Friday, May 28, 2010

Mesothelioma - Support and Advise For the Mesothelioma Victims

Most people that develop mesothelioma have been exposed to asbestos in the past. Mesothelioma, a cancer of the mesothelium grows mainly in the lining of the lungs and abdomen and it takes decades for the symptoms of the cancer to surface. The main symptoms are chest pain and difficulty in breathing.

If you have worked with asbestos or materials containing asbestos, for example shipyard workers, insulation engineers, maintenance workers, building workers, you can develop mesothelioma. People working in other industries could also be exposed to asbestos without remembering the exposure. Also some people who were exposed to asbestos through washing and handling of clothes contaminated with asbestos and some people living close to asbestos industries may also develop mesothelioma.

Presently there is no known cure for mesothelioma, the treatments available only help to control the symptoms and improve quality of life of the victim. The type of treatment will be individualized and it depends on the stage of the cancer.

Help and Support Every mesothelioma case will need support and help, many find it hard difficult to accept the diagnosis, others feel bitter and angry. Every mesothelioma victim must have access both to information about the disease and to emotional support, including someone to talk to when they feel like. There are several specialist organizations that provide such help.

Your Benefits and Compensations All mesothelioma victims may be entitled to social security benefits and compensations from employers or both. These are some of the benefits you might be entitled to: a}Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit-You can get this quickly paid so you should make your claim as soon as possible so as to be able to get your benefits. b}War disablement pension-If you were exposed to asbestos while serving in the armed forces, you can make this claim from the Veterans Agency. c}Constant Attendance Allowance-This allowance may be paid to you once you receive any of the benefits mentioned above. d}You may also be entitled to a lump sum payment from the Government under the Pneumoconiosis e.t.c{Workers Compensation}Act 1979,or in Northern Ireland,the Pneumoconiosis e.t.c{Workers Compensation}{Northern Ireland}Order 1979.

Whoever you choose to consult about benefits, you should always ask about a payment under the 1979 Act or Order and Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit.

These and some other benefits and compensations are what you are entitled to if you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma.

Bello Kamorudeen

Monday, May 24, 2010

Malignant Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma-What Is This?

In histological terms, there are four different types of mesothelioma: sarcomatoid, epithelial, biphasic, and desmoplastic (a variant of sarcomatoid).In medical terms, the term histopathology refers to the microscopic examination of cellular tissue to gain insight into the manifestations of various diseases.

Malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma is the least common of the four cellular types. It accounts for approximately 7 to 20 percent of cases. When viewed under a microscope,the malignant cells appear as elongated spindle-shaped cells that are irregularly shaped and often overlap one another.

Desmoplastic mesothelioma is considered a variant of sarcomatoid mesothelioma. This form is likely the most difficult of all mesotheliomas to diagnose. When desmoplastic mesothelioma invades or metastasizes, the cells can appear very bland and can be misdiagnosed as benign fibrous tissue. Medical experts say this form should not be diagnosed with a needle core biopsy.

It's important to know that malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma is sometimes difficult to diagnose on the basis of histological methods. For example, cells of another type of cancer called pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma are very similar in appearance (as well as other characteristics) to malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma. For this reason, if you are diagnosed with cancer and you know that you have been exposed to asbestos at some time in the past, obtaining a second diagnostic opinion may be important. Different types of cancer vary widely in terms of prognosis and treatment options, and if misdiagnosed, patients may not receive the most appropriate treatment for their cancer.

Treatment and Prognosis

Each of the four cellular forms of mesothelioma is generally treated in the same way. Treatment is not based on the specific type of cells involved, but instead on the location of tumors and the stage of the cancer. Each type of cancer responds to treatment very differently. In general, patients with malignant sarcomatoid mesothelioma have a poorer prognosis than patients with the epithelioid type , as sarcomatoid cancers are more aggressive and more resistant to treatment. Unfortunately, the general prognosis for all the different types is usually poor, and the difference in prognosis between sarcomatoid, epithelioid, biphasic and desmoplastic cancers may amount to as little as a few months.

Biopsy and Histopathology

Patients undergoing medical evaluation to ascertain a diagnosis of mesothelioma will also have to undergo a variety of medical tests to determine the location and nature of the cancer.

- Biopsy: This involves removal of samples of suspected cancer cells from several locations in the tumor site which are taken to the laboratory for proper evaluation to determine what type of cells they are and whether the cells are malignant.

The biopsy samples are tested in the laboratory under the principles of histopathology in two ways: - They are viewed under a microscope to determine their general appearance. - The cells are also tested for the presence of oncoproteins and molecules that are specific to certain type of cancer cells.

When viewed under a microscope, mesothelioma cells and other types of cancer cells have different types of appearance and different shapes when compared to normal healthy cells. Further tests that evaluate the types of proteins present on the surface of the cells are needed to determine the exact nature of the cells.

