Mesothelioma

Combination Therapy

Combination Therapy

 
What is Combination Therapy?
 
 
Combination therapy (also referred to as polytherapy) refers to the use of multiple medications or therapies to fight a disease. Combination therapy is distinct from monotherapy, which utilizes only one treatment option to fight a cancer. Many times, these terms refer to the simultaneous administration of multiple medications to treat a single problem. However, the term is also used to describe other types of therapy that are implemented in a simultaneous fashion. 
Combination therapy may be implemented through the administration of separate drugs, or, where available, by prescribing combination drugs with different dosage levels and active ingredients. Combination therapy is used to treat several diseases, including: tuberculosis, cancer, malaria, HIV/AIDS, mesothelioma and leprosy. The primary benefit of combination therapy is that it will reduce the development of drug resistance, because a tumor or pathogen is less likely to sustain multiple drugs simultaneously. 
 
 
How is Combination Therapy Used to Treat Mesothelioma?
 
 
Combination therapy is employed on mesothelioma patients to destroy the disease’s cancerous tumors with a multi-pronged attack. Typically, combination therapy is prescribed within chemotherapy; the combined effect does not include multiple treatment options, but instead, multiple chemotherapy drugs. Combination chemotherapy consists of the use of multiple chemicals to achieve whole destruction of tumors and cancer cells. For instance, combination chemotherapy may include the act of prescribing different drugs to attack cancer cells at varying stages of growth or different intensities. Utilizing combination chemotherapy will ultimately reduce the likelihood of drug resistance. 
 
 
Combination chemotherapy for mesothelioma cancer is known to improve the survival rate of mesothelioma sufferers. Another advantage of this particular mesothelioma treatment option is that it can be perpetually be adjusted by tinkering with the drugs (and dosages) employed. Unfortunately, combination chemotherapy yields severe side effects, including vomiting, nausea, hair loss and extreme fatigue. 
 
 
Oncologists who implement combination chemotherapy will typically be the individuals who decide on which drugs are implemented in combination chemotherapy. The oncologist’s decision will be based on the kind of mesothelioma cancer, the stage of the cancer, the toxicity of the individual chemicals and the health and the age of the patient. As a general rule, the individual rules in the combination regimen must be effective against their cancer on their own. 
 
 
The most common drugs used in mesothelioma combination chemotherapy are Alimta and Cisplating. 
 

Gene Therapy

Gene Therapy

 
What is Gene Therapy?
 
 
Gene therapy utilized DNA as a pharmaceutical agent to treat cancerous diseases. Gene therapy derives its name from the premise that DNA can be used to alter or supplement genes within a human’s cells as a means to treat disease. The most prolific form of gene therapy uses DNA that encodes a therapeutic gene to replace mutated ones. Other types of gene therapy will involve a direct action to correct mutations in the cell’s bodies. More direct treatment options uses DNA that encodes a protein drug to provide therapy to altered bodies. In this form of gene therapy, a protein drug (rather than a natural gene) intercepts the DNA located inside the cells within the human body. When inside, the DNA becomes expressed, resulting in the production of new proteins. These therapeutic proteins are used to treat the individual’s disease. 
 
 
How is Gene Therapy Used for Mesothelioma?
 
 
Gene therapy, by accessing a patient’s genetic code that is responsible for predisposing the body to cancer, is used to combat mesothelioma. Gene therapy aims to understand how and why proteins within cells are resilient to cancer, while others are not. Therefore, gene therapy not only aims to eliminate cancerous cells from metastasizing, but also seeks to understand why the human body is susceptible to the proliferation of the disease. 
 
 
In the past, it was thought that a human’s gene makeup was complete upon birth. This thought operated under the premise that the body could not affect conditions during life. This; however, is not the case—a number of human activities, including exposure to sunlight, smoking and digesting certain foods can affect a human’s DNA. Once DNA is affected, the body’s genetic code changes. New insight provided by these alterations caused medical professionals to view several conditions like mesothelioma in a new light. 
 
