural mesothelioma or the whole body. Whole body treatments are called systemic treatments. Localised treatments include surgery and radiotherapy. Systemic treatments act on cancer cells no matter where they may be in the body and include chemotherapy.


Reference: P. den Ridder


What is Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma has in the beginning generally non-specific symptoms. This may lead to delay in diagnosis. Symptons of mesothelioma patients can be: shortness of breath, chest pain or persistent cough. Some patients even don't show symptoms at all. Other but less common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include fever, night sweats and weight loss. Different versions of mesothelioma can cause fluid, nausea, weight loss, bowel obstruction, anemia or swelling of the feet. Mesothelioma can come in 2 stages. The pleural one and the peritoneal one.

Pleural mesothelioma The TNM system is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group staging system. This is the most commonly used staging system used in cancer staging generally. The system describes the absence or presence of distant metastases (M ), the extent of the primary tumour (T) and the absence or presence of cancer in nearby lymph nodes (N).

Once the TNM categories have been decided, this information is grouped together to give the stage. Stage 1 is the earliest stage and stage 4 is the most advanced stage.

Stage 1 mesothelioma affects one layer of the pleura only. It may have grown into the covering of the heart (pericardium) and the diaphragm Stage 2 mesothelioma has spread to both layers of the pleura on one side of the body only Stage 3 mesothelioma has spread to the chest wall, food pipe (oesophagus) or lymph nodes on the same side of the chest Stage 4 mesothelioma has spread via the bloodstream to other organs in the body such as the liver, brain or bone or to lymph nodes on the other side of the chest Peritoneal mesothelioma stages There is no established staging system for peritoneal mesothelioma. If your cancer is staged it may be done according to the TNM system. The TNM system is the staging system most commonly used in cancer. The TNM system describes the extent of the primary tumour (T), the absence or presence of cancer in nearby lymph nodes (N), and the absence or presence of distant metastases (M).

Your choice of treatment will depend on a number of factors including, the stage of your cancer any other medical conditions you may have . Your general fitness Unfortunately mesothelioma can be very difficult to treat. Nearly all treatment is aimed at controlling the diseaes for as long as possible and keeping symptoms under control. Mesothelioma can be treated withChemotherapy Radiotherapy Surgery.

Doctors and researchers are working to improve treatment all the time. You may be offered treatment as part of a clinical trial and not as a standard treatment. The results of the trials will be used to improve treatment in the future. There is information about taking part in a clinical trial in CancerHelp UK.

Mesothelioma treatment is designed to treat the immediate area of the pleural mesothelioma or the whole body. Whole body treatments are called systemic treatments. Localised treatments include surgery and radiotherapy. Systemic treatments act on cancer cells no matter where they may be in the body and include chemotherapy.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Mesothelioma Facts

Mesothelioma Facts

Mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer that takes place in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is made up of visceral and parietal membranes which surround organs and body cavities, such as the lungs or abdomen. The visceral membrane immediately surrounds the organ, and the parietal membrane is a sac covering the visceral membrane. There is a lubricating fluid between these membranes that make up the mesothelium. This fluid helps organs move easily between surrounding structures. In the case of the lung, it helps reduce friction between the lung and chest wall during normal breathing as the lung expands. Here are more facts about mesothelioma:

There are different types of mesothelioma:

In the abdomen, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma; on the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma; and if it develops on the heart, pericardial mesothelioma.

It develops mostly on the lungs:

The most common location for mesothelioma to develop is on the lungs. About two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases develop in the pleural mesothelium. This mesothelioma on the lungs is called malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The remaining cases develop in the peritoneal mesothelium in the abdomen. A tumor in the abdominal mesothelium is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Rarely, mesothelioma occurs in other mesothelial tissue, such as on the heart or on the reproductive organs.

It may have other causes:

Although asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma, up to 30-50% of all cases are not clearly related to previous asbestos exposure. Other possible reasons include previous exposure to radiation or to particular minerals closely related to asbestos that are found in the soil. Smoking has not been shown to be a cause of mesothelioma. However, if a smoker has also been exposed to asbestos, this significantly increases his or her risk of developing other types of lung cancer.

It has a long development time:

It has a long latency period, which means that symptoms don't develop for 20-50 years after environmental exposure. The average age at which symptoms usually start to appear is around 60 years old.

It occurs more in men than in women:

Mesothelioma affects men about three times more often than women in the US. Occurrence rises gradually with age. In other parts of the world, where exposure comes primarily from other environmental sources, such as in Turkey, mesothelioma occurs about equally in men and women.

It is a rare disease:

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the US. In other countries, the number of cases varies. Overall, the number of cases reported each year seems to be increasing.

