About Asbestos Cancer:
Airborne asbestos fibers, when inhaled, can cause asbestos cancer. This is also known as malignant mesothelioma. This is a rare kind of cancer that is not seen too frequently. Nevertheless, just like all diseases, malignant mesothelioma is not an easy one to deal with and can turn life-threatening too if not dealt with early and with care. Malignant mesothelioma or asbestos cancer occurs due to excessive exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring substance that occurs in fibers. Asbestos is used for various purposes, such as the asbestos used in asbestos roofs, asbestos siding, asbestos shingles, and other building parts. Though most states have very strict regulations guiding the owners of such buildings to the careful handling of asbestos, many times, improper handling can lead to contamination of the air and natural surroundings that can lead to this disease.
In asbestos cancer, the malignant cells, or the cancer cells can be easily noticed on the chest linings (pleura) or, as seen in other cases, in the abdomen (known as the peritoneum). These can be only traced with the help of an x-ray of the patient’s chest and of his/her abdomen.
The examination:
Doctors can look better into the patient’s chest cavity using a special instrument, known as a thoracoscope. Generally, a patient is asked to take mild anesthesia, so that it does not cause him too much discomfort. Quite often asbestos cancer is caused in the patient’s lungs. For looking into the lower abdomen, a doctor may use an instrument known as a peritoneoscopy. Before this test is carried out the doctor may use a similar drug on the patient, for greater convenience.
These tests help to know the nature of the cells present. If the cells do not appear to be normal, the doctor will have to observe these cells under a microscope. This process, known as a biopsy, finally determines if the patient does suffer from asbestos cancer or not.
The treatment:
The treatment for asbestos cancer, or malignant mesothelioma, depends greatly on the patient’s personal requirements. Generally, the treatment methods tend to get more complex if the disease has reached a much-advanced stage. Treatment of asbestos cancer or malignant mesothelioma also varies greatly from patient to patient depending greatly on the type of asbestos substance that has caused this disease. Treatment options include surgery to extract cancer, chemotherapy treatment, and radiation.
Who is at risk?
Most people who develop asbestos cancer, tend to be the ones who have worked in such jobs where they had been constantly coming in contact with this substance. These people are usually the ones working in industries that either process asbestos, and make asbestos supplements, or deal with asbestos-containing materials, either directly or indirectly.
However, there have been cases where the patients have been the ones who have developed the disease due to negligence on the part of the ones handling asbestos or asbestos-containing materials. Though such types of asbestos cancer are usually quite mild, they can get serious depending on the amount of exposure and as well as the time of the exposure. In such cases, they can seek the help of the law to help them defend their rights.