Sunday, March 28, 2010

Practical tips on how to reduce asbestos exposure

If you are living in an area where naturally occurring asbestos has been disturbed and the asbestos fibers are likely to become airborne, you should reduce your exposure to asbestos by taking the following steps:

-Walk, run, hike, and bike only on paved trails.

-Play only in outdoor areas with a ground covering such as wood chips, mulch, sand, pea gravel, grass, asphalt, shredded rubber, or rubber mats.

-Pave over unpaved walkways, driveways, or roadways that may have asbestos-containing rock or soil.

-Cover asbestos-containing rock or soil in gardens and yards with asbestos-free soil or landscape covering.

-Pre-wet garden areas before digging or shoveling soil.

-Keep pets from carrying dust or dirt on their fur or feet into the home.

-Remove shoes before entering your home to prevent tracking in dirt. -Use doormats to lower the amount of soil that is tracked into the home

-Keep windows and doors closed on windy days and during nearby construction.

-Drive slowly over unpaved roads.

-Use a wet rag instead of a dry rag or duster to dust.

-Use a wet mop on non-carpeted floors. -Use washable area rugs on your floors and wash them regularly.

-Vacuum carpet often using a vacuum with a high-efficiency HEPA filter.

-Inspect your home for deteriorating asbestos-containing insulation, ceiling or floor tiles.

-Do not disturb asbestos-containing insulation, ceiling or floor tiles; hire a trained and certified asbestos contractor to remove the materials.

-Ask your employer if you are working with materials or in an environment containing asbestos. If you are, make sure you are properly protected from asbestos exposure

Bello Kamorudeen.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

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 disease 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.

About the Author

Bello kamorudeen.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Mesothelioma Settlements- Class Action Law Suits and Settlement Trust

Mesothelioma is most times caused by exposure to asbestos fibers usually at the work place. Most asbestos companies despite knowing the dangers of exposure to this harmful substance exposed their innocent workers to the substance. These companies can be made to pay for their negligence if the victim seeks for compensation through the means of a lawsuit. Two ways through which a victim can receive compensation are a} through a class action lawsuit and b} through a settlement trust.

Class Action Lawsuit

This is a large suit filed on behalf of a group or class of people. If you are involved in this type of lawsuit without your prior knowledge, you might be notified by the lawyer in charge of the class action lawsuit of your involvement in your involvement in the lawsuit. When you receive this type of notification you should read it carefully and if you do not wish to be included in the lawsuit you should inform the lawyer to remove your name from the list of people involved in the lawsuit.

This type of lawsuit has its advantages and disadvantages. The main advantage is that with the large number of claimants involved an out of court settlement is likely saving you all the stress of passing through a trial.

The disadvantages of such a mass action lawsuit are:

1-You will have no control over the direction of the case, the lawyer will not be reporting to you alone but will be working for the interest of a large number of different plaintiffs.

2-Once you are partaking in a class action lawsuit you are not allowed by the law to take any other legal action against the company so you would not be able to collect any additional compensation later in future.

Settlement Trust

Sometimes by the time you file for compensation from an asbestos related company the company might have been declared bankrupt and to get a compensation you will have to file a claim with the company's established settlement trust. With this type of settlement there are neither court visits nor trial. You must hire an experienced mesothelioma attorney to fill a claim form and submit it to the settlement trust, your claim will be reviewed by the trustees of the fund who will approve for the payment of an amount of money to you. What you will get from this type of settlement is usually between 5-15% of the actual amount of your claim.

Every mesothelioma victim must be fully aware of all the legal options available to him/her and seek for expert legal representation.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Mesothelioma Settlements-Out Of Court Settlements

From 1929 when the first asbestos related lawsuit was filed in the US up till now more than 700,000 asbestos related lawsuits have been filed. Most often victims of asbestos related diseases come down with symptoms of the diseases 20-30 years after the initial exposure {the disease has a very long incubation period}, thus most of the cases of mesothelioma are just showing up in the nineties and after the year 2000.

The victims of asbestos related diseases usually initiate legal procedures to claim damages and compensation and there are different ways of collecting compensation.