Mesothelioma Cure:

Doctors and researchers are searching and working hard to find solutions pertaining to a cure for Mesothelioma but have not discovered any yet.

Reference:Joyce Richards

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Asbestos exposure-What are the 4 diseases that are commonly associated with asbestos exposure?

Asbestos exposure results from breathing in asbestos fibers. If rocks, soil, or products containing asbestos are disturbed, they can release asbestos fibers into the air. These fibers can be breathed into your lungs and could remain there for a lifetime. Most people don't show any signs or symptoms of asbestos-related disease for 10 to 20 years or more after exposure. When symptoms do appear, they can be similar to those of other diseases. Asbestos-related diseases can be divided into 1} cancerous and 2} non cancerous diseases:-

Non-cancerous diseases


This disease is characterized by scarring of the lungs. It is commonly occurs as result of exposure to high levels of asbestos over a long period of time, as seen in work-related asbestos exposure. Smoking increases the risk of developing asbestosis. Initially there are no symptoms but latter some symptoms which show up include difficulty in breathing, chronic cough and chest pain.

Pleural changes or pleural plaques

This disease is characterized by thickening and hardening of the pleura (the pleura is the lining that covers the lungs and chest cavity). Most time the disease is asymptomatic {the people will have no symptoms}, but sometimes the affected victims may have decreased lung function. This might lead to the development of difficulty in breathing with exertion or sometimes at rest if the degree of lung dysfunction is severe.

Cancerous diseases

Lung cancer

This is cancer of the lungs and lung passages. Cigarette smoking combined with asbestos exposure greatly increases the likelihood of lung cancer. Lung cancer caused by smoking or asbestos looks the same. Symptoms for lung cancer can vary. Some late stage symptoms can include chronic cough, chest pain, unexplained weight loss, and coughing up blood.


This is a rare cancer mostly associated with asbestos exposure. It affects the lining of the lungs and sometimes the lining of the abdomen. Occasionally it affects the lining of the heart and the lining of the testis. Symptoms include chest pain, persistent shortness of breath, and unexplained weight loss, abdominal swelling and abdominal pain in case of abdominal mesothelioma. Other less common symptoms include haemoptysis {coughing up of blood} and excessive sweating.

These asbestos-related diseases can be serious, though not everyone exposed to asbestos gets health problems. These diseases range form those that are mild and manageable to those that are very dangerous and very difficult to manage, leading ultimately to death.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Mesothelioma. How do doctors diagnose Asbestos Cancer? Part 1

As we discussed in our previous article, you might have been exposed to asbestos airborne particles if you have been building ships, working with heat insulation and changing old brakes pads. There are many dangerous occupations exist, such as, asbestos plant workers, automobile mechanics, boiler workers, plumbers, drywall workers, electricians insulators, painters, even hairdressers and teachers. Many other professions might give an occasional exposure to the asbestos particles. Check more about that at the Environmental Protection Agency OSHA Vague symptom check at

As the consequence of asbestos exposure you may get asbestosis, but you may also start do develop mesothelioma - relativity rare but deadly type o cancer.

So, how do doctors diagnose the mesothelioma?

When you see your doctor, the first think he does to suspect the mesothelioma is asking about your occupational history. The paramount importance is to catch the asbestos cancer in the early stages of the disease, so time is of the essence. The survival rate is eight to twelve months on average. However, catching and treating the mesothelioma early at some cancer centers gives better results.

Doctors look for signs and symptoms of the cancer. The mesothelioma symptoms often delay up to 20 and more years after asbestos exposure. Yet, in rats intra-pleural introduction of asbestos chrysotile fibers may cause mesothelioma in several months.

People with mesothelioma complain on breath shortness, persistent cough, sputum, and chest pain. The pain comes from pleura - the lungs lining that is very sensitive to irritation. Mesothelioma tends to cause fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity.

Peritoneal mesothelioma causes weight loss, pain and ascites (belly swelling due to fluid in the abdominal cavity). Peritoneal mesothelioma also may block bowels and cause all kinds of troubles with gut obstruction. As many cancers, asbestos cancer also changes blood clotting, causes blood cells decrease (anemia), night sweats, and fevers. Ascites may lead to nausea and feet swelling. Spreading of the cancer will bring pain, difficult swallowing, and neck swelling. This symptom happens because of compression of some great veins going to the heart in your chest. In general mesothelioma symptoms are not very specific. They may characterize any other type of cancer as well as many other non-cancerous diseases. This problem delays diagnosis. Sometimes patients think that they have viral pneumonia. Some patients don't have any symptoms at all. Mesothelioma in advanced stage, as well as majority of cancers, will cause fatigue.

An x-ray may show a fluid accumulation.

