A mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that affects mainly the lungs and some other organs inside the body. In simple words, it affects the thin layers of tissues known as the mesothelium. It is caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that exists in different materials and causes inflammation when inhaled. Asbestos fibers are mainly found in materials related to tiling, brake linings, and roofing. Workers in the construction sector are at a considerable risk of exposure to asbestos because it exists in materials used in making buildings.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma has no cure, and it has a high mortality rate. Mesothelioma patients hardly survive two years after diagnosis. Treatments such as surgery may not always be a reliable solution because it does not work for everyone. With that said, let’s dive in and explore everything you need to know about asbestos exposure and mesothelioma.
Cause of mesothelioma
The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos. According to statistical information, around 85% of mesothelioma patients are exposed to asbestos. It starts developing in the body when a person inhales microfibrils. As a result, this causes scarring and inflammation in lung tissue. Every type of asbestos is harmful, and once it enters your body, it can form different types of mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma starts forming in the body when fibers get stuck in the lining of the lungs, which is known as the pleura. Another type of mesothelioma is peritoneal, which develops when fibers come into contact with the lining of the abdominal cavity.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
The time between asbestos exposure and the onset of cancerous developments can span over the years. But it is essential to know about all of the symptoms to take the required measures on time. These symptoms include shortness of breath, dry coughing, pain in the chest, presence of fluid around the lungs, and difficulty in breathing. You may click here to learn more about the symptoms of mesothelioma. If you experience any of the symptoms mentioned, consult a doctor. Providing details of your past asbestos exposure will make things easier for doctors trying to diagnose your condition. After hearing from you, doctors will conduct a blood test or tissue sampling to identify whether you have mesothelioma or not.
Risk of mesothelioma
The majority of people who suffer from mesothelioma do so because of constant exposure to asbestos. People working in the military, construction sector, and blue-collar jobs are more likely to develop this condition than others. You should know the following risk factors of mesothelioma to take necessary precautions.
- Working in military facilities with materials containing asbestos
- |Working in the construction industry
- Working in the processing plant of asbestos.
- Dealing with asbestos products during a home renovation
- Living in an area nearer to the contaminated site or asbestos plant
Professional companies from all sectors are liable to guide their employees about the health risks associated with handling asbestos products. Their responsibility becomes even more extensive than when they are using materials containing asbestos in their workspace. They should conduct training sessions to educate workers about the dangers of asbestos and reduce the risk of mesothelioma. People need to follow specific guidelines to keep themselves safe, especially those working miners, factory workers, and firefighters.
Before 1890, asbestos was also a common component in housing materials such as insulation and vinyl tiles. Unfortunately, these materials still exist in the construction buildings that predate the 1980s. Today, asbestos is still used in construction and insulation materials in trace amounts. Construction companies can play a crucial role in minimizing the risk of mesothelioma by finding an alternative.
Sadly, the latency period also consists of twenty to thirty years between exposure and symptoms. So, it is better to be aware of the risks that can cause this fatal disease and take safety measures on your own.
Treatment of mesothelioma
When it comes to the treatment of mesothelioma, you need to take several factors into account. Your current health condition, age, how widespread the disease is, and the amount of fluid in the lungs decide what type of treatment you need. There are three treatment options available for mesothelioma patients. The first option is surgery- doctors consider removing the entire lung or the affected part. It depends on the condition of the patient and the stage of cancer. The second option is radiation. This kills the cancer cells and prevents their spread in the patient’s body. The third option is chemotherapy. All these options can be effective depending on the factors mentioned above. A timely diagnosis is also essential to identify the symptoms of mesothelioma to start treatment immediately.
Environmental exposure of asbestos
Asbestos naturally exists in massive deposits. People working in the construction or mining sector should be careful about the exposure of asbestos. It is also essential for residents of hilly areas to stay vigilant. Asbestos is also naturally released in mountainous and hilly regions, and it can easily mix with water sources. People should be aware of taking care of their water supplies. Contaminated water can also become the cause of mesothelioma. It can evaporate through water and also travel miles to pollute the residential areas.
Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest diseases that slowly kills patients, and asbestos is its primary cause. You have to be mindful while dealing with any material that may contain microfibers of the carcinogen. Suppose you are working in the construction sector or a plant processing unit. In that case, you should ask your supervisor about the risk of asbestos exposure. Nobody will care for you unless you will not start taking precautions yourself. It will only come from awareness and the proper knowledge. The information mentioned above will help you take care of yourself and reduce the risk of developing mesothelioma.
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