Saturday, 27 February 2010

Pericardial Mesothelioma - What You Need to Know

People perceive mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases to affect only the lungs. Since mesothelioma is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, it is common to think that it only accumulates in the lungs. However, asbestos can affect the serous membranes which enclose other organs found in the mid-section of our body (not just the lungs) such as the heart, in a condition named pericardial mesothelioma.

Pericardial mesothelioma, also known as mesothelioma of the pericardium is the rarest type of asbestos-induced disease. As is suggestive of its name, this disease affects the linings of the heart or the pericardium. This variety of cancer only affects about 10% of mesothelioma patients. Despite continuous studies, there is no confirmatory evidence that explains how the asbestos fibers get lodged in the linings of the heart, although various theories have tried to explain the occurrence.

One theory proposes that the asbestos fibers, when inhaled, are broken down into smaller particles in the lungs, small enough for them to be carried into the blood stream and pumped into the heart. When this happens, the fine asbestos fibers become lodged in the linings, causing chronic inflammation which eventually leads to cancerous tumor growth.

As with other types of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma can take a few decades to manifest. It usually takes twenty to thirty years, or even longer. This also means that when the cancer symptoms do manifest, it is almost always too advanced for curative treatment.

The most common symptoms to watch out for with pericardial mesothelioma include persistent coughing, shortness of breath, palpitations and chest pains. These are usually mistaken for less serious ailments, making it even more difficult to diagnose immediately. Once a diagnosis has been made by your doctor, the next step is usually to find out the extent of the spread of the cancerous cells. This is often done through an MRI or a CT scan, the results of which will determine the mode of treatment.

Pericardial mesothelioma can be treated through a range of treatment options. If the disease is found early on, surgery may be an option. However, as this disease is oftentimes detected in its late stages, more aggressive treatment combinations including chemotherapy and radiation are frequently involved. Clinical trials are being conducted on pericardial mesothelioma. Because of its rare nature, research studies on this type of asbestos-related cancer have been quite limited.


Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Introduction to Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is caused by excessive exposure to asbestos. People usually get exposed to asbestos by inhaling tiny fibers of it from atmosphere. Mesothelium is protective lining on internal organs of the body. On lungs it is called "pleura", on heart it is called "pericardium", and on abdominal cavity it is called "peritoneum."
When Mesothelium is exposed with asbestos, it starts dividing in uncontrolled manner and this condition is called Cancer. Since, it caused on Mesothelium tissue the cancer is called "Mesothelioma". Further, Mesothelioma is categorized into three types: Epithelial which is the most common type of all, Sarcomatoid which is the rarest one and last Biphasic which is the combination of both Epithelial and Sarcomatoid.

Introduction to Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

This type of cancer is rarest as well as most serious form of cancer as it responds at a snail's pace to the treatment. This is called rarest form of cancer as it is found only in 10% to 20% of the patients. In this type of cancer, the cells transform as spindle-shaped pattern that overlap each other and occurs from support tissues of the body such as cartilage, bone, fat and muscle. In advanced stages, it spreads to other parts of the body from these areas such as abdominal organs, lymph nodes, lungs, or chest wall. Cancer in these areas is very painful and difficult to treat and therefore patients suffering with this disease hardly live as long as six months after diagnosis.

Diagnosis and Symptoms of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Diagnosis of this disease is very difficult because its symptoms are similar to those of other respiratory diseases. It is usually diagnosed during biopsy by the extraction of affected tissue. Symptoms of this disease appear after 30 to 40 years after being exposed to asbestos. Therefore, people usually come to know about their disease during advanced stages because of which it responds poorly to the treatment. The common symptoms of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma are pain because of fluid retention in the pleural area, spinal swelling and cough, accumulation of fluid in abdominal cavity and weight loss. Apart from these symptoms fever, anemia, and blood clotting abnormality are some most common symptoms.

By Cristen Scott


Sunday, 14 February 2010

Mesothelioma - The Tests Used For Diagnosis

Cancer is a word that will scare even the bravest of folks. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is associated with asbestos exposure and is, fortunately, fairly rare. In this article, we take a look at the tests used for diagnosing it.

Unless you like reading Grey's Anatomy, you probably aren't aware of the significance of the name of this cancer. Mesothelioma refers to a cancer of the Mesothelium. Huh? The Mesothelium is a lining that surrounds the chest and abdomen cavities as well as the organs. There is a lubricant in the lining that allows the organs to move about without injury. Mesothelioma is a cancerous growth in this lining.