What is a pleural effusion? Pleural effusion means the accumulation of fluid between the pleura on inside chest wall and diaphragm and pleura covering lungs. What is pleura? Pleura is the thin layer of special cells covering the lung and inside of the chest wall. It has an idea of closed plastic bag with some small amount of fluid inside. Basically, this bag helps lungs to slide easily against chest wall during expansion from breathing. The membranes of pleura consist from mesothelial cells. Exactly these cells produce a small amount of the lubricant. The amount of fluid is always in balance. Extra pleural fluid is quickly reabsorbed. When there is too much fluid, it is the effusion. Abdominal cavity has similar lining named peritoneum, which covers abdominal organs the way pleura covers the lungs. Mesothelioma leads to fluid build up, which is caused by cancer cells irritating the pleura or peritoneum. This fluid leads to sickness in your abdomen or difficulty breathing.

Transudation is a pleural effusion with clear fluid. It usually results from imbalance of fluid production and removal. It is more characteristic for some other disease. Doctors would think first about congestive heart failure. Mesothelioma would rather cause an exudate. Exudates are a cloudy pleural effusion with many cells and proteins. Exudates happen after the pleura is irritated and inflamed, as it happen in mesothelioma. To check the type of effusion, doctors would stick a needle and get the fluid sample. This stick is called diagnostic thoracentesis. The fluid will be checked in the lab. If mesothelioma is the cause, cancer cells may be found in the fluid

Why shortness of breath develops? The dyspnea (breath shortness) happens exactly because too much fluid is accumulated and press on the lung, pushing it away form the chest wall inside and thus making the lung smaller. Also the pain from inflamed pleura prevents patient from deep breathing. The receptors in inflamed pleura also cause dry cough. Listening to the lungs with a stethoscope reveals decreased breath sounds. Tapping on the chest sounds dull. This all is the consequence of fluid accumulation.

During your doctor's visit, you should discuss your concerns about asbestos exposure in the past. Your doctor should check the area of pain and swelling; he also should listen to your breath sounds and check for fluid collection. If your doctors suspect the effusion he may send you for tests and X-rays or refer to a specialist.

If a doctor suspects mesothelioma, he dose not have many specific tests on hands. Many of the usual tests may show no results in mesothelioma. Simple chest x-ray does not always show small pleural effusion. A lateral decubitus film may be required for smaller effusions (the same x-ray but the side view). Otherwise CT scan or ultrasound may show the effusion.

Reference:Aleksandr Kavokin

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Start Beating Mesothelioma Cancer Today Through Awareness and Understanding

Mesothelioma is a serious and very aggressive form of cancer.

People who have mined asbestos, manufactured asbestos products, installed asbestos insulation, or removed asbestos may be at risk for developing mesothelioma. In addition, family members of those who have worked with asbestos, people who have lived near asbestos mines or processing plants, or anyone who has inhaled asbestos fibers may also be at risk for developing mesothelioma.

There are a range of tests and procedures used to diagnose mesothelioma. X-rays, CT scans, and/or MRI scans are performed to determine the presence of mesothelioma. If there is a positive indication of mesothelioma, or if further testing is still needed to determine the presence of mesothelioma, the scans are followed-up with a needle biopsy or an open biopsy.

Treatment options for mesothelioma vary according to age, overall health, location of the disease, and extent of the disease. Surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy, alone or in combination, are standard treatment options for mesothelioma. Experimental treatments, such as those used in clinical trials, may also be an option.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that could have been prevented and is not the fault of the victim, but the fault of the companies that did not protect workers or others against the hazards of asbestos. Financial security for victims and their families, including compensation of medical expenses, pain and suffering, burial expenses, and after-death stability for families afflicted, may, therefore, be accessible through the law.

There are many different types of support groups, as well, available to mesothelioma patients and their families including formal groups that focus on learning about mesothelioma or dealing with feelings, informal groups, social groups, groups only for those with mesothelioma, and groups for those with mesothelioma including family members and friends. Hospitals, doctors, nurses, and other healthcare workers have, or can obtain, a listing of such groups within your local area.


Rae Rand

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Mesothelioma - What are the treatments?

The location, stage of the disease along with the paitent's age and general health all play a role in determining the treatment of mesothelioma. Options for treatement generally include surgery, radiation therapy and chemo therapy.

Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. The doctor may remove part of the lining of the chest or abdomen and some of the tissue around it. For cancer of the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed.

