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Articles Posted in Mesothelioma Medical

Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once used in a variety of industrial, commercial, and military applications mostly for its ability to be molded into almost any shape, as well as its heat-resistant properties. Unfortunately, the widespread use of asbestos attributes to 3,000 annual diagnoses even to this day.

Asbestos was once commonly used in vinyl flooring tiles, home insulation, auto parts-such as brakes and gaskets, and even in everyday appliances like ovens. The mineral found extensive use in industrial applications for pipefitting, steamfitting, and other heavy-duty insulation and gasket-making applications. Asbestos was once widely used in military applications aboard Navy ships in engine rooms.

One of the main complications with mesothelioma is its latency period – the time between exposure and diagnosis, which can be anywhere from 20 years to 50 years, leaving patients with diminished treatment options upon diagnosis. The type of mesothelioma discovered can also further complicate matters. The three main types of mesothelioma are:

A recent report published in CA: A Cancer Journal for Clinicians shed some revealing light on cancer statistics across the globe, including the most commonly diagnosed types of cancers and their mortality rates across genders. According to the report, compiled by researchers employed by the American Cancer Society, lung cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed form of cancer and the one with the highest mortality rate overall, particularly among men but also among women, worldwide.

Using the GLOBOCAN 2018 estimates of cancer incidence and mortality produced by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, the researchers found that there were an estimated 18.1 million new cancer cases (17.0 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) and 9.6 million cancer deaths (9.5 million excluding nonmelanoma skin cancer) in 2018. Across both sexes, instances of lung cancer accounted for 11.6% of the total cases and the leading cause of cancer death at 18.4% of the total cancer deaths.

Those mortality rates were closely followed by female breast cancer (11.6%), prostate cancer (7.1%), and colorectal cancer (6.1%) for incidence and colorectal cancer (9.2%), stomach cancer (8.2%), and liver cancer (8.2%) for mortality rate. The most common type of cancer and the one which has the highest mortality rate among men is lung cancer, followed by prostate cancer and colorectal cancer for incidence and liver and stomach cancer for mortality. Lung cancer is the third most commonly diagnosed form of cancer among women and the second highest in mortality.

Mesothelioma is a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer. While it affects only a few thousand people each year, its effects are often devastating. Chances of survivability are very low, the signs and symptoms are difficult to spot, and usually take decades to manifest.

Possibly the most distressing aspect of mesothelioma is that it is often incurable. Treatments are available, but due to the disease’s rarity, modern medicine has had few chances to study it on an in-depth level. If these symptoms and circumstances are familiar to you, schedule an appointment with your doctor.

Causes and signs of mesothelioma

We know the harmful effects that asbestos can have on people who have been exposed to it, breathing in the airborne fibers, and developing serious and likely fatal health ailments decades down the road.

Construction workers, machinists, firefighters, auto mechanics and power plant workers who often work with asbestos-related products may be more susceptible to asbestos-related illnesses. So can the typical family who may live in a house built before the 1980s as many such structures were made with asbestos-containing materials.

Infants: ‘Not likely to be exposed’

The treatment options for mesothelioma have remained pretty constant throughout the last decade. Because of the aggressive nature of the cancer and number of cases discovered each year, new treatments are difficult to test.

Currently, the best-known option for fighting this cancer is chemotherapy. Unfortunately, chemotherapy’s effectiveness is different for each person.

However, a new article in the Oncology Nurse Advisor explores the role of radiation therapy in treating mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a serious disease with far-reaching consequences. Treatments can be expensive and time-intensive.

There are options available to victims of mesothelioma, and your situation could warrant taking legal action.

An experienced mesothelioma attorney can help you throughout the process, including:

A recent study by pharmaceutical company Merck’s Keytruda division published in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that when doctors implement immunotherapy in concert with standard chemotherapy treatments, the rates of survival for lung cancer patients greatly increase. The study is particularly good news for mesothelioma and other lung cancer patients whose prognoses are often significantly worse since symptoms do not present themselves until the cancer has metastasized and spread to other vital organs.

Also known as pembrolizumab, Keytruda has already been prescribed for some time now to patients who have a type of malignant cancer called non-small cell lung cancer, the principal form of lung cancer and found most commonly in people who smoked cigarettes. Merck decided to expand the study of Keytruda by prescribing the drug to other lung cancer patients who were not obvious candidates for the benefits expected from the drug.

The results of the study show that when immunotherapy is introduced, the rates for death or having the cancer worsen are cut almost in half, an incredible feat that could help more than 70,000 lung cancer patients in the United States. Other studies that included immunotherapy drugs Opdivo and Yervoy, developed by pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb, have come out showing the benefits of immunotherapy for advanced lung cancer patients. Opdivo and Yervoy were found to be especially effective in patients with cancers that have gene flaws the drugs can exploit to help the immune system attack.

The American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) recently convened an expert panel of doctors, researchers, and cancer advocacy experts to review medical literature on mesothelioma studies conducted from 1990 to 2017. The expert panel did so with special interest to survival, disease-free or recurrence-free survival, and quality of life using available evidence and informal consensus to develop evidence-based guideline recommendations on how best to treat pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of lung cancer caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral once commonly used in a variety of industrial and commercial applications for its heat resistant properties. Mesothelioma can take decades to show symptoms and unfortunately, there is no cure for the cancer that can spread from the thin linings of tissue surrounding the lungs to other vital organs.

The expert panel identified a total of 222 studies from the 27-year time period and developed several evidence-based recommendations developed for diagnosis, staging, chemotherapy, surgical cytoreduction, radiation therapy, and multimodality therapy in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma. The expert panel used five guiding questions to help come up with their recommendations, including:

After receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis you might be considering treatment options available. For those interested in cutting edge and alternative treatment options, clinical trials might be a choice. Before signing up for a trial, it is important to understand the potential risks and benefits associated with clinical trials.

What is a clinical trial?

Clinical trials use human subjects to test new medicines and experimental treatment options in a structured and safe environment. The trials are a live setting way for scientists to test new technology, medicines or a combination of both. Clinical trials for mesothelioma patients test drug and other therapy approaches to see if certain therapy treatments are more effective than others. Trials can last for weeks, months or years depending on what is being tested. Often the trials are sponsored by a government agency, but pharmaceutical companies frequently fund clinical trials.

Mesothelioma does not affect only the patient: It can have a ripple effect through an entire family. It often falls to family members to care for their loved one who has been diagnosed with the disease. Caring for a family member who has mesothelioma requires immeasurable compassion, strength and patience.

As the relative of someone who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be feeling overwhelmed. You may be wondering how you can even begin to care for your loved one in their time of need. Fortunately, there are several ways to help care for a family member who has mesothelioma.

1. Offer your support

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