 
The genes latent in gene therapy are referred to as “suicide genes”. These genes have been researched as a means to stop the replication of malignant cells. Studies have also begun to evaluate if the replacing cancer generating genes with genes susceptible to certain remedies is a reasonable means to eradicate mesothelioma cells.
 
 
In essence, mesothelioma sufferers become infected with a “healthy infection” that attacks “bad cells” to ultimately shift their genetic landscape. The two primary gene therapy treatment options to combat mesothelioma include:
 
 
Replacement Gene Therapy: This form of mesothelioma gene therapy replaces missing or damaged genes with normal genes that regulates cell division and cell growth. The replaced genes then attempt to suppress tumor growth.
 
 
Knockout Gene Therapy: This form of gene therapy helps combat mesothelioma cancer by assaulting genes that create tumors.
 
 
What to Know About Mesothelioma Gene Therapy:
 
 
Gene therapy as a means to combat mesothelioma cancer attempts to alter a gene’s structure or function. This mesothelioma treatment option is a promising treatment that is currently being tested. The concept behind gene therapy is somewhat simple: gene therapy attempts to replace faulty genes with ones that work properly. 
 
 
Gene therapy is currently undergoing clinical trials. Any disorder or cancerous disease that involves genetic changes may be a candidate for this type of treatment. Cancer, because it incorporates several gene flaws, may require gene therapy to be used in conjunction with other cancer therapies, like chemotherapy. 
 
 

Breathe Training

Breathe Training

 
Mesothelioma Explained:
 
 
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops from the mutation of cells in the mesothelium—the protective lining of several internal organs.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancers are often caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. The bulk of mesothelioma sufferers, therefore, were previously employed with jobs that utilized asbestos filaments or fibers. 
 
 
Although there are different types of mesothelioma cancers, the majority of cases form in the internal wall of the chest cavity or the outer lining of the lungs. Common symptoms attached to mesothelioma include: shortness of breath, which stems from a congregation of fluid between chest wall and the lungs, a persistent cough and unexpected or severe weight loss. 
 
 
One of the major characteristics—and the primary reason why the disease is so deadly—stems from its innocuous nature. Mesothelioma cancer is nearly impossible to detect in its early stages due to its dormant symptoms (a sufferer will first notice symptoms 15-20 years after the initial infection takes place).
 
 
Similar to other forms of cancer, mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the disease progresses the prognosis becomes worse. The insidious nature of mesothelioma cancer is paired with its inconspicuousness to create a very dangerous disease—the majority of mesothelioma patients die within 6 months-1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
The bulk of mesothelioma cancers will not be detected until the disease has spread to the vital organs of the body. When the disease reaches stage III or stage IV it becomes inoperable. By chance, if the disease is caught before the cancer metastasizes, curable treatments, such as surgery, can be implemented to eliminate the cancerous tumors. Additionally, several palliative surgeries (particularly those that clear the pathways and relieve lung pressure) are administered to simply mitigate the suffering associated with the disease. Regardless of the type of operation, patients should partake in breathe training courses to better prepare themselves for mesothelioma surgery. 
 
 
How Does Breathe Training Help Mesothelioma Patients?
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer affects the mesothelial layer of tissues that serve as a shield for several internal organs, including the heart and lungs. When symptoms form, mesothelioma patients will suffer from shortness of breath, perpetual coughing, weight loss and chest pain. Because mesothelioma cancer affects breathing, patients should practice breathing exercises to ease the pain associated with the condition. 
 
 
When receiving palliative care, yoga breath exercises will help mesothelioma sufferers relax and teach them how to take deeper and more oxygenating breaths. Even patients with severe cancers like mesothelioma, need regular exercise or activity to maintain optimal health. 
 
 

Mesothelioma Exercises

Mesothelioma Exercises

 
What is Mesothelioma?
 
 
Mesothelioma is an uncommon type of cancer that forms from the alteration of cells in the mesothelium—protective lining of several internal organs.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is typically caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos, when contacted, propels cancerous filaments into the air. When these filaments are perpetually inhaled over a long period of time they stick to the linings of the lung. The bulk of mesothelioma patients, therefore, were previously employed in industries that utilized asbestos. 
 