Radiation therapy, also called radiotherapy, involves the use of high-energy rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. Radiation therapy affects the cancer cells only in the treated area. The radiation may come from a machine (external radiation) or from putting materials that produce radiation through thin plastic tubes into the area where the cancer cells are found

Chemotherapy is the use of anticancer drugs to kill cancer cells throughout the body. Most drugs used to treat mesothelioma are given by injection into a vein (intravenous or IV). Doctors are also studying the effectiveness of putting chemotherapy directly into the chest or abdomen (intracavitary chemotherapy).

To relieve symptoms and control pain, the doctor may use a needle or a thin tube to drain fluid that has built up in the chest or abdomen. The procedure for removing fluid from the chest is called thoracentesis. Removal of fluid from the abdomen is called paracentesis. Drugs may be given through a tube in the chest to prevent more fluid from accumulating. Radiation therapy and surgery may also be helpful in relieving symptoms.

Monday, November 9, 2009

A Mesothelioma Diagnosis Sometimes Involves Mesothelioma Lawyers

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that attacks the lungs, chest and abdominal area. It begins in the outer layers of the lungs and can spread through the chest wall and eventually to other parts of the body. But there is also a legal side to a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many cases have been caused by the neglect and sometimes criminal actions of companies whose number one interest was making profit when it should have been looking out for the people they employ. Many people who find themselves with a mesothelioma diagnosis are also finding an abundant supply of mesothelioma lawyers that can deliver them justice and monetary reparations.

Mesothelioma is a disease that is caused by exposure to asbestos. There is no other known cause of this disease.

Asbestos is a material that is very strong and heat resistant. This makes it is ideal for the use of manufacturing products and structures of all kinds. It is also a material that breaks down into a very fine dust. This dust is made up of tiny barbed like fibers that become airborne. When these fibers are inhaled they stick in the lungs and this can cause asbestosis, mesothelioma and a number of other illnesses. Most cases involve people that have had frequent exposure to asbestos at their workplace.

Currently there are over 400 items that we use in our everyday society that contain asbestos. The shipping industry uses asbestos to insulate boilers and smoke stacks. The automotive industry uses it to manufacture many different parts for their cars. The construction industry uses asbestos for insulation, concrete reinforcement and for electrical wiring to name only a few of the many different uses.

There have been laws passed in the United States in the last few decades that prohibit or restrict the use of asbestos materials, but there is still a lot of this material being used today. Many companies have ignored the laws that have been passed and continue to illegally use these materials or facilities constructed with these materials.

There is also the legal side of a mesothelioma diagnosis. Many cases of this disease have been caused by neglect or illegal behavior on the part of the patient's employer or former employer. Complying with Federal laws regarding asbestos can cut into a company's profits. For example, instead of replacing old asbestos materials at the workplace they choose to ignore the laws and hope they do not get contacted by any mesothelioma lawyers many years later. Mesothelioma can take several decades to develop in a person's body so these companies often get away with their crimes. Many patients never make the link to their asbestos exposure at their workplace because many times they have not worked at the place of exposure in many years.

There has been a lot of attention given to mesothelioma cancer in recent years. This is due to the fact that more and more people are receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis from their doctors. A mesothelioma diagnosis is bad news but it is important to know that there are legal courses of action available to anyone who has had a crime committed against them by an employer. Thanks to modern medical and scientific technology many people with a mesothelioma diagnosis have been able to trace their asbestos exposure back to their places of employment. Many of these patients have hired mesothelioma lawyers to sue their former employers. A lot of people have been awarded big settlements.

There is no shortage of mesothelioma lawyers on the internet that will fight for your cause. Just make sure you do research on them before you hire them. Just go to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) online and enter the names of the mesothelioma lawyers or law firms in the search box and you will get a history of complaints on them (if there are any). You should also do a Google search on them as well. Just go to, enter their names and you will get any information that has ever been posted on the internet about your prospective mesothelioma lawyers.

Reference:Michael P. Connelly

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Mesothelioma Trials-What Are the Different 4 Stages Of The Trial?

A mesothelioma patient is not compulsorily required to attend the trial of his/her mesothelioma lawsuit because most times by the time the lawsuit commences the patient will be too weak to attend, but if the patient decides to attend then he/she must be prepared to go through the different stages pf a trial. Each trial is different but there is usually an order of events in all civil cases and they will all pass through the following stages:

1-First, the judge (and possible a jury) will hear opening statements. Your lawyer will start by outlining your case. In response, the defendant's lawyers will outline how they hope to disprove your case. Opening statements are not evidence, but a brief outline of what each position hopes to prove during trial.