Testing for Mesothelioma is fairly difficult. The cancer can take 15 to 40 years to manifest after exposure to asbestos. The preliminary test is nothing more than the chest x-ray you get with your yearly checkup. The x-ray can reveal abnormal growths. It rarely conclusively shows Mesothelioma, but does give the physician a heads up that further investigation is needed.

The next test used to diagnose the condition is a Cytology test. This is done by taking out fluid in the Mesothelium lining. It is then analyze in a lab in an effort to determine if any malignant cells are present. This test is starting to be used less often by physicians. Why? It is notoriously inaccurate!

Now we start getting to the serious tests. The first is known as a needle biopsy. In this test, a needle will be inserted into what appears to be the area of concern. A small amount of material is then removed and sent to the lab for analysis. This is a direct test of the area in question and usually reveals conclusively what is going on. If the area in question is not readily available to a needle, the biopsy may be done as a full surgery where the area is opened up and a sample is taken.

One of the things people constantly complain about when it comes to cancer diagnosis is the lack of a definitive answer. Every test suggests something, but few definitely indicate anything. The same frustration holds true for Mesothelioma. Until you have a biopsy done, you'll never really know if you have this form of cancer.

By Thomas Ajava


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

How to Choose a Mesothelioma Lawyer

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, but the deadliest one of all. The victims of mesothelioma are innocent men and women who did not know that they were being poisoned with asbestos as they worked. The manufacturers and even distributors knew for decades that asbestos was hazardous, but they did not warn people of those hazards. As a result, you have the right of recovery against those manufacturers, which on the other hand can help pay the costs of treatment and provide compensation for your pain and suffering.

Although nothing can truly compensate for loss of health or life, mesothelioma lawyers are devoted to getting you the compensation you deserve. If your life has been affected by mesothelioma directly or indirectly, then you may deserve compensation.

Filing a mesothelioma lawsuit is a long and tedious process. So, it is vital to your case that you find an experienced mesothelioma lawyer, and as soon as you have been diagnosed with the cancer. Most states have a time limit in which you can file your mesothelioma lawsuit. If you miss that deadline, you may find that you are not entitled to make a claim. Earlier you get to a mesothelioma lawyer, the better your chances of success. Here are a few important guidelines in finding a good mesothelioma lawyer.

"Mesothelioma Law Firm" - There's no such thing as a mesothelioma law firm because one law firm can deal with a variation of cases, but it is best to select a law firm or an attorney that has past experience of dealing with mesothelioma cases. They have already done the leg work and gained the knowledge and experience with mesothelioma. But, do not disregard any other law firm. A mesothelioma case is just like any other case that requires responsibility and discipline from the attorney to win your case. A law firm with a very good reputation can as well handle your mesothelioma case if not better.

Searching for mesothelioma lawyer - You can begin your search on the Internet or in the yellow pages. However, your local or state bar association, and Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (found in most public libraries) will give you narrower search and help you find your mesothelioma lawyer a whole lot faster. The Martindale-Hubbell Legal Network has a database of over a million lawyers and law firms in 160 countries. This service evaluates lawyers based on peer reviews. Their website, has a helpful lawyer locator service and will explain the rating system.

How do you select your mesothelioma lawyer - The Oklahoma Bar Association has put out excellent guidelines regarding choosing an attorney. They state that "Selecting a lawyer is a personal matter. You must judge which particular attorney will be best for you. Before making a decision, however, you may want to contact several lawyers or law firms to gather some comparative information.

When choosing a lawyer, keep practical considerations in mind: the lawyer's area of expertise, prior experience and reputation, convenience of office location, amount of fees charged and the length of time a case may take. A lawyer's communication skills are another factor. Willingness and ability to talk to you in language you understand and responsiveness to your questions will influence how well informed you are about the progress of your case.

It is advisable that you select an attorney with whom you feel comfortable. These preferences may guide you in selecting someone with whom you feel most comfortable.

It is important that you trust the lawyer you hire -- and that you believe he or she will do the best job possible in protecting your legal rights. But keep in mind that most lawsuits and other legal work are not "sure things." You should be cautious of an attorney who guarantees results. No lawyer can be expected to win every case, and sometimes the best legal advice may not be exactly what you want to hear."

The timely process of selecting a mesothelioma lawyer and the proper filing of your mesothelioma lawsuit can make all the difference between a multi-million dollar compensation claim to secure the future of your family (once and if you are gone), and getting nothing at all for your pain, suffering, and loss of life.

