Asbestos is a mineral that is responsible for malignant mesothelioma. It is a construction professional’s dream come true – resistant to heat and fire and an excellent insulator – yielding it an excellent material for various uses. Asbestos is extremely durable and resistant to chemicals making it the ultimate insulator. Believe it or not, it was installed into churches, office buildings Navy ships and schools. Even worse, the manufacturers and companies installing it knew it was a deadly carcinogenic.
The ironic thing about asbestos is when not disturbed, it is relatively harmless. Getting asbestos installed and any activity that could possibly break it up afterwards can release the microscopic fibers. These fibers are later inhaled or swallowed by victims. Asbestos then lodges itself within the sensitive organ tissues of the body. Here it lies dormant – for decades – until such time as tumors begin to form causing malignant mesothelioma. Cells become unstable when interacting with the fibers and they begin to divide uncontrollably causing a tumor. Most mesothelioma cancer diagnoses have a 2 year life expectancy. This is because once the symptoms become severe enough that they are finally tested for mesothelioma, the cancer is in a late stage.
Ninety percent of the time, asbestos exposure is the cause for malignant mesothelioma. The remaining ten percent of diagnosed cases are suspected to be because of asbestos but a direct link cannot be found or proven. The most severe form of any asbestos-related illness is malignant mesothelioma. The mortality rate is unescapable. Most patients confuse symptoms for decades for other common ailments.
Malignant mesothelioma is rarely caught in time to treat it successfully. Our bodies cannot remove the fibers once they are lodged in our organs. Tissues become infected, build up and create damage. The progression of this buildup can go on for decades because without particular examinations by a doctor like a CT scan, there is no way of realizing the disease is present until it is too late. If you have worked with asbestos or know someone who has, the best proactive plan is to be tested for mesothelioma even if no illness has occurred. Early detection is the key to a longer mesothelioma prognosis. Taking the appropriate steps to make sure you are protected is a smart thing to do.
A diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma carries a very poor prognosis. Statistically proven to carry a 4 to 18 month survival rate in most cases, doctors have opted in recent years to attack a cancer like this from all angles. Multimodality mesothelioma treatment is used in many cases. This includes a combination of chemotherapy, radiation and surgery. This form of treatment tends to extend the lifetime of a patient or at the least improve the quality of life remaining, but they will not provide a cure.