2-After opening statements, both parties will submit evidence for the judge and possible jury to review. This will include factual findings and testimony. Evidence such as old receipts, air quality tests, and medical records may come into play. Personal friends, family members, coworkers, doctors, and related experts may also be called to testify. If you are going to testify, upon being sworn in, your lawyer and the defendant's lawyer will proceed to question you about the case. Before this portion of the case, your lawyer will have reviewed with you not only the questions he or she will ask, but also the questions the defendant's lawyer is likely to ask of you. It is very important to assert your side of the case while answering all questions honestly. Witnesses will go through the same testimony process as well. Physical evidence, such as medical records or work history, will be submitted as evidence to the court.

3-Presentation of the evidence is followed by closing arguments. This element of trial is extremely important, especially in the case of a jury trial. The plaintiff will give closing arguments first. This speech will sum up the facts, discredit the defendant, and ask the jury to empathize and rule in your favor. The defense will then present a closing argument as well, in which they will attempt to refute your claims.

4-If the trial involves a jury, all 12 members of the jury will retire to a conference room to deliberate after closing statements. Deliberation by the jury can take just an hour or two, or it can take several days. In high profile cases, the jury may be sequestered and sent to a hotel instead of home. However, in most civil cases, the jury is not sequestered. When the jury reaches a verdict, all are called back to court and the foreman of the jury (elected by the other jurors) announces the decision.

Sometimes upon the completion of this initial trial the defendants can appeal the verdict if it does not favor them, the period of time for this appeal varies sometimes it lasts up to a month and some other times it takes longer. If the defendant wins the appeal, you may also be able to also challenge this decision if factual errors are found or procedures were not carried out correctly. This depends on the court and on the details of the appeal case.

Keep in mind that at any point during the trial, you and the defendant can decide to reach a settlement out of court if the defendant is willing to pay a reasonable amount of money. Usually if the defendant's lawyer sees that you have a very strong case at some stage of the trial they will approach you for a possible out of court settlement. Once this is agreed upon the complaint by the plaintiff is withdrawn and the trial is stopped.

Mesothelioma victims should seek to know as much as they can about mesothelioma trials and lawsuits so that they do not get easily discouraged along the way.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

4 Major Factors To Consider When You Want To Participate in A Mesothelioma Clinical Trial

Clinical trials for new mesothelioma treatments give hope for the discovery of a possible cure for the deadly cancer. Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of asbestos related cancer with a very high mortality rate, most victims die within 1-2 years after the diagnosis. The patients currently involved in mesothelioma clinical trials will hopefully lead to the discovery of better and more efficient ways of treating the disease. Consulting with a physician about various available clinical trials should be considered at the initial diagnosis.

A clinical trial is a process that new treatment options and medications pass through before they are approved for use by the general population. Many patients with terminal diseases are advised to participate in clinical trials as a last hope for a cure. Many drugs and therapies that become the standard therapy of care for many diseases have gone through an extensive period of testing with clinical trials before they were approved for general use.

Factors to Consider Before Taking Part in a Clinical Trial There are a variety of factors to take into consideration when considering participation in a clinical trial.

1-The distance to the trial centre and the financial implications of taking part in the clinical trial

Clinical trials most times take place in large metropolitan hospitals located in the major cities, some of the patients however live in smaller towns far from these major cities. It is important to know how often participants will need to see the physicians coordinating the trials and how long each visit will take, and how much the hotel and travel expenses will likely cost.

2-Selection criteria for the trial

Not everyone qualifies for a clinical trial ,the criteria for selection for a particular drug trial varies. Some clinical trials will want patients that have tried using some other medication which did not work, while other clinical trials require that the participating patients have not started any treatment for their disease.

3-The risk factor

Another factor when considering a clinical trial is the loss of control over medical treatment. In some clinical trials, referred to as randomized studies, patients receive the traditional treatment while others receive the experimental treatment. The patient does not choose which treatment they receive, nor do they likely know what treatment is being administered. There is no guarantee that a participant will receive the experimental treatment. There is always a risk involved in using experimental drugs and treatments, they might have unknown side effects that will only show up when they are used by human beings.

4-General state of health of the patient

A patient's general health is also a major consideration when preparing to participate in a clinical trial. Patients with other pre-existing medical disease will not be allowed to participate in most clinical trials as well as patients on other major medications. The presence of other medical diseases might affect the accuracy and reliability of the results of the clinical trials. Some of those other major medications might also interact negatively with the actions of the drugs that are on trial.

Bello kamorudeen.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Malignant Peritoneal Mesothelioma- Important Facts for You to Know

Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is rare form of cancer that affects the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdomen. Every year, around 100-500 new cases are seen in the United States. It is also known as abdominal mesothelioma as the peritoneum protects and lines the abdominal cavity and the organs situated in the abdominal cavity. There are two layers of the peritoneal membrane called visceral and parietal layers. The visceral refers to the inner layer covering of the organs and the parietal refers to the outer layer covering of the abdominal cavity.