 
Although there are several forms of mesothelioma cancer, the majority of cases develop in the internal wall of the chest cavity or the lining of the lungs. Common symptoms attached to mesothelioma will include: shortness of breath, stemming from a build-up of fluid between the abdomen and lungs, weight loss and painful coughing. 
 
 
One of the primary characteristics—and the major reason why the disease is so deadly—stems from its insidious symptoms. Mesothelioma cancers are nearly impossible to detect in their early stages. The difficulty associated with diagnosis comes from the condition’s dormant symptoms. A mesothelioma sufferer will only notice symptoms 15-20 years after the initial infection takes place.
 
 
Similar to other types of cancer, mesothelioma is categorized by stage–when the disease progresses the prognosis becomes more deadly. This insidious nature of mesothelioma cancer is paired with its inconspicuousness to create a deadly medical condition—mesothelioma patients typically die within 6 months-1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
In most cases, mesothelioma cancers will not be diagnosed until the malignant tumors spread to the vital organs of the body. When the disease reaches stage III or stage IV it becomes inoperable. By chance, if mesothelioma cancer is caught before the cancer spreads, curable treatments, such as surgery, may be implemented to eliminate the malignant tumors. Moreover, several palliative surgeries may be administered to mitigate the suffering associated with mesothelioma cancer. Regardless of the operation, patients should exercise regularly to ease the symptoms and better prepare themselves for mesothelioma treatments. 
 
 
How Does Exercising Help Mesothelioma Patients?
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer destroys the mesothelial layer of tissues that protect several internal organs, including the lungs and heart. When mesothelioma symptoms form, patients suffer from perpetual coughing, shortness of breath, chest pain and weight loss. Because mesothelioma cancer affects breathing, patients should exercise regularly to ease the pain associated with the condition. 
 
 
Mesothelioma exercises help reduce the symptoms attached to the cancer. Whether a mesothelioma patients experiences weakness due to the cancer treatments or have a difficulty maintaining their breaths, mesothelioma exercises and bed rest will help patients live a happier and better life. Although bed rest can be beneficial in allowing a mesothelioma patient’s body to recuperate, inactivity may lead to stiff joints and muscle loss. Mesothelioma exercise will help prevent these occurrences.
 
 
Mesothelioma exercises do not have to be intense. By simply standing and stretching for 15-20 minutes a day can help mesothelioma patients. Moreover, taking a short 10 minute walk will loosen the patient’s muscles and improve blood flow. Because stiff joints can precipitate pain, even small amounts of mesothelioma exercise will help reduce the patient’s overall discomfort level. 
 
 
Mesothelioma exercise will also help improve a patient’s appetite. Because chemotherapy is a common treatment for mesothelioma sufferers, adverse side effects, such as loss of appetite and nausea, are extremely common. Regular mesothelioma exercise will help a mesothelioma patient’s appetite return, because the body uses the energy taken from the food consumed. When a mesothelioma patient exercises, the body requires more energy to perform these movements. The patient’s body will signal the brain that the patient needs to eat something, producing sensations that trigger the individual to eat. By partaking in mesothelioma exercises on a regular basis, the patient’s appetite will improve, which will help the individual feel more energetic and stronger. 
 
 
Because mesothelioma invariably alters someone’s life, emotions such as hopelessness, fear and anxiety are common in mesothelioma patients. Although palliative in nature, mesothelioma exercise does a fantastic job in relieving stress and minimizing depression and anxiety. Relaxing mesothelioma exercises like Pilates and yoga can be performed from the comfort of the patient’s home to impede worries from entering the patient’s mind, ultimately helping with boosting the individual’s morale. 
 
 
Before partaking in mesothelioma exercises, it is vital to discuss what workout routine is best for you. While mesothelioma exercise offers a number of benefits, if your particular mesothelioma is too pronounced, exercise may impair your overall lung function. Your medical professional may recommend coughing exercises and deep breathing that may be performed on a regular basis for your overall benefit. 
 
