ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mesothelioma: 14 Questions and Answers

Updated on December 1, 2011

Mesothelioma: 14 Questions and Answers

Why are we hearing about the disease known as mesothelioma (mez-uh-thee-lee-oh-muh) far more often today? This is because the disease has taken decades to become full blown and was often misdiagnosed in the past.

Mesothelioma is likely to affect certain populations more - such as those who served in the military decades ago, and very often - longshoremen. One major difference is that mesothelioma is recognized now as a disease, and there is extensive information on the Internet about the disease, allowing us to be better informed.

Following are 14 questions and answers about mesothelioma:

1 - What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen, chest or other tissues. Some forms of the disease have been reported in the lining of the testicles. There are four types of mesothelioma.

2 - What are the four types of mesothelioma?

- pericardial mesothelioma is related to the heart

- pleural mesothelioma is related to the lungs

- peritoneal mesothelioma is related to the abdomen

- and testicular mesothelioma

3 - Why are we now hearing more about mesothelioma?

It parallels asbestos exposure and use which became more common and more frequent since 1900. Exposure to asbestos is most often the cause of the disease. Exposure may have taken place many decades ago but the disease may not show up for at least 10 years after first being exposed to asbestos, but it often appears about three to four decades after asbestos exposure. Sometimes longer.

4 - How many people are affected today?

In the U.S. 2,000 to 3,000 people are affected annually. In fact, the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs reports that there are about 25 million veterans who have been exposed to toxic asbestos-containing materials while serving in the military in the past. It was not until the 1970s that the material was phased out. Additionally, more than 300 products used in the military contained asbestos. Shipyard workers, especially longshoremen, were at the greatest risk. (see the personal note below)

5 - What is the prognosis?

The prognosis has been poor but there is newer, extensive surgical techniques that may change this prognosis. Early diagnosis and early treatment helps improve the prognosis.

6 - Does all types of asbestos cause the disease?

All fiber types of asbestos cause mesothelioma. There is some talk now that other fibers may also cause mesothelioma such as zeolites. Exposure to asbestos may also result in lung cancer and asbestosis.

7 - What is this disease called Asbestosis? How is it different from mesothelioma?

Asbestosis is a progressive pulmonary disease that is also caused by asbestos exposure. However, this disease is characterized by scar tissues on the lungs making it hard for the lungs to contract or expand. While mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelium - which is the membrane lining in several body cavities.

8 - What is asbestos?

Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral known to be toxic. It was often used during the 20th century because it was heat and fire-resistant. Many industries used asbestos and many patients who are now affected worked in these industries.

9 - Where was it used - other than in the military?

The mineral was used in many applications because it was strong, fire-proof, corrosion resistant and a good insulator. It was frequently used in insulation, such as in the attic and to cover pipes. Many older homes have asbestos that was used to make floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, flashing, wallboard and siding. It was also added to building materials such as concrete, vinyl and asphalt for strength. While it was phased out in the 1970s in the military, it was still used occasionally elsewhere into the late 1980s.

10 - How does the disease develop?

The disease develops by inhalation or ingestion into the body where the fibers then lodge into cavities or organs. This, in turn, causes infection or inflammation as well as cellular damage. After awhile, the cancerous cells begin to divide causing membranes to thicken. Fluid builds up in spaces between membrane layers and tumors begin to form.

11 - What are the symptoms of mesothelioma?

Symptoms may take more than 10 years and up to 50 years to show up after initial exposure. Symptoms can resemble other illnesses such as pneumonia and the flu. There may be breathing and swallowing difficulties, a raspy cough. fatigue, chest pains, night sweats, constipation or diarrhea, nausea and fever. Symptoms also depend on which part of your body is being affected. In the case of testicular cancer, it is the appearance of testicular lumps.

12 - What are the treatments for mesothelioma?

The most common forms of treatment include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Clinical trials are often available to test new treatment options, such as photodynamic therapy.

13 - What about alternative treatments?

There are alternative therapies that have been used to improve a patient's quality of life. These include acupuncture and massage.

14 - Where can I find more information?

There is a wealth of information on the Internet. Please search several sites to get a thorough understanding. There you will find information about treatment options, doctors, and attorneys.

Personal Note: Shipyard workers between World War II and the Korean War were more at risk for the disease. This included my father who worked as a longshoreman. However, back in the late 60s, it was referred to as lung cancer. Asbestos was the ideal material for shipbuilding because of its ability to resist high temperatures and corrosion. It was used as insulation for steam and hot water pipes and boilers. Asbestos dust built up in these areas leaving me to believe that this was also brought home in clothes - for my mother to wash. As far as longshoremen, many men loaded bundles of asbestos onto ships and no special precautions were ever used.

For more information about healthy eating options, as well as information about many alternative treatments available for a variety of ailments, please see links below:

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Dean 

      7 years ago

      I like this information. It's straight to the point. Keep us updated always TheListLady.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 

      7 years ago from Georgia

      I never knew there were so many types of mesothelioma. This was a great run down on this scary disease.

    • CountryCityWoman profile image

      CountryCityWoman 

      7 years ago from From New York City to North Carolina

      Very clear helpful information - all in one place. A great list idea. How sad so many people are and will continue to be affected by asbestos. Good grief!

      Thanks a lot and rated up!

    • BkCreative profile image

      BkCreative 

      7 years ago from Brooklyn, New York City

      I like the way you did this - it makes it very clear - even makes me want to read it. Very helpful and I can relate to those who are affected because of military service and working on the docks - the asbestos was used everywhere. How irresponsible. When are we going to admit that if we don't know the harm of a product - it doesn't mean use it - it means stay away. Now we are surrounded by asbestos which was never meant to be used the way it was used.

      Rated up!

    • anglnwu profile image

      anglnwu 

      7 years ago

      Very comprehensive cover on this Mesothelioma. Well-done and rating it up.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)