One of the ways to collect compensations that the victim can use is to get an out of court settlement An out of court settlement is a common way of settling an asbestos mesothelioma lawsuit. The victim will first file an asbestos lawsuit , after which if the defendant agrees an out of court settlement it will save time and the expenses that will have arisen from the process of a trial.

Some companies opt for this type of settlement so as to avoid been slammed with a hefty compensation. Sometimes however the amount of money offered by the company is far below what will be regarded as been fair by the victim and in such cases it is advisable to continue with the pursuit of the lawsuit. If the trail does go to court it does not completely rule out the possibility of an out of court settlement as the company might reconsider their proposal after some time.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Friday, March 12, 2010

What Are The Two Main Types Of Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos exposure usually occurs in two main ways. Once the body is exposed to asbestos the fibers can be inhaled in the air. Upon inhalation, the asbestos fibers are very difficult to eliminate and they body experiences extreme difficulty in expelling these fibers and they become lodged in the lungs leading to inflammation and irritation, but the symptoms of the mesothelioma especially may not be seen for 20 years or more. Asbestos fibers are very difficult to break down and remain a constant source of irritation in the lung, which can result in asbestosis, mesothelioma and lung cancer. There are two main types of asbestos exposure:

1- Occupational exposure

This type of exposure occurs while working around asbestos. It is the most common form of asbestos exposure. Many occupations have faced asbestos exposure in the past, including miners and manufacturers of asbestos products, shipbuilders, brake mechanics, and a variety of other industrial workers.

2-Contact with naturally occurring asbestos is another form of exposure.

Asbestos is a mineral that is found in many places throughout the United States. While naturally occurring asbestos poses little threat to human health if left undisturbed, there are locations throughout the U.S. that have experienced a veritable threat of hazardous exposure. Particularly in California, much of the naturally occurring asbestos is close enough to the surface of the soil that it is easily disturbed. When disturbed by wind, landscaping, construction, or other forms of human activity, asbestos particles become airborne and present a health hazard.

Another location where naturally occurring asbestos has been a serious problem is Libby, Montana, where vermiculite that was mined from the area was contaminated with asbestos. The mining process not only released asbestos fibers into the air, but the vermiculite that was sold around the world was heavily contaminated with this toxic mineral.

Since most asbestos exposure occurs at the place of work, most victims of asbestos related diseases are entitled to compensation from the companies that wrongfully exposed them.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Mesothelioma Support Groups-How to Find the Best One For You

When you are faced with a diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer there are many resources are available for you and your family to benefit. You can seek for support from family and friends, as well as from health professionals, support groups, or your place of worship. Asking for support is one way you can feel in control of what's going on in your life, your need for support is not a sign of weakness.

You feel lonely and abandoned. You may loose your desire to continue living . If your are not getting the much needed support from your friends and family then find others who can support you. There are probably others in your community who need your companionship as much as you need theirs. The mutual support of others with cancer might also be a source of comfort.You will probably need the support of different support groups to help you cope with the diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer.

What are different types of support groups?

There are different types and formats for support groups, there are individual, group counseling and support groups. Some support groups are formal and focus on learning about cancer or dealing with feelings. There are also less formal and more social groups. Some groups consist mainly of people with cancers or only caregivers, while others include spouses, family members, or friends. Other groups focus on certain types of cancer or stages of disease like mesothelioma cancer. Some groups have their meetings over a number of weeks while some others meet over a longer period of time. Some programs no longer accept new members while other groups are still open to new members.

Health professionals (a social worker, nurse, or other licensed professional), trained facilitators, or a group member may lead the group. The leader of a group should have some type of training before taking charge of a support group.

Telephone counseling groups

For those who cannot attend meetings or appointments, counseling over the telephone is offered by organizations such as Cancer Care, Inc. Some people may find online support groups helpful because they like the privacy. It may be comforting to chat with other people facing situations much like yours. But keep in mind that chat rooms and message boards are not the best source of cancer information, especially if they are not monitored by trained professionals or experts.

No matter what kind of group it is, everyone taking part should feel comfortable in the group and with the facilitator. If you have any fears or uncertainties before entering a group, try to discuss them with the group's facilitator ahead of time.

