The Rise and Rise of Asbestos Cancer

Asbestos cancer is a rare kind of cancer caused by asbestos fibers exposure. It is most commonly linked with mesothelioma and cancer of the lungs. The one big difference between this kind of cancer and ordinary cancer is that mesothelioma affects the thin linings of the abdomen, heart, and lungs while ordinary cancer affects tissues of the lungs mostly. The commonest form of mesothelioma is known as pleural cancer which is caused by asbestos fibers accumulating in the pleural lung lining. Durability of the microscopic asbestos elements causes a tumor which eventually manifests as cancer.

The other form is known as peritoneal cancer which is not as common as the above form. There is no sufficient link of this rare kind of lung cancer and asbestos but it has been noted that majority of sufferers have their roots with this substance. It forms outside the abdominal lining close to the digestive pathway causing growth just like in the pleura. 

Asbestos is responsible for many forms of lung cancer because it is a substance once exposed to; a victim may develop chronic respiratory disorders for example asbestosis. It has been found that asbestos is only dangerous when damaged because that is when fibers get exposed to the environment through disposal of very minute elements of the substance inhaled by victims unconsciously. Initially, the number of asbestos cancer patients was dominated by men as they were directly involved with working in factories. Statistics changed as safety regulations were put in place, meaning that most victims were individuals residing near asbestos industries or anybody living in insecure buildings without proper safety installations. 

Asbestos cancer diagnosis


asbestos cancer risksDiagnosing asbestos cancer is one of the greatest challenges for doctors due to the nature of its manifestation. Symptoms are notoriously alike to those of other ordinary diseases and it is normally difficult for physicians to link some diseases to asbestos exposure unless there is an obvious answer to the condition at hand. 

Thorough blood count and analysis of medical records as well as family background is always the first step in lung cancer diagnosis with regard to external factors like environment and culture. Results dictate whether a patient needs to be tested for cancer by running a pulmonary activity test and a chest scan. The pulmonary test is meant to ascertain the patients breathing system is alright or not, considering their age and other medical factors. Chest scan checks whether there could be any irregularities like lung thickening (in the pleura), abnormal fibrotic expansion, and excessive liquids otherwise known as effusions. 

Asbestos cancer symptoms 

Lung cancer accounts for the greatest number of cancer victims and deaths as compared to other forms of cancer like breast, prostate, colon and lymphoma. Apparently, scientists warn than this is a trend that is set to continue, and even get worse.  

When most people think about lung cancer, smoking is the most likely culprit of which to some extent it’s true. Smoking is responsible for the highest number of lung cancer cases but for the record, there are other causes of lung cancer, for instance asbestos exposure which comes a distance second in terms of causes. Asbestos cancer is one of the most complicated forms of cancer because of the way it slowly manipulates the respiratory system. It comes in two forms; mesothelioma and lung cancer, but not very many people would notice the difference.  

Symptoms of asbestos cancer ape those of other common ailments like asthma, common colds, pneumonia among other breathing complications. Slow progression of asbestos-related cancer makes them almost incurable since they take a pretty long period of time to show off, and when they do, they are already at their mature stages. Actually, most cases of asbestos diseases appear 2-3 decades after asbestos exposure which makes it quite challenging for physicians to reverse certain situations. 

 
Common symptoms include; 

Coughing blood

Fatigue

Short breath

Weight loss

Chest pains

Swelling of both face and neck

Recurring pneumonia

Endless chest, shoulder and back pains

Advanced lung cancer is likely to affect other body organs like the liver, spinal cord, and even the brain. When it gets to the brain, patients suffer from irregular seizures and experience blurred vision. Effects of liver invasion include nausea, vomiting and jaundice while spine invasion is characterized by severe back pain. 

Asbestos cancer treatment 

Just like in any other form of cancer, treatment of asbestos cancer is determined by the type of cancer diagnosed, whether small cell or non-small cell, and the level of progression. This form of cancer can be diagnosed as either ordinary lung cancer or mesothelioma, which is rare but extremely dangerous. 

The latest most commonly used methods of cancer treatment are chemotherapy and radiotherapy which can be administered either before or after surgery. Combination of both has seen more patients survive as well as record less cases of cancer recurrence which was very rare in the past. 

Patient’s age and their physical condition determines the kind of treatment to be administered, for instance external and internal radiation therapies are not appropriate for all ages. Where inapplicable, radiotherapy is used as a measure to ease patient’s pain in terminal cancer. Radioactive elements are put directly or close to the cancerous parts with wires or apparatus known as catheters. In most cases, radiotherapy and chemotherapy complement each other especially when asbestos cancer has not affected other parts besides the lungs. 

asbestos cancer risksAsbestos lung cancer treatment is usually given once after every three weeks or once month at most,, for about six months in a systematic manner. Drugs can be regulated to run through the entire body system or can be injected directly to the infected sections. In the later stages of asbestos cancer, chemotherapy is not combined with any other method of treatment and it has been proven to cure or increase life spans of cancer patients. Early detection of cancer is the key to successful treatment as it can be controlled well on time before spreading to other parts of the body. 

The mention of cancer instills fear in everyone who has perhaps lost a loved one due to related incidence, or understands how lethal a disease it can be. It is a disease that affects people of all ages and all races and it can be triggered by so many things like lifestyles, age, genes, and even the kind of foods eaten. Asbestos cancer is definitely one of the worst forms of cancer as it takes a long period of time before showing in a human’s body. This means that it is very hard, actually impossible to counter or cure because it only shows up when it has matured. 

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