Monday, November 07, 2005

The Cancer Called Mesothelioma

Welcome to another Health Fitness Tip
by Shemileti Tadoroki

Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that is caused by
inhaling the microscopic fibers of asbestos. Before the
1960s it was a common practice to use asbestos as insulation
in many houses. It is known to be a good flame retardant,
which explains why it was preferred as insulation. However,
since then it has been discovered that the microscopic
fibers of asbestos can cause mesothelioma. The rise in the
instance of this disease is proof of that.

Mesothelioma gets its name from mesothelium, the linings in
the body. Mesothelioma cancer affects these linings, which
are found in the nose, the inside of the lungs, and in the
abdomen. The most common form of mesothelioma affects the
lungs. Since the tiny asbestos fibers are inhaled with the
air they go into the lungs and settle there. And this goes
on for years without being noticed. In fact, the disease
keeps growing for a long time before it is discovered. There
is no way to understand how long it will take to manifest

Mesothelioma is a silent intruder. The fibers are so small
that they keep lying in the mesothelium for decades before
showing up as any symptoms of infection. The most difficult
part is that even when the symptoms appear, they look very
similar to the symptoms of other diseases and are hard to
distinguish. For instance, the cancer first appears in the
right lung and shows signs akin to viral pneumonia. The
initial symptoms of mesothelioma are shortness of breath and
chest pain, accompanied by persistent coughing. Even fluid
builds up in the lungs.

If you go in for a chest X-Ray you will see the fluid build
up, but you will have to take many other tests to determine
whether it is viral pneumonia or mesothelioma. Abdominal
mesothelioma causes bowel trouble, pain, and swelling. It
can also cause your feet to swell, and weight loss or
anemia, which may occur as a result of vomiting.

Mesothelioma can spread to other parts of the body just like
any other cancer. It spreads pain wherever it goes. If you
have been exposed to asbestos at any point in life, you must
consult your doctor as soon as you notice persistent
symptoms that are similar to those of mesothelioma. There
are very few cancer specialists who treat mesothelioma.
Nevertheless, they are competent enough to treat the disease
and you have a fair chance of beating the disease.

Shemileti Tadoroki is the administrator of
A Guide To
Mesothelioma, Inc.

which is a comprehensive site containing replies to queries
and content related to mesothelioma. For
questions or comments about this document, please visit:

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