By Steve Dimeck


Saturday, 6 February 2010

California Mesothelioma Lawyer & Mesothelioma Attorney Facts

Mesothelioma is a devastating form of cancer, but also rather uncommon. This disease stems from the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos particles. These particles can pierce the lungs, intestines and even heart. Particularly these particles irate the mesothelium, a protective sack that secrets fluids allowing organs to move properly. In addition, the mesothelium can develop cancerous tumors which can essentially spread throughout the body. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma only live for around five years after the condition develops.

Mesothelioma primarily affects three organs of the body. Affected areas include the lungs, the gastrointestinal tract and the heart. The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma. The second most common form of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma which destroys the stomach & intestines. The rarest form of mesothelioma is called pericardial mesothelioma, which attacks the membrane lubricates in the heart during circulation.

There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but victims of this terrible disease still have many options available for support. In addition to support from family & friends, it is also important to get legal support. Mesothelioma victims have many legal options to explore and it is very important that you contact a qualified mesothelioma lawyer as soon as possible.


Monday, 1 February 2010

Caring For a Mesothelioma Patient

It is estimated that approximately 3,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Because the latency period (the period of time between exposure to asbestos and the development of mesothelioma) is long, people who were exposed to asbestos even decades ago are currently developing the disease. Another variable that is extremely important to a patients out look is his or her overall health at the time of diagnosis. Generally the healthier a patient is, the better he or she will react to cancer treatments, and the greater the chances of longer survival. It may take some time for the diagnosis to be made.

A mesothelioma patient is an individual who has been exposed to toxic asbestos fibers in the last fifty years. Workers in the factory, construction, custodial, automotive, railroad, and shipyard industries are all at risk for developing mesothelioma

As a mesothelioma patient, you will confront medical costs and related financial demands in addition to the emotional and physical problems of having a serious disease. Diagnosing and treating mesothelioma is expensive. There are a number of changes that are expected to occur in a mesothelioma patient. A lung transplant is a possible treatment option for a mesothelioma patient whose respiratory health has deteriorated to a level at which doctors predict that the patient will not live long without a healthy replacement lung. However, lung transplant surgery is a major undertaking.

Some doctors and medical centers have extensive experience with treating mesothelioma patients. Some cancer centers have experience with all types of cancer. Most often, the hospice care is provided to a mesothelioma patient at his or her home, allowing patients to spend their last days in the comfort of their homes their families present.

For the caregiver of a mesothelioma patient, life will change drastically. This person will not only work tirelessly to physically tend to the mesothelioma sufferer, but will also be involved in numerous decisions about this person and their disease. Most reports indicate that the average age of a mesothelioma patient is 60.

There are groups available to support loved ones of mesothelioma patients. Consult with your doctor to find the best support groups for you and your loved ones.

By Renee Dietz


Monday, 14 December 2009

Mesothelioma Diagnosis: A Guide

Diagnosis of mesothelioma is a difficult procedure. It is to analyze the symptoms in the initial stages. The symptoms of this rare disease make the diagnosis very difficult even to a doctor, since the symptoms would be very similar to other common diseases in the early stages of this deadly disease. Delay in the diagnosis is very common in most of the cases. As a matter of fact these symptoms can appear as non-specific to both the patient and their doctors.

A careful assessment is needed in the diagnosis of mesothelioma which relates both the clinical and radiological findings. The tissue biopsy is also confirmed carefully along with the above factors. The reviewing of the patient’s medical history can be very helpful to diagnose mesothelioma. Observation of the disease and the history includes details such as the patient’s asbestos exposure, the complete physical examination, x-ray results of the chest and abdomen, and the lung function tests.

A Computerized Tomography (CT) scan or Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) scan may also be taken at this level. If the preliminary test results prove suspicious, then a biopsy is performed for confirming the diagnosis. The location of the cancer can be determined with the help of performing the biopsy. If the biopsy test confirms the presence of mesothelioma, the stage of the cancer is then determined. A series of tests are performed to determine the amount of cancerous cells that have spread.

If the test shows that the cancerous cells are not developed beyond the membrane, then the disease is considered to be localized. During this diagnosis procedure, various tests are performed such as the imaging tests, which includes the use of x-rays; CT (Computed Tomography) scans; MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging); PET (Positron Emission Tomography); bronchoscopy or mediastinoscopy, used to look into the affected area; cytology, used to test the pleural fluid after it is removed by a needle; thoracoscopy, used to look directly into the tumor; needle biopsy; and open biopsy. Those are the major tests that are performed during the mesothelioma diagnosis.

By Kristy Annely