When mesothelial cells become malignant, they begin to produce different types of proteins and some of these are present on the surface of the cells. Examining the types of surface proteins allows a histologist to determine if the cells are malignant mesothelioma, another type of cancer, or healthy cells. The application of histochemistry in the diagnosis of mesotheliomas is primarily to differentiate epithelial mesotheliomas from mucin-producing adenocarcinoma.

Bello Kamorudeen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mesothelioma - Most Commonly Asked Questions

Mesothelioma is an uncommon cancer that affects primarily the mesothelium which is a protective sac covering most of the body's internal organs. Exposure to asbestos particles at the place of work has been strongly linked to the development of mesothelioma in most of the victims.

Some of the most frequently asked questions on mesothelioma are:

1- Is there any ongoing research to discover new treatments for mesothelioma?

Yes, there are new treatments that are being studied. The National Cancer Institute {NCI} is sponsoring clinical trials {research with people} which are designed to find new modes of treatment and also to discover better ways of using currently used treatments.

Most of these treatments are still undergoing clinical trials by doctors to find out whether the treatments are safe for patients and whether they are effective against the disease before they can be recommended for general use.

Mesothelioma victims can offer themselves for participation in these clinical trials as a treatment option. Information about clinical trials is available from the Cancer Information Service{CIS} at 1-800-4-Cancer.

2- How can Mesothelioma be treated?

The treatment of mesothelioma depends on, the location of the cancer,stage of the disease, and patients age and general health.

Treatment options include

a} Chemotherapy, b} Radiotherapy, c} Surgery.

These forms of treatment are sometimes combined.

- Chemotherapy: This involves the use of anticancer drugs to selectively destroy and kill the cancer cells in the body. Most of the anticancer drugs are administered intravenously. Ongoing research into possibility of direct administration of anticancer drugs into the chest or abdomen is currently being studied.

- Radiotherapy: This involves the use of high energy rays {radiation} to kill the cancer cells and debulk {shrink} tumors. The radiation is directed only at the affected area of the body to kill the cancer cells.

Radiation can be from an external machine placed outside the body {external radiation},or it could be form an internal source where the material releasing the radiation is placed inside the area of the body affected by cancer cells. It is placed with the use of thin plastic tubes.

- Surgery: This is a very common mode of treatment in treating mesothelioma. The surgeon may remove part of the lining of the chest and abdomen and some of the surrounding tissue. Sometimes an operation called pneumonectomy is done during which a whole lung is removed. Other forms of surgery involves the removal of part of the diaphragm, this is the muscular sheet separating the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity.

Bello Kamorudeen

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Mesothelioma Law Firm - How to Choose the Best One For You

The choice of the law firm to handle your mesothelioma lawsuit is a very important choice to make. You must choose a law firm that will suit your needs. You must bear in mind that mesothelioma lawsuits tend to drag over a long time and they can be very expensive.

The road to justice in most of these lawsuits is often not very smooth and getting your desired justice might not be that easy.

The law firm you hire must be able to deliver the main goal of the lawsuit which is to win the case for you. The firm you choose will determine whether or not you will get the compensation you deserve, so you will have to choose very well. The better your choice, the better your chances of winning the case. Your law firm must be able to get you the justice you desire, be sure to explore all the options before you, do not rush into signing a contract with just any one.

-A good law firm will not make the lawsuit a cumbersome and expensive task.

-When trying to hire a mesothelioma law firm you will be faced with two options, either you hire a big or a small law firm.

-The big law firm usually have longstanding experience in mesothelioma lawsuits, they would have been involved in many asbestos exposure related lawsuits. Most of the cases they take up against asbestos related industries have been on behalf of groups, so they might end up sidelining small individual cases like yours.

When these big law firms handle your case, your chances of getting individual attention is poor.

The amount of likely mesothelioma settlements in small cases like yours might not encourage the big law firms. Also the mass settlements these big law firms usually get from the asbestos industries will not benefit you very much.

Bello Kamorudeen

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Pericardial Mesothelioma - Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment, Prognosis & Basic Facts For You to Know

Pericardial mesothelioma accounts for about half of all pericardial tumors and is extremely rare. This cancer accounts for about 6% of all mesothelioma cases, these tumors are typically diffused and tend to cover the whole heart.

Pericardial mesothelioma affects the pericardium which is the membrane made up of mesothelial cells that surrounds and protects the heart. This membrane has two layers: A} an outer layer called parietal pericardium B} an inner layer called the visceral pericardium {epicardium}


Unlike in the case of pleural mesothelioma, there is no clear link between this cancer and exposure to asbestos fibers, but a number of patients with pericardial mesothelioma have a history of exposure to asbestos.

Some schools of thought believe that it is the inhaled asbestos fibers in the lungs that travel via blood from the lungs to the heart, although this theory is not supported by conclusive evidence.

When asbestos fibers get lodged in the pericardium, the body is unable to excrete the asbestos fibers and they remain stuck in the pericardium. These fibers over a long period of time cause the pericardial cells to undergo changes that result into cancerous transformation.