Along with support programs, other means of support may be available in your community such as:
• Home health nursing services
• Social services, such as counseling and financial aid
• Nutrition services that provide meals or allow you to talk with a registered dietitian
• Rehabilitation services provided by physical and occupational therapists
• Spiritual services from chaplains or religious figures in the community
Support in any form allows you to talk about your feelings and develop skills to cope with the changes taking place in your life. Some studies have found that people who go to support groups have an improved quality of life, including better sleep and appetite.

Self-help groups

Self-help groups are most often run by non-professionals who have been through the same kinds of problems or crises. The people in these groups can relate to your experience firsthand and often have treatment-related tips and advice that may help you. For example, they may offer a home remedy that helped with their nausea, or know where to get the best prices on wigs and turbans. If their family members are not in the group, patients are free to express exactly how they feel. Family members can also benefit from sharing their feelings, fears, and anxieties with other families affected by mesothelioma cancer.

Self-help groups also give people recovering or who are long term survivors of mesothelioma cancer help others with the cancer. With some training, many people with cancer have found that helping others makes them feel better about themselves. They may go on to become group counselors or facilitators.

Choosing when to take part in a support group is important. Some find it difficult to join a support group when they are first diagnosed. The stories that other patients may share, after months or even years of treatment, can be overwhelming and upsetting. If you try a group and it doesn't feel right, you may want to try again later or try another group.


Religion can be a source of strength for some people. Some find new faith when diagnosed with cancer. Others find their cancer experience strengthens their existing faith or their faith gives them newfound strength and hope. Others who have never had strong religious beliefs may not feel an urge to turn to religion at this time. A minister, rabbi, other leader of your faith, or a trained pastoral counselor can help you find spiritual support. Some members of the clergy are specially trained to minister to people with cancer and their families. Some hospitals also have chaplains available.

Ask your health care team about the resources available at your hospital. You can also contact your American Cancer Society to find out about sources of support that are available in your community.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

6 Important Nutritional Tips For Mesothelioma Patients

Although mesothelioma is not a cancer that is related to poor nutrition, improving nutritional intake can help mesothelioma cancer patients fight the progressive disease. These are some tips on the right kind of nutrition to eat if you are fighting mesothelioma:

1-It is foundationally important to eat a balanced and healthy diet to help prevent cancer and other health problems. Although there is some debate as to exactly which foods are best in certain quantities, the basic guidelines for a healthy diet are relatively simple; avoid all junk foods, eat in moderation, and pay attention to the effects of various foods on the body.

2-It is important to eat the most nutrient-dense calories possible, rather than ingesting calories from fast food, sweets or other processed foods that clog the lymphatic system and impede metabolism and immune system function. 3- It is important eat a diet heavy in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins, supplementing with dairy and healthy carbohydrates (such as whole wheat pastas and potatoes).

4- Vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, lipids (fats) and proteins all play major roles in a healthy human body. Without the right balance of nutrients the body cannot effectively fight cancer. In addition, malnutrition causes the body to be susceptible to infection. Many cancer patients do not pass away from the cancer itself, but rather a medical condition stemming from the body's weakened condition.

5-One of the most common side effects of cancer and cancer treatment is nausea. There are a number of dietary changes you can make to help this problem. Dry grain products like crackers and toast can help calm an upset stomach. Bland foods will also help with nausea, as well as acid reflux problems.

6-Another common characteristic found in cancer patients is low white blood cell count, which increases the chance of contracting an infection. To avoid this side effect, a number of changes can be made in the foods you ingest. It is most important to avoid bacteria, which is common in foods that are damaged or not prepared well. Avoid buffets when eating out, wash your hands before preparing meals, avoid raw meats and fish (like sushi), and throw away any foods that are bruised or damaged.

Although these nutritional principles will help in fighting the cancer, the mesothelioma victim should seek to go for other forms of well known therapies to complement the effort of following a proper nutrition.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

How You Can Cope With The Stress Of Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy can be a grueling experience for most mesothelioma patients, most of the anti cancer drugs have terrible side effects that you will experience during the course of the therapy . These following steps will help you cope with the stress of chemotherapy:

-Try to keep your treatment goals in mind. This will help you keep a positive attitude on days when the going gets rough.