The peritoneal membrane cells attacked by mesothelioma normally secrete lubricating fluids into the peritoneum, this allows for frictionless smooth movements of the organs in the abdominal cavity. However when these cells are transformed into cancerous abnormal cells, they start to over secrete this fluid leading to a gradual fluid build up in the abdomen.

Abdominal Mesothelioma is usually secondary to a primary source of the malignancy, which is Pleural mesothelioma. It is believed that the asbestos fibers may be ingested when swallowed, where they enter digestive tract or that the fibers are inhaled into the lungs and transported via the lymphatic system to the abdominal cavity. Cancer cells from the primary source can also become mobile and spread via the lymphatic system to other areas, this process is called metastasis.

Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:

- Abdominal pain,

- Swelling of the abdomen which may be caused by fluid retention (ascites)

- Tumor growth into the intestine causing small or large bowel obstruction

- Anemia-low blood level, which causes decreased oxygen levels in the blood, and makes the heart work harder, also causing shortness of breath

- Weight loss, but you may appear larger around the waist

- Fever.

If you have been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime and you are having any of these symptoms, you should see your doctor immediately.

Relatives of the mesothelioma victim are also at risk of developing the cancer. Spouses who handled dirty clothes to launder them are at risk to having asbestos transferred to them via physical contact with the fibers. Now that more is known about asbestos, workers must bathe and change clothes before going home. Special care is taken to limit exposure to the asbestos fibers.

Diagnosis of peritoneal mesothelioma is similar to that of pleural mesothelioma. An x-ray will be taken. Mesothelioma cannot be seen on an x-ray, but a tumor may cause pleural effusion (fluid buildup) which can be seen. The doctor may also order a CT scan or an MRI to back up and add to the findings in the x-ray. Once the scans are done, a biopsy must be done to examine to tissue. The doctor will make a cut through the chest wall; this procedure is called a thoroscopy. This will be done in the hospital under local anesthesia.

The doctor may also perform a peritoneoscopy, which involves surgically inserting a scope into the abdomen to visualize the tumor cells and take tissue samples for biopsy. The procedure is similar for both thoracic and abdominal examinations. Samples of tissue obtained will be examined by the pathologist under the microscope.

Mesothelioma is quite rare, so if you are diagnosed with it, you should have your doctor help you find a specialist who is well versed and experienced in the treatment of the disease and there are not too many of such specialists. There is no cure for malignant mesothelioma, but there are treatment options that include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and others. The life expectancy of someone with malignant peritoneal mesothelioma varies from person to person. The prognosis depends on how vigorously the cancer is treated and how the patient responds. The patient may live for years, or only for a few months.

Bello kamorudeen.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy: Looking at the use of Pemetrexed in the treatment of Mesothelioma

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cases with about 2000 new cases occurring every year. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of this type of lung cancer unlike in other lung cancers where cigarette smoking is the main risk factor.

Pemetrexed is one of the chemotherapeutic agents that have been approved for the treatment of malignant lung mesothelioma. It belongs to a group of drugs known as MTA, multitargeted anti-folates. These group of drugs block the uptake of folic acid by cells of the body, cells require folic acid to power the process of growth and multiplication, and once the uptake is blocked the cancerous cells will not be able to continue dividing and multiplying.

Pemetrexed can be combined with another anti cancer agent called carboplatin and this combination has been known to increase the life span of patients by as much as three years.

If you are a patient suffering from this cancer, and your oncologist has recommended the use of Pemetrexed as part of your cancer treatment, it is important to obtain information about nutritional supplements that may be necessary during the course of chemotherapy. Because Pemetrexed blocks the vitamin B from reaching health tissue, supplementing diet with oral folic acid, prior to treatment, is important.

Side Effects in Treating Lung Cancer of chemotherapy drugs is a major concern for those receiving treatment for malignant pleural mesothelioma but the side effects associated with pemetrexed are less common when compared with other chemotherapy drugs however it can cause anemia, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of weight, itching and burning between treatments and even muscle aches and pains as some of its own side effects.

The use of Pemetrexed is contraindicated {that is, it can not be used} in patients with kidney diseases, liver disease, heart disease, shingles, and gout. When discussing treatment options with your health care professional, inquire about the use of Pemetrexed, in combination with carboplatin, this drug combination will help to relieve you of some of the symptoms of the cancer and it will also improve your prognosis.

Once you are placed on this combination make sure you supplement your diet with appropriate dose of folic acid to help your normal healthy tissues to continue to grow and multiply normally.

To be able to cope very well with treatment every mesothelioma victim should seek for adequate knowledge about the disease and the different modes of treatment.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mesothelioma Lung Cancer -What Are The Early And Late Symptoms?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos. Malignant cells develop in the protective lining that covers the body's internal organs called the mesothelium. The most common site that mesothelioma affects is the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity, called the pleura.