 

Biopsy

Biopsy

 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Biopsy
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is an infrequent disease that develops from mutating cells in the mesothelium—protective lining of the lungs and other organs.
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is often caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring element that was commonly used in various industrial nations for its heat-resistant properties. Although harmless when left alone, the element presents numerous health problems when disrupted. When contacted, asbestos filaments become airborne, thus being susceptible to inhalation. Over time, perpetual inhalation breeds cancerous growths; asbestos fibers stick to the lining of the lungs, where malignant tumors eventually grow. These tumors, over the course of one to two decades will proliferate throughout the body. 
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer comes in a variety of forms; however, the condition often develops in the lining of the lungs or the internal wall of the abdomen. Common symptoms of malignant mesothelioma cancer include: shortness of breath, which arises from an agglomeration of fluids between the lungs and abdomen, as well as weight loss and persistent coughing. 
 
 
One of the chief characteristics—and the major reason why mesothelioma prognoses are so pessimistic—stems from its relatively innocuous symptoms. A lack of noticeable symptoms and an inability to detect the disease with medical imaging equipment during its early stages makes mesothelioma extremely hard to diagnose. 
 
 
Similar to other cancers, malignant mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the disease progresses, it becomes more deadly. The insidious nature of malignant mesothelioma is paired with its inconspicuousness to create a deadly disease. Mesothelioma sufferers often pass away within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
Frequently, mesothelioma cancers will not be diagnosed until the tumors spread to vital organs. When the disease reaches stage III or stage IV it is ruled inoperable. If, by chance, mesothelioma is detected before proliferation, curable treatments may be administered to extract the malignant tumors. Several palliative treatment methods may also be administered to mitigate the symptoms associated with mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
If you or a loved one has worked with asbestos materials in the past you should contact your doctor to schedule a physical examination. This appointment should be made regardless of you feel. Upon evaluation, your doctor will conduct several diagnostic tests to inspect your pleura, lungs and cells. If the doctor notices any abnormalities or irregularities, further tests will be administered to affirm a possible diagnosis. One of the final diagnostic tests will be a  biopsy; this mesothelioma diagnostic test will be applied after the doctor has gathered CT Scans, MRI’s and PET scans of your chest and lungs.
 
 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Biopsy
 
 
To reach a conclusive mesothelioma diagnosis, a medical professional must confirm that the patient’s cells are actually cancerous. One of the most effective ways to secure confirmation and ensure an accurate diagnosis is to perform a biopsy. These tests are considered vital to definitively secure a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis. 
 
 
In simple terms, biopsies refer to the removal of tissues or fluid samples and a subsequent analysis of what was extracted. The extracted sample, when observed under a microscope, may reveal the presence of mesothelioma cancer tumors. The culture may also review, through analysis of the activity and interaction of cells, the amount and type of cancer present in the body. 
 
 
There are several biopsy procedures for medical professionals to determine the presence of mesothelioma cancers. Different biopsies will be used to evaluate the presence of different mesothelioma cancers. For example, for prospective peritoneal mesothelioma patients, a fine-needle aspiration biopsy will be undertaken, while prospective pleural mesothelioma patients will typically undergo a thoracoscopic biopsy. 
 
 
A thoracoscopy is very accurate in determining the presence of mesothelioma cancer. This type of biopsy allows for the inspection of the pleural space by extracting tissue samples from the area. 
 
 
Types of Biopsies for Securing a Mesothelioma Diagnosis:
 
 
Although thorcoscopies yield the best results for securing a mesothelioma diagnosis, the procedure is not always appropriate due to fluctuations in tumor locations and other complications. Additional biopsies that may be used to diagnose mesothelioma cancer include the following:
 
 
Fine Needle Aspiration Biopsy: This type of biopsy for mesothelioma diagnosis is safe and relatively quick. A fine needle aspiration biopsy uses a long hollow needle to extract up to 10,000 sample cells for examination. The procedure is preferred because it is effective in reaching remote areas of the lungs and chest cavity without the need for anesthesia. A fine needle aspiration biopsy inspects for peritoneal or pleural effusion and is effective with diagnosing mesothelioma cancer at a rate of 84 percent. 
 