-Eating well is very important. Your body needs food to rebuild tissues and regain strength.

-Learn as much as you want to know about your disease and its treatment.

This can lessen your fear of the unknown and increase your feeling of control.

-Keep a journal or diary while you're being treated. A record of your activities and thoughts can help you understand the feelings you have as you go through treatment. It can also help you highlight questions you need to ask your doctor or nurse. You also can use your journal to record the side effects. This will help you when you talk about them with your doctor and nurse. You can write down the steps you take to cope with side effects and how well those steps work, too. That way, you’ll know which methods worked best for you in case you have the same side effects again.

-Take it easy. You may not have as much energy as usual, so try to get as much rest as you can. Let the small stuff slide and only do the things that are most important to you.

-Try new hobbies and learn new skills.

-Exercise if you can and if your doctor says it's OK. Using your body can make you feel better about yourself, help you get rid of tension or anger, and build your appetite.

-Devise means of coping with stress and relaxing. There are simple techniques that you can practice that can help you cope with stress and help you relax. You should discuss with your doctor before you start using these techniques, especially if you have lung problems.

These are some of the technique that can help you deal with stress and relax :

• Lie down in a quiet room.
• Take a slow, deep breath.
• As you breathe in, tense a muscle or group of muscles. For example, clench your teeth or stiffen your arms or legs.
• Keep your muscles tense for a second or 2 while holding your breath.
• Then breathe out, release the tension, and let your body relax completely.
• Repeat the process with another muscle or muscle group.
Another way to do this is called progressive relaxation. You work your way up your body starting with the toes of one foot. Contract then relax all the muscles of one leg. Do the same with the other leg. Work your way up your body, contracting then relaxing each of the muscle groups in your body, including those in your neck and face. Remember to hold your breath while briefly contracting your muscles and to breathe out when releasing the tension.
Rhythmic breathing
• Get into a comfortable position and relax all your muscles.
• Close your eyes or focus on a distant object if you prefer to keep them open.
• Breathe in and out slowly and comfortably through your nose. If you like, keep the rhythm steady by saying to yourself, "In, one, two. Out, one, two."
• Feel yourself relax and go limp each time you breathe out.
• You can continue this for just a few seconds or for up to 10 minutes.

Bello kamorudeen.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy-A Basic Overview

Chemotherapy is one of the commonly used conventional treatments for mesothelioma cancer. Chemotherapy is cancer treatment with anti-cancer drugs. There are 2 main ways that anti cancer drugs can be administered:

1- Chemotherapy can be given systematically. In systemic therapy, the anti cancer drugs are swallowed in pill form or injected into a vein. The drug enters the bloodstream and circulates throughout the body to get to the cancer cells wherever they may be and kill them.

2-Chemotherapy can also be administered locally. In this form of delivery, the chemotherapy drugs may be given intrapleurally (directly into the chest cavity) or intraperitoneally (into the abdominal cavity) through a small incision in the chest or abdominal wall. This approach may allow doctors to give higher doses of chemotherapy to the tumor while limiting the side effects to the rest of the body. Chemotherapy drugs given this way may be heated first (hyperthermic chemotherapy), which may help them work better.

Chemotherapy may be given as an addition to surgery; it could be administered before or after the surgery. When it is given before the surgery it is referred to as neoadjuvant therapy and when it is given after surgery it is referred to as adjuvant therapy.

For advanced tumors that are not operable, chemotherapy can be used as the main form of treatment (alone or along with radiation therapy). Chemotherapy may slow the progression of the disease, but it is very unlikely to give a total cure.

Chemotherapy is given in cycles, with each period of treatment followed by a rest period to allow the body time to recover. Chemotherapy cycles generally last about 3 to 4 weeks. Chemotherapy is often not recommended for patients in poor health, but advanced age by itself is not a barrier to getting chemotherapy.

