Asbestos cancer is also known as mesothelioma. There are three types of mesothelioma: pleural, peritoneal and pericardial. Each of these types of cancer is very difficult to diagnose, however, if diagnosed early, patients have a better chance at making a full recovery.
The symptoms of this disease often mimic those of other health problems. These include: minor breathing problems, chest pains, or chronic coughs. For this reason, asbestos cancer is often overlooked. Usually by the time the symptoms are identified, the patient's treatment options are more limited.
As its name suggests, asbestos cancer is directly related to exposure to asbestos. Asbestos has a long history of being used as a fire-proofing insulator for many years. It was only a few decades ago that regulations governing asbestos began reducing the threat. Today, more information is available regarding asbestos cancer, and people with mesothelioma are better equipped to fight this disease.
Patients suffering from minor breathing problems, chest pains, or chronic coughs and have had a history of contact with asbestos should immediately contact a medical professional with expertise in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Treatments For Asbestos Cancer
Treatment for asbestos cancer has traditionally been a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Early intervention through surgery can improve recovery, but one of the problems in dealing with asbestos-caused tumors is that they are difficult to diagnose. The longer asbestos cancer goes undiagnosed, the harder it is to surgically remove it.
Chemotherapy is the most widely used treatment for dealing with mesothelioma. Various chemical treatments are given to patients in hopes of finding one that will fight the cancer. These treatments have proven to be somewhat successful. New clinical trials provide patients with drugs that may be added to the medical arsenal against asbestos cancer and improve patient survival rates.
Researchers have had some recent successes using drugs to combat malignant pleural mesothelioma, and also peritoneal and pericardial cancers. External beam radiation has been used to treat many patients afflicted with pleural and peritoneal cancer. Radiation therapy has also shown itself to be relatively effective in preventing malignant cells from reasserting themselves after surgery. Researchers have found that inserting an internal radiation source has the potential to reduce tumor mass and significantly slow cancer growth.
Science and medicine are beginning to show results. As medicine continues to make breakthroughs in the treatment of mesothelioma, there is sufficient reason to believe that the future for mesothelioma patients is a bit brighter.
Can Asbestos Cancer Patients Be Compensated?
Many individuals have been able to receive compensation from the companies that kept them exposed to the mineral. Many of these companies knew the risks of continued exposure to asbestos, yet many did not inform their employees.
Thousands of people worked in shipyards, built houses and engaged in other jobs where they were exposed to asbestos on a daily basis. They, and their families, either ingested or inhaled unknown quantities of asbestos fibers.
The number of lawsuits against companies that failed to protect their workers from contact with asbestos grows larger almost every day. If you have reason to believe that you have asbestos cancer, make sure you contact a legal professional who can assist you and your family in collecting deserved compensation.