 
Thoracotomy: This type of biopsy is surgical in nature and is used to inspect the lungs, heart, aorta, trachea and diaphragm. For prospective mesothelioma patients a wedge resection (type of thoracotomy) will be performed. This particular thoracotomy is preferred because it leaves the majority of the infected lung space intact. To perform this particular surgery, an instrument is used to extract a wedge-shaped piece of the lung. 
 
 
Endoscopic Biopsy: This type of biopsy for mesothelioma diagnoses is arguably the most common diagnostic test regarding the cancer. An endoscopic biopsy involves a fiber optic endoscope that shows the surgeon the sampled area. Forceps are attached to the endoscope to remove slivers of tissue from the tumor.
 
 
Thoracentesis: This type of biopsy for mesothelioma diagnosis extracts fluids from the pleura and lungs through the use of a hollow needle. The fluids are then analyzed to determine the presence of mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Excisional Biopsies: An excisional biopsy involves the removal of an entire organ or tumor. This procedure eliminates the need for a subsequent surgery to remove the tumor if examinations reveal malignancy. 
 
 
Core Biopsies: During a core biopsy, only a small percentage of irregular tissue is extracted. A core biopsy is common when the tissue is easy to reach and collect. Unfortunately, the majority of mesothelioma tumors are not located in accessible areas of the body. 
 
 

Lung Function Tests

 Lung Function Tests

 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Lung Function Tests
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is an infrequent medical disorder that usually forms in the mesothelium, a system of tissues that protects several internal organs, including the lungs.
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a naturally occurring element that, when disrupted, propels carcinogenic fibers into the air. When constantly inhaled, these carcinogens, stick to the linings of the lungs and over time, eat away at the protective tissues to promote the formation of cancerous tumors. 
 
 
Because of the disease’s link to asbestos exposure, the majority of mesothelioma patients exhibit a prolonged history with asbestos-related products. If malignant, mesothelioma tumors ultimately metastasize to other organs. When this proliferation occurs, symptoms arise, that although slight in nature, will precipitate a quick death. 
 
 
There are multiple forms of mesothelioma cancer; however, the vast majority formulate in the lining of the lungs or the internal wall of the chest. Common symptoms associated with malignant mesothelioma cancer include: severe and unexpected weight loss, shortness of breath (stems from a build-up of fluid between the lungs and abdomen) and painful/persistent coughing. 
 
 
One of the primary characteristics associated with mesothelioma cancer–and the one of the reasons why the cancer is so deadly–derives from its relatively innocuous symptoms during the first 15-20 years of the disease’s life.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is practically impossible to detect during its earliest stages. The disease is insidious and slow-developing. The problems associated with diagnosis not only stem from the cellular structure of mesothelioma cancer (medical imaging devices cannot accurately detect mesothelioma cancer cells), but also from the condition’s lack of tangible symptoms. Mesothelioma patients will only begin to notice the previously-mentioned symptoms a 20 years after the original infection has taken place. Mesothelioma symptoms are made tangible when the cancer reaches its 3rd or 4th stages. 
 
 
Similar to most cancerous diseases, malignant mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the disease matures into the 3rd and 4th stages it metastasizes, to become highly aggressive and fatal. When this proliferation occurs, the mesothelioma patient will typically die from the disease within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
Frequently, mesothelioma cancer is not diagnosed until the cancerous tumors advance to the vital organs of the body. Stage III or Stage IV mesothelioma cancer is typically deemed inoperable by most medical professionals. If the cancer, although unlikely, is diagnosed before it spreads, curable mesothelioma treatment options, such as curative surgery, may be applied to extract the cancerous tumors. However, in most cases the disease is not detected in its early stages, so palliative mesothelioma treatment options, such as surgeries, are recommended to mitigate the associated symptoms. 
 