Several chemotherapy drugs have been used to treat mesothelioma. The most commonly used chemo combination to treat mesothelioma is the combination of pemetrexed (Alimta) and cisplatin. Pemetrexed interferes with levels of folic acid and vitamin B12 in the body, so these must also be given to avoid certain side effects.

Other chemotherapy drugs used to treat mesothelioma include:
• gemcitabine
• carboplatin
• methotrexate
• vincristine
• vinblastine
• mitomycin
• doxorubicin
• epirubicin
• cyclophosphamide
• ifosfamide
These drugs are usually given in combinations of 2 or more, but single drugs can be used in people who may not be able to tolerate combinations of drugs. Several other drugs are also being studied to determine their effectiveness in treating mesothelioma.

Side effects of chemotherapy drugs

The mode of action of chemotherapy drugs is to attack rapidly diving cancer cells in the tumor growth, but in doing so they also attack other normal rapidly diving cells of the body like those in the bone marrow, the lining of the mouth and intestines, and in the hair follicles. These cells are also likely to be affected by chemotherapy, which can lead to the development of side effects.

The side effects of chemotherapy depend on the type and dose of drugs you are given and on how long they are used for. These side effects can include:
• hair loss known medically as alopecia
• mouth sores
• loss of appetite also known medically as anorexia
• nausea and vomiting
• increased chance of infections (due to low white blood cell counts)
• easy bruising or bleeding (due to low blood platelet counts)
• fatigue (due to low red blood cell counts)

These side effects are usually temporary and usually disappear once treatment is over. There are often ways to lessen these side effects. For example, there are drugs that can be given to help prevent or reduce nausea and vomiting. Be sure to ask your doctor or nurse about medicines to help reduce side effects, and let him or her know when you do have side effects so they can be managed effectively.

Some of these chemotherapy drugs also have side effects that are peculiar to them. For example, cisplatin can cause nerve damage. This nerve damage can sometimes lead to hearing loss or abnormal sensations in the hands and feet such as pain, burning or tingling sensations, hypersensitivity to cold or heat, or weakness. (This is called peripheral neuropathy.) In most cases this goes away once treatment is stopped, but it may last a long time in some people.

All side effects should be promptly reported to your health team once they are noticed when you are on chemotherapy so that they can be dealt with promptly. Sometimes the dosage of the drugs will have to be reduced or treatment will have to be temporarily stopped or delayed to prevent the side effects from getting worse.

About the Author: Bello kamorudeen.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Long Time Mesothelioma Survivors -What Do They Have in Common?

Paul Kraus is one of the long-term survivors of malignant mesothelioma, there are many others and one thing they all have in common to all of them is the fact that they all focused most of their treatment on steps to improve or enhance their immune system. Some used alternative or complimentary therapies (with guidance from licensed clinicians) while others participated in clinical trials of immune therapy.

So does the immune system play a significant role in the control malignant mesothelioma? The experience of Paul Kraus and other long-term malignant mesothelioma survivors gives a lot of credit to the fact that the immune system is indeed very important in the management of malignant mesothelioma.

In quite a number of people with pleural mesothelioma that survived the cancer for a long time, their medical histories have shown that their immune system may have played a major role in their extremely long survival.

In 1986, an article appeared in a medical journal that discussed this very issue of malignant mesothelioma and immunity.(1) This research focused on the immune responses of 118 healthy people compared to 20 patients with malignant mesothelioma and 375 long-term asbestos workers who were cancer-free.

The researchers wanted to know if there were any measurable differences in the immune responses of the mesothelioma patients. Their findings demonstrated a relationship between the immune system and malignant mesothelioma. For example:

• The number of total T (T11+) and T-helper (T4+) cells were normal in asbestos workers with cancer, but were significantly reduced in patients with mesothelioma. T cells orchestrate, regulate and coordinate the overall immune response.

• Most patients with mesothelioma had a profound deficiency in Natural Killer cell (NK) activity which is suggestive of the role the immune system plays in the control of malignant mesothelioma. NK cells are a type of lethal lymphocyte that target tumor cells and protect against a wide variety of infectious microbes.