It can also occur in the abdominal cavity and the pericardium which is the sac that surrounds the heart, occasionally it also attacks the lining of the testis called the tunica vaginalis.

Most often people that have worked in asbestos related companies are at serious risk of developing the cancer. However the relatives of these workers can also develop the cancer especially if they come in contact and handle the working clothes of these workers. For example, a housewife who washes clothes of someone who works with asbestos can be exposed . Exposure to asbestos cement products can also occur when you are doing renovation works in your house.

Unfortunately the symptoms of mesothelioma can take 20 to 50 years to appear. Accumulation of fluid in the pleural space will lead to shortness of breath, coughing, and chest pains. This type of mesothelioma is called pleural mesothelioma. Abdominal mesothelioma presents with symptoms like weight loss, abdominal swelling and pain, bowel obstruction, blood clotting, anemia and fever.

There is no proven substantive way of determining who amongst the people that have been exposed to asbestos that will eventually develop mesothelioma yet, although recently approved Mesomark blood test is capable of early detection in some cases.

Diagnosis of mesothelioma is often difficult because the symptoms are common to some other common diseases. If you have a history of asbestos exposure, it's important to let your doctor know that so that when you present with these common unspecific symptoms your doctor will be able to quickly suspect that you have mesothelioma instead of searching for some other commoner diagnosis.

What are the early symptoms of lung mesothelioma cancer?

The main three main early symptoms of this cancer are:

1-Cough which may be accompanied with Haemoptysis which is the coughing up of blood stained sputum.

2-Pain during breathing and coughing known as pleurisy

3-Shortness of breath

Because these early symptoms also occur in many other lung diseases, a clinical suspicion of mesothelioma must always be confirmed by the use of imaging and tissue sampling tests known as biopsy. The use of these tests coupled with the taking of comprehensive medical history and thorough physical examination by the doctor is paramount to the early detection of the cancer. This early detection helps to improve the prognosis of the disease.

What are the late symptoms of Mesothelioma?

There are less common but more uncomfortable symptoms of lung cancer, which are usually associated with advanced stages of the disease. These include:

1-Weight loss

2-Excessive fatigue

3-Hoarse voice

4-Swelling of the face or in the neck

5-Pain or discomfort under the ribs

6-Difficult swallowing {dysphagia}

If you suspect that you or any of your family members have lung cancer symptoms do not delay, consult your physician right away.

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stage 4 Mesothelioma-Salient Points For You To know

By the time mesothelioma has reached Stage 4 classification, the tumor has advanced and spread to different sites far away from the primary location. Most times mesothelioma spreads to vital organs like the brain, other areas in the chest cavity and into vital organs situated in the abdominal cavity.

The TNM System

The TNM system categorizes cancer based on three factors:1} the size of the tumor, 2}whether the cancer has spread from its point of origin to nearby lymph nodes, and 3}whether the cancer has metastasized. This system may be used to stage pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma. The T stands for the size of the tumor, the N stands for the extent of lymph node involvement, and the M for the extent of distant metastases. This is the commonest staging system used for most cancers.

The Butchart System

The Butchart System categorizes the different stages of the cancer based mainly on the size and spread of the primary tumor. This system has four stages. In Stage 4 of the Butchart system, mesothelioma has metastasized, spreading through the bloodstream to organs and tissues that are distant from the primary tumor site.

The Brigham System

The Brigham system is a relatively new system of staging mesothelioma. This system classify mesothelioma into different stages based on whether or not tumors can be removed via surgery {resectability of the tumor mass}, and whether the cancer has spread to nearby lymph nodes. The Brigham system includes four stages. In Stage 4 of the Brigham system, mesothelioma is inoperable due to the large size of tumors and it has penetrated into vital organs. In addition, mesothelioma has metastasized to other locations, meaning cancer is more than likely to recur even if primary tumors are removed.

How is Stage 4 Mesothelioma Treated?

Patients with stage 4 have few treatment options. With Stage 4 mesothelioma, the prognosis is generally very poor due to the spread of cancer to multiple locations. Additionally, primary tumors have often penetrated too deeply into organs and tissues to be removed. The general health of stage 4 patients would have also declined to a level where the patient is too weak to withstand the physical stress of surgery.

Stage 4 treatments are therefore limited to palliative treatments that are used to relieve symptoms of the disease. These may include procedures such as thoracentesis or paracentesis, where built-up fluid is removed from the lungs or abdomen to relieve pain and pressure on internal organs. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy may also be used to shrink tumors to provide symptomatic relief. As these treatments often have serious side effects, patients should carefully consider whether or not they wish to endure such treatments at this final stage.