 
What to Do if You Think You Have Mesothelioma:
 
 
If you, through employment or personal use, have a prolonged history of working with asbestos-based materials you must contact your doctor to schedule a physical examination. An appointment must be made regardless of how you feel; as stated earlier, malignant mesothelioma cancer does not yield noticeable symptoms for the first 10-15 years of the condition’s life. If your doctor believes you are at risk for mesothelioma cancer, he or she will invariably run diagnostic tests. The first examinations used to detect mesothelioma cancer will include: a chest x-ray and various lung function tests.  
 
 
Lung Function Test to Diagnose Mesothelioma:
 
 
Lung tests (also referred to as pulmonary function tests) measure how effective a patient’s lungs are working. Lung function tests are vital for mesothelioma and asbestosis patients because they illuminate on how much damage asbestos filaments or fibers have caused to their lungs. 
 
 
A lung function test is performed in a special laboratory or doctor’s office. Before receiving a lung function test a patient should not eat heavily or smoke cigarettes for several hours before the examination.  
 
 
During the lung function test, the prospective mesothelioma patient will breathe in and out, into a tube that is attached to several machines. It is vital that the patient focus on their breathing during the lung function test; a poor breathing effort could skew the results and ultimately deter the doctor from accurately diagnosing mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
In addition to preliminary tests to detect for malignant mesothelioma, lung function examinations may be applied after the patient has been diagnosed with the cancer. Pulmonary function tests may be administered following diagnosis to evaluate how well the individual’s lungs are working. This lung function test is especially vital if curative or palliative surgery is an option for treating or mitigating the cancer. Because mesothelioma surgery typically involves extracting part or all of a lung, the lung function test will serve as a primary exam to indicate how well the lungs were working before the patient contracted the disease. In general, a lung function test will give the surgeon and medical professional an idea of whether or not mesothelioma surgery is an option, and if so, what chunk of the lung may be safely extracted. There are several types of lung function tests, but almost all involve having the mesothelioma patient breathe in and out through a tube that is hooked up to machines that measure basic lung function.
 
 

Chest X-Ray

Chest X-Ray

 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: Chest X-Ray
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma is an infrequent cancer that primarily forms in the mesothelium, which is a network of tissues that shield several internal organs, most notably the lungs and heart. 
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is often caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos filaments. Asbestos is a naturally occurring element that, when disrupted or contacted, propels carcinogenic fibers into the air. When inhaled, these filaments, stick to the mesothelium. Over time, these carcinogens eat away at the protective tissues and promote the formation of cancerous tumors. Because of the disease’s close link to asbestos exposure, the bulk of malignant mesothelioma patients will have a prolonged history with handling or working with asbestos-related products. 
 
 
Mesothelioma tumors, if malignant, will eventually metastasize to other organs. When this occurs, symptoms begin to arise, that although, minor in nature, and precipitate a quick death. 
 
 
Although there are multiple forms of mesothelioma cancer, the bulk of cases formulate in the lining of the lungs or the internal wall of the chest. Common symptoms attached to mesothelioma cancer include: shortness of breath (stems from a build-up of fluid between the lungs and abdomen), severe and unexpected weight loss and painful/persistent coughing. 
 
 
One of the principal characteristics attached to mesothelioma cancer–and the major reason why the cancer is so deadly–derives from its relatively harmless symptoms during the disease’s earliest stages.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is practically impossible to detect even 15 years after the cancer has spread throughout the body. Therefore the problems associated with accurate diagnosis not only stem from the cellular structure of the disease (early-stage mesothelioma cells are difficult to detect), but also from the cancer’s lack of tangible symptoms. Mesothelioma patients will start noticing the aforementioned symptoms a ridiculous 20 years after the disease has stricken the body. 
 
 
Mesothelioma symptoms, on average, will become observable when the cancer reaches its 3rd or 4th stages. 
 