In the discussion section of the report, the researchers stated:
“These findings led us to speculate that biological phenomena generally categorized as chronic immunosuppression associated with the presence of asbestos fibers in the exposed workers may have caused the eventual breakdown of the host’s surveillance system and the onset of neoplasm [malignant mesothelioma].”

In other words, the researchers are suggesting that malignant mesothelioma may result from immune suppression. If this is true it would provide the biological basis for the role that the immune system and immune boosting approaches may play in the management of malignant mesothelioma.

Another example of a long time survivor of mesothelioma is James O’Connor.In October 2001, sixty-one year old James Rhio O'Connor ("Rhio") was diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma caused by his exposure to asbestos when he was younger. His was given less than a year to live.

His tumor was not operable because the tumor was too close to his spinal cord chemo was also not an option because at the stage of his tumor chemo would not have been of any major help to him, it could not give any significant elongation to his life span. He was basically told to prepare for imminent death in a polite manner.

To soften this message, the doctor also recommended that Rhio take his wife on a cruise and then start hospice care upon his return. Rhio rejected the idea. He was determined to survive this cancer. Working with professional clinicians, he formulated a regimen of over 100 supplements a day, changed his diet, practiced mind-body medicine, most of these treatments were aimed at boosting the immune system, and he relied on his own discipline to see him through the difficult times ahead.

Rhio survived for 7 ½ more years through his determination, knowledge, inexorable spirit, belief in something greater than himself, and the ability to make tough choices -qualities that spell success in any endeavor. Rhio passed away on July 11, 2009. He was 69 years old.
Rhio was often asked how he was able to manage his mesothelioma or "Mr. Meso" as he called it.

To answer these questions and help and inspire others, Rhio wrote a book called "They Said Months, I Chose Years: A Mesothelioma Survivor's Story." In this book Rhio discusses what he did to live his life with "Mr. Meso" and much of the science behind his decisions. In his book he cites nearly one hundred medical articles that support the concept of using nutrition to help manage a chronic disease like cancer. Rhio's inspirational life and book reminds us that there may be other ways to manage cancer and extend life beyond the conventional methods of surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Bello Kamorudeen.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Targeted Therapy- A New Way of Treating Mesothelioma

Conventional Mesothelioma cancer treatment consists mainly of three main options- surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation.

Newer medical therapies that are been discovered include the use of more targeted therapies that address the biological factors triggering mesothelioma growth might be a much more precise and effective way to combat this notoriously difficult cancer.

Mesothelioma is so difficult to treat properly because most often by the time it is diagnosed it is already in an advanced stage, and because it can take many biological forms. Current mesothelioma treatments were originally designed for other types of cancers, without considering factors that may be specific to mesothelioma. That may be why many patients only partially respond to treatment, and the average survival is just 12 months after diagnosis.

More specific “targeted therapies” that address the mechanisms that drive disease progression may actually provide a better means of prolonging the average life span of mesothelioma patients. “The term ‘targeted therapy’ refers to a new generation of anti-cancer drugs designed to interfere with a specific molecular ‘target,’ most often a protein or a receptor that is believed to have a critical role in tumor growth,” says lead study author Katalin Dobra, MD, PhD, a researcher in the Department of Laboratory Medicine at the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm, Sweden.

“Targeted cancer therapy takes advantage of our recent knowledge of the key mechanism that the malignant [cancerous] cell needs for its survival, and uses the special properties of mesothelioma cells to design novel therapeutic strategies,” Dr. Dobra says.

The process starts with molecular screening to identify the characteristics of a tumor and how it behaves, what causes it to grow and spread. Then researchers test various therapies on cells in the laboratory to see if they can interfere with that process. Not until then can a new cure be tested on patients in clinical trials.

So far, Dr. Dobra’s team has identified three possible molecular targets, each with its own potential treatment:

• Proteasome-subunits are groups of enzymes that regulate cell progression and death. Potential treatment: Drugs called proteasome inhibitors have been shown to halt the growth of mesothelioma cells.