The cancer cells divide without control and they eventually lead to the thickening of the pericardial membranes eventually causing development of the tumors. These changes lead to the accumulation of fluids in between the two layers which combined with the thickening of these layers result in the compression of the heart.


Most of the symptoms are caused by the accumulation of fluids and the thickening of the pericardial layer. The common symptoms are: A) Heart palpitations or irregular pulse (arrhythmias) B) Chest pain C) Murmurs (abnormal heart sounds) D) Cough E) Dyspnoea (shortness of breath) F) Fatigue H) Fever or night sweats I) Orthopnoea (breathlessness on lying down)

These symptoms are not specific for the cancer, making the clinical diagnosis very difficult.


After getting a clinical diagnosis a series of tests can be done to locate the cancer and identify the cancer cells.

-MRI, Magnetic Resonance Imaging

This is useful in assessing and determining the extent of development of the cancer.


This involves the removal of pericardium tissue or fluid for laboratory test to confirm the presence of mesothelioma cells.

-Chest x-ray

This helps to identify the tumor, there is a characteristic shape of the heart on the x-ray film when there is a tumor of the pericardium.

-Chest CT scan

This also helps to identify the tumor.


Pericardial mesothelioma patients are not usually suitable for surgery, except in rare cases where the cancer is diagnosed very early and surgery may be done to remove small localized tumors.

This type of surgery is very risky because of the proximity of the heart.

Palliative treatment is often the only option for treating pericardial mesothelioma, this type of treatment is aimed at improving the patient's quality of life and reducing the severity of symptoms caused by the accumulation of fluid in the pericardium.

Fine needle aspiration may be done to drain the accumulated fluid surrounding the heart. Radiotherapy could also be used to shrink the tumor to alleviate the symptoms caused by the compression of the heart by the accumulating fluid. The proximity of the heart and lungs however makes this a very risky procedure.


The prognosis of this type of mesothelioma is very poor, about 50 -60% of all cases die within 6 months of diagnosis. Occasionally few patients survive for longer periods following treatment with partial surgical resection and radiotherapy.

Bello Kamorudeen

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Mesothelioma Prevention - Three Main Ways To Prevent Mesothelioma

The main way by which mesothelioma is prevented is by reducing and limiting exposure to asbestos at home, at work and at public places. These three measures help to prevent and reduce exposure to asbestos fibers.

1. Jobs that have high risk of exposure to asbestos include mining, factory workers, insulation manufacturers, railroad and automotive workers, ship builders, gas mask manufacturers, and construction workers, particularly those involved with insulation. People that work in any of these sites should always put on protective gowns, and they fully adopt and abide by all the safety work procedures and practices in their place of work.

2. Old houses might have asbestos containing insulation materials and people living in them could also be at risk of exposure to asbestos. If you live in an old house you might need to get a knowledgeable expert to determine the level of asbestos in your home, so that you can know if you are at risk from asbestos. Generally however asbestos in buildings might not pose much danger if they are in good condition, it is only when they are tampered with when you attempt to remove them that they might actually be released into the air, so it is better you live them alone.

If in any case you decide to remove asbestos from your home you must get a qualified contractor to remove them for you to prevent contamination of your home further. Never attempt to remove the asbestos containing materials yourself.

3. Some commercial and public buildings especially come schools also contain asbestos. These buildings could expose people to asbestos especially if they are damaged and when they start deteriorating gradually over time. Federal Laws require that schools and public buildings should inspect their asbestos containing buildings regularly and have a plan for managing them

Bello Kamorudeen.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Alarming Mesothelioma Statistics For You to Know

-Mesothelioma is not a very common disease with about 2000-3000 new cases seen in the US every year.

-There was a gradual increase in the number of cases of newly diagnosed mesothelioma victims in the United States from the 1970's to the 1990's after which the number became fairly constant. After the year 2000 and beyond the number has likely been on the decrease.

-Mesothelioma is more common in men. It is four times commoner in men than in women.

-The number of new Mesothelioma cases is still increasing in European countries.

-Mesothelioma commonly affects people over the age of 55 years, it is very rare to find Mesothelioma in people under the age of 55 years and its incidence increases with age, about 90% of people diagnosed with Mesothelioma are over the age of 65 years.

-This cancer is commoner in Caucasians and Hispanics than in African Americans or in Asian Americans.

-The mean lifespan of the victims of this deadly cancer is between four to eighteen months. About nine to ten percent of mesothelioma victims live up to five years after diagnosis. The lifespan of individual cases depend on many factors including the stage and the degree of spread of the tumor at diagnosis, the age of the victim at diagnosis, general state of health, and some other factors.

-It is however important to note that most of these survival data were collected from patients diagnosed and treated years ago , it is most likely that these figures might have improved by now with more victims living longer after diagnosis.

-Finally it is important to also note that these figures are just a guide and they do not determine your own outcome of the disease. So many other individual factors come to play to determine your own actual outcome, you should discuss with your oncologist to know how best these figures apply to you.

Bello Kamorudeen.