 
Similar to most cancers, malignant mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As malignant mesothelioma progresses into its 3rd and 4th stages it metastasizes and becomes highly aggressive and fatal. The insidious nature of mesothelioma cancer is paired with the disease’s inconspicuousness, to formulate one of the most lethal medical conditions on the planet. As a result, the majority of mesothelioma patients will typically fall victim to the cancer within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
In the bulk of cases, mesothelioma cancer will not be diagnosed until the mesothelioma tumors advance to the vital organs of the body. Stage III or Stage IV mesothelioma cancer is often deemed inoperable. If the cancer, by a small miracle, is detected before it spreads, curable mesothelioma treatments, such as surgery, may be applied to extract the cancerous tumors. If the disease is not detected in its early stages (which are more common) palliative treatment options, including surgeries, will be recommended to ease the pain and suffering associated with mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
If you have worked or are working with asbestos fibers or asbestos-containing materials you should contact a medical professional to schedule a physical examination. This appointment should be made regardless of how you feel; remember, malignant mesothelioma cancer will not yield noticeable symptoms for the first 10-15 years of the disease’s life. During a physical examination, your doctor will first take a chest x-ray if he believes you are at risk of malignant mesothelioma cancer. The chest x-ray is a preliminary image; if the chest x-ray reveals any irregularities the doctor will request further tests, including CT scans, MRI’s and PET scans.
 
 
Chest X-Rays to Help Diagnose Mesothelioma:
 
 
A chest x-ray is a medal imaging technique that is primarily used to diagnose injuries to bones. Chest x-ray technology; however, may also be utilized to diagnose problems in a patient’s soft tissue, including the lungs. The chest x-ray therefore, can be used to diagnose lung cancer, pneumonia and mesothelioma cancer.
 
 
A chest x-ray is used by medical professionals to help reveal any unusual thickening of the pleura and whether fluids have accumulated in the pleural space (pleural effusion). The chest x-ray will also reveal the presence of calcium deposits on the pleura. If the chest x-ray reveals any of these things, the doctor will invariably order further imaging testing. 
 
 
A chest x-ray to diagnose mesothelioma cancer will also show evidence of pleural plaques and lung scarring, which may indicate the presence of asbestosis—a distinct and separate disease from mesothelioma cancer that is asbestos related and usually nonmalignant. 
 
 
A chest x-ray for mesothelioma patients will inevitably show irregularities. However, a chest x-ray has limited usefulness because the image’s findings are nonspecific. The chest x-ray cannot delve deep into the tissues and reveal irregularities that are picked-up by more advanced imaging platforms. 
 
 
Chest x-rays are common diagnostic imaging tools for mesothelioma cancers. A chest x-ray for diagnosing mesothelioma cancer is effective in pinpointing the location of a mesothelioma tumor. This ability enables the medical professional to observe whether or not the mesothelioma tumor has metastasized and spread to other areas outside of the pleural cavity. Chest x-rays, along with blood tests and CT scans are the preliminary diagnostic tools to detect the presence of mesothelioma cancer. However, the downside of these medical procedures is that are incapable of bolstering the diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer during the disease’s earliest stages of development. 
 
 
Chest X-Ray as a Treatment Option for Mesothelioma:
 
 
There are three primary standards of care for mesothelioma patients. Chemotherapy, for one, can be utilized with a combination of medications to kill cancerous tumor cells. Surgery is another option to treat mesothelioma; these surgeries involve extracting the tumor and part or all of the mesothelium as well. 
 
 
The last common method used to treat mesothelioma is radiation. Radiation therapy is a severe dose of x-rays, which are directed to the cancerous cells. Radiation therapy (also referred to as x-ray therapy) is used to target and destroy individual tumor cells. As the cancerous cells die, the main tumor shrinks. A high dose of x-rays will be administered as a mesothelioma treatment option in a variety of ways. For instance, radiation therapy can be applied with a machine that is directed to a cancerous tumor externally. Moreover, radioactive materials can be administered in contained plastic shells and surgically implanted on the tumor. 
 
 
A medical professional may apply one or all three of these methods to treat mesothelioma cancer. A combined mesothelioma treatment package; however, will only be administered to mesothelioma patients who are deemed strong enough to sustain the cruel side effects imposed by these aggressive treatment options. 
 