• The thioredoxin system contains components that are produced differently in cancerous and noncancerous mesothelial cells, and it is thought to contribute to the survival of mesothelioma cells. Potential treatment: In collaboration with other groups, Dr. Dobra has shown that the mineral selenite may trigger mesothelioma cell death while sparing healthy cells.

• Proteoglycans (PGs) are a class of proteins that differ based on the type of mesothelioma cell. They work by affecting the growth factors that help mesothelioma cells grow and divide. Potential treatment: Oligosaccharide sequences, which are made up of chains of sugar molecules, might interfere with the work of PGs.

One of these targeted approaches, proteasome inhibitors, is now being tested in clinical trials. The other two methods are also promising, but more research is needed before they can be tested on patients. Additional tumor targets are also being investigated.

The next step in the research is to combine various treatments—both traditional and experimental—to see which ones are most effective at targeting mesothelioma tumors, Dr. Dobra says. Attacking the tumors from as many different approaches as possible may offer the greatest benefit to mesothelioma patients.

Bello kamorudeen.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Vitamin A - Possible New Drug For Mesothelioma

Vitamin A is a very important vitamin to maintaining health. Vitamin A is found in foods like carrots and it is well known for its importance in maintaining eyesight. Also recent independent research studies over the last three decades have suggested that vitamin A could possibly have an impact on managing and preventing mesothelioma.

Vitamin A has many essential functions in the human body including:

- sustenance of vision

- bone growth

- Reproduction

-Cell division

-Cell differentiation

- Helping to maintain the immune system – the body’s defense against infection.

Vitamin A comes from animal sources (such as liver and whole milk) and plant sources.
Retinoids which are chemically related to vitamin A have been implicated as anti-carcinogenic. For example, according to an article published in a leading medical journal: “At the cellular level, the anti-leukemia and anti-cancer activity of retinoids is the result of three main actions, cell-differentiation, growth inhibition and apoptosis.”

In a 1988 study performed by the National Cancer Institute, the dietary patterns of mesothelioma patients were compared to those of healthy individuals. According to the article, mesothelioma patients ate less homegrown, cruciferous vegetables and all vegetables combined before they were diagnosed compared to healthy patients. Cruciferous vegetables, also called Brassica Vegetables, include Arugula, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, Cabbage, Watercress, Bok Choy, Turnip Greens, Kale, and Mustard Greens. The researchers also pointed out that carotene intake was significantly lower for the mesothelioma patients. Carotene is a precursor to vitamin A.

In this 1996 study from the Division of Epidemiology of the American Health Foundation, the investigators examined the association between dietary intake and mesothelioma by studying 94 men and women with malignant mesothelioma and 64 people without cancer. They concluded that their results provided “some justification for the hypothesis that provitamin A or beta-carotene may decrease the risk of mesothelioma. Provitamin A is any of the carotenoids that are precursors of vitamin A and can be found in fish-liver oils, egg yolk, milk products, green-leaf or yellow vegetables, and fruits.

In a study from 2002, researchers looked at mesothelioma cells in vitro (in test tubes or Petri dishes outside the body) and found that retinoic acid (the oxidized form of Vitamin A) “may lead to a decrease of mesothelioma cell local invasion.” They interpreted this to mean that retinoic acid may modify how mesothelioma grows and spreads in the body. This study suggests that vitamin A levels could possibly affect the aggressiveness of mesothelioma once someone is diagnosed with the disease, thus making mesothelioma metastases unlikely.

And in 2006, Australian researchers looked at former workers and residents exposed to crocidolite (blue asbestos) in Western Australia. Their findings suggested that “people with chronically low plasma levels of retinol (the fat-soluble animal form of vitamin A found in liver and eggs) have increased risk of developing mesothelioma and lung cancer.”

Will vitamin A eventually become part of conventional treatment modality for the prevention or treatment of mesothelioma? These independent studies are very preliminary, but their conclusions are intriguing. In addition, there are anecdotal reports of long-time mesothelioma survivors using vitamin A as part of their healing regiments. But first a great deal more research is needed.

Mesothelioma patients willing to add Vitamin A as part of their cancer treatment should discuss with their doctor on the use of Vitamin A before proceeding on the use.

