The majority of
people know asbestos is a very dangerous
substance, but many do not understand what it is
or why the mineral is bad for the body.
Understanding asbestos is important because the
illnesses associated with the substance can
cause serious medical problems and even death.
is an up-to-date resource for all issues ranging
from asbestos exposure to
mesothelioma clinical trials.
Mesothelioma is a form of
cancer almost exclusively caused by asbestos
exposure. It is a rare condition that has a very
long latency period in terms of symptoms arising
from the time of exposure. In most cases,
mesothelioma symptoms can take as long as 20 to
50 years to arise. Unfortunately for many
patients, mesothelioma is often diagnosed during
the latest stages of development and at a time
when treatment options are limited.
Detecting Mesothelioma Cancer
Early detection of
mesothelioma is the most assuring way to improve
a personís life expectancy. Those diagnosed when
the disease has already reached the advanced
stages of development often receive palliative
care to relieve symptoms, but such treatments do
not look to cure the cancer. If mesothelioma is
detected during the first stage of development,
a patient may be eligible to receive treatments
aimed to remove the cancer altogether. However,
such procedures do not guarantee that the cancer
will not return later in life.
An X-ray is typically the
first diagnostic tool that a doctor will use if
mesothelioma is suspected. If signs of
mesothelioma or asbestos exposure are found,
additional tests may be ordered to confirm a
diagnosis. Such tests may include a CT scan, PET
scan or MRI scan. A biopsy, also known as a
fluid and tissue test, may also be requested to
collect a sample of fluid to test for cancerous
cells. After a diagnosis has been made, a team
of doctors will design the best treatment
regimen for the patientís needs.