 
Side Effects of Mesothelioma Chest X-Rays:
 
 
There are several dangers associated with high level or long term exposure to x-rays. When a human body is exposed to x-rays, radiation occurs on a cellular level. In general, the radiation will damage cells, causing them to die or sustain permanent damages to their genetic makeup. This may eventually perpetuate the formation of cancerous cells. 
 
 
It may seem odd to treat cancer with a technology that may cause another, but x-rays and radiation therapy has proven effective in shrinking tumors. Presently, these techniques yield few side effects; doctors can now pinpoint and fine-tune the levels of radiation a patient will receive. Moreover, innovations enable the medical professional to better monitor the patient’s health, while using other therapies to reduce the side effects associated with chest x-rays and radiation therapy. 
 
 
Radiation therapy–consisting of high powered doses of x-rays–to treat mesothelioma cancer has several advantages over chemotherapy and other mesothelioma treatment options. That being said, chest x-rays and radiation may spark several disadvantages. These disadvantages widely stem from the fact that radiation therapy targets only areas where the tumor is located. Although this characteristic is effective in isolating cancer, it perpetuates the formation of several skin problems, including soreness, tightness and severe irritations. 
 
 
Moreover, radiation in the chest may make it difficult to swallow, which promotes severe coughs and shortness of breath just a few months after receiving treatment. The majority of side effects associated with radiation in the chest are temporary. If the patient experiences severe side effects, the medical doctor professional prescribe alternative medications, such as antibiotics or steroids to reduce the severity of said effects. 
 
 

CT Scan

CT Scan

 
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops from the mutation of cells in the mesothelium—the protective lining of several internal organs.
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Asbestos, when contacted, propels cancerous filaments into the air. These filaments, over a period of time, stick to the mesothelium. Over time, cancerous tumors form, which have the potential to rapidly metastasize. The bulk of mesothelioma patients, therefore, were at some point, previously employed in industries that utilized asbestos or worked with the fiber in some capacity.
 
 
Although there are several forms of mesothelioma cancer, the majority of cases develop in the internal wall of the chest cavity or the lining of the lungs. Common symptoms attached to mesothelioma will include: shortness of breath, stemming from a build-up of fluid between the abdomen and lungs, weight loss and painful coughing. 
 
 
One of the primary characteristics—and the major reason why the disease is so deadly—stems from its relatively innocuous symptoms. Mesothelioma cancer is nearly impossible to detect in their early stages. The difficulty attached to diagnosing mesothelioma stems from the condition’s dormant symptoms. A mesothelioma patient will often notice symptoms 15-20 years after the initial infection takes place.
 
 
Similar to other forms of cancer, mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the disease shifts through stages, mesothelioma cancer becomes more deadly. This insidious nature is paired with mesothelioma’s inconspicuousness to create a deadly disease. Mesothelioma patients typically die within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
Frequently, mesothelioma cancers will not be diagnosed until the tumors metastasize to the vital organs of the body (such as the heart or lungs). When mesothelioma reaches stage III or stage IV it is ruled inoperable. If mesothelioma cancer, by chance, is caught before the disease spreads, curable treatments, such as surgery, may be suggested to extract the malignant tumors. Furthermore, a number of palliative surgeries are administered to mitigate the suffering associated with mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
If you have worked with asbestos in the past you should contact your medical professional to set-up a physical examination. You should schedule this appointment if you feel healthy or do not notice any symptoms. Upon evaluation, the medical professional may opt to have an MRI. These images will be requested if the doctor believes that you may be susceptible to mesothelioma cancer. The MRI is an essential tool for diagnosing mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Mesothelioma Diagnosis: CT scan
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is a rare medical condition that typically forms in the mesothelium, which is a network of protective tissues that shield several internal organs, including the heart and lungs. 
 
 
Mesothelioma is primarily caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos fibers. Asbestos is a naturally occurring element that, when contacted, propels carcinogens into the air. When inhaled, these airborne filaments, stick to a human’s