Bello kamorudeen.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Mesothelioma Diagnosis-What is the role of Tumor Markers?

There are a number of different methods used to diagnose various types of cancer. Examining the levels of certain tumor markers is one of such diagnostic methods that can be used to diagnose mesothelioma.

What is a Tumor Marker?

Tumor markers are best described as substances produced by tumor cells (or sometimes other cells) in the body in response to certain cancerous and non-cancerous conditions. They are usually found in the blood, urine, or tissue of patients. Using tumor markers to diagnose cancer can be difficult because tumor marker levels are not altered in all patients with cancer. Even levels of the same tumor marker can be altered in more than one type of cancer. Some of these substances can also found at elevated levels when other non-cancerous diseases are present.

What are Tumor Markers Used For?

1- Early Detection

Tumor markers are a good starting point in the detection of cancer. While an elevated level of a particular tumor marker does not necessarily indicate the definite presence of cancer, it does indicate the need for further testing. The additional tests may include a biopsy, CT scan, or MRI.

2- Monitoring of Response to treatment

In addition to being used for the diagnosis of cancer, tumor markers can also be measured to determine how a patient is responding to treatment. Marker levels will often be measured before treatment begins to determine the correct course of action when addressing the cancer. Tumor marker levels can further be used to determine whether a patient has suffered a recurrence of their cancer.

3-Screening for mesothelioma

This is a process during which a cancer can be detected before symptoms are evident. Many researchers believe tumor markers aren't sensitive enough to be used for screening, yet one tumor marker, the prostate-specific antigen (PSA), has been used in the screening of prostate cancer among men for several years and has shown much success. However, an elevated PSA level does not necessarily indicate cancer, but does indicate the need for further testing.

Tumor Markers That Are Used To Diagnose Mesothelioma

A test approved recently by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is now being used to screen for mesothelioma among individuals at risk for the disease. Because mesothelioma symptoms do not usually surface until after a long latency period, this new test, called Mesomark blood test, could make the difference between life and death for mesothelioma patients.

Mesomark measures the amount of Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides (SMRP) in human serum. SMRP is a tumor marker that is produced by mesothelioma cells. This tumor marker may be elevated in mesothelioma patients even in the very early stages of the disease.

Bello kamorudeen.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Asbestos Litigation; How the FAIR Bill will affect you?

The emergence of newly proposed bills that would limit asbestos company liability and significantly reduce payouts, has lead to growing concern over the seeming bias of lawmakers towards certain interest groups.

Prolonged asbestos exposure can lead to dangerous health conditions including mesothelioma, asbestosis, and lung cancer. Every year 2500 to 3000 new cases are diagnosed every year with thousands more outside the United States as other countries have been slow to adopt asbestos bans (though asbestos is not completely outlawed in the United States and exists in many products manufactured today).

Treatment only adds a few months to the life of the victim as the cancer is often in its latter end stages by the time a diagnosis is made.

The large number of asbestos related lawsuits in recent times has lead to an overwhelming backlog of unresolved cases in our legal system. If these cases are not settled on time because most of them will drag over years, the victims might have died by the time the judgments are given.

Furthermore numerous companies have gone out of business because they could no longer operate under the financial strains of numerous multi-million dollar judgments. This in turn limits the ability of the affected victims to claim their compensations.

If this system continues, the expected case filings over the next decade will create a standstill for legal action.

One of the major problems with asbestos cases is the fact that a number of these lawsuits are speculative. A person who was exposed but has yet to get a conclusive diagnosis of any asbestos related illness may file in court.

The Proposed Solution

The Fairness in Asbestos Injury Resolution Act of 2005 came to existence shortly after March of 2004 after Pres. Bush proposed limits on asbestos related "junk" lawsuits at a speech in Detroit .

Originally introduced by Sen. Orrin Hatch, the FAIR Act would establish a $140 billion trust fund to replace litigation as a means to compensate victims of asbestos and limit liability.

The maximum award would be $750,000 but with an estimated 500,000 possible claims. The fund would quickly deteriorate and could not pay victims. ($375,000,000,000,000 would be needed according to estimates if each received the maximum)

The bill was initially defeated last year but has stuck around the Senate Judiciary Committee which last week approved new amendments to the bill including support for those exposed during 9/11 and hurricane Katrina.

However the bill includes an exposure length minimum of 5 years which effectively eliminates both groups.

On April 26, 2005 supporters and opposers testified before Congress

A solution needs to be reached soon but that solution needs to be equitable to all sides involved. The bill is currently in the Senate Judiciary Committee but the new version could be voted on when the new session begins.

Bello kamorudeen.