Bello kamorudeen.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Terminal Mesothelioma Cancer-How to Recognise a Dying Mesothelioma Victim

When the mesothelioma victim begins to show signs of imminent death, it is the time to for the relatives and friends to come around to say final goodbyes to their loved one. One after the other, the family members and friends might spend time with the patient, holding hands, talking to the patient, or just sitting quietly by the patient.

It can also be a time to perform any religious rituals and other activities the patient desires before he/she passes on. It is a chance for many families and friends to express their love and appreciation for the patient and for each other.

This also the time to plan for what to do after the death of the patient, so that the family will not be confused about what to during this very emotional time. If the patient is in hospice, the hospice nurse and social worker will help you. If the patient is not in hospice, talk with your doctor about it so that you will know what to do at the time of death.

These are some of the symptoms that will be seen in a dying mesothelioma cancer patient:

1- Changes in body function

• profound weakness,usually the patient cannot get out of bed and has trouble moving around in bed

• needs help with nearly everything he or she does. May be unable to change positions without help

• less and less interest in food, often with very little food and fluid intake for days

• trouble swallowing pills and medicines

• more drowsiness--the patient may doze or sleep much of the time if pain is relieved. May be restless and pick or pull at bed linens. May be hard to rouse or wake. Anxiety, fear, restlessness, and loneliness may worsen at night

• cannot concentrate, has short attention span

• confused about time, place, or people

• limited ability to cooperate with caregivers

• involuntary movement of any muscle, jerking of hands, arms, legs, or face

2- Changes in consciousness

• more sleeping during the day

• hard to wake or rouse from sleep

• confusion about time, place, or people

• restless, may pick or pull at bed linen

• may talk about things unrelated to the events or people present

• may have more anxiety, restlessness, fear, and loneliness at night

• after a period of sleepiness and confusion, may have a short time when he or she is mentally clear before going back into semi-consciousness

3- Changes in metabolism

• less interest in food -- the patient has less need for food and drink

• mouth may dry out (see the next section on changes in secretions)

• may no longer need some of his or her medicines, such as vitamins, replacement hormones, blood pressure medicines, and diuretics (unless they help make the patient more comfortable)

4- Changes in secretions

• mucus in the mouth may collect in the back of the throat (This may be a very distressing sound to hear, but doesn't usually cause discomfort to the patient.)

• secretions may thicken due to less fluid intake and build up because the patient cannot cough

5- Changes in circulation and temperature

• • arms and legs may feel cool to the touch as circulation slows down

• skin on arms, legs, hands, and feet may darken in color and look mottled (blotchy dark spots)

• other areas of the body may become either darker or paler

• skin may feel cold and either dry or damp

• heart rate may become fast, faint, or irregular

• blood pressure may get lower and become hard to hear

6-Changes in senses and perception

• vision may become blurry or dim

• hearing may decrease, but most patients are able to hear you even after they can no longer speak

7-Changes in breathing

• breathing may speed up and slow down due to less blood circulation and build up of waste products in the body

• mucus in the back of the throat may cause rattling or gurgling with each breath

• the patient may not breathe for periods of up 10 to 30 seconds

8-Changes in excretion

• urine may become darker and decrease in amount

• when death is near, the patient may lose control of urine and stool

Signs of irreversible death also known as “brain death”

-Cessation of breathing as the patients chest becomes still, not showing normal respiratory movements.

-Blood pressure becomes unrecordable

-Nil pulse in the blood vessels as the pulse stops

-Still immovable eyes with fixed wide gaze

-Open fixed pupils of the eyes, even in bright light

-Loss of control of bowels or bladder function as the muscles relax

After death it is all right if you sit with your loved one for a while. There is no rush to get anything done right away. Many families find this is an important time to pray or talk together and reconfirm their love for each other, as well as for the person who has passed away.

If the patient dies at home, caregivers are responsible for calling the appropriate people. Regulations or laws about who must be notified and how the body should be moved differ from one community to another. Your doctor or nurse can get this information for you. If you have a hospice or home care agency involved, call them. If you have completed funeral arrangements, calling the funeral director and doctor are usually all that you have to do.

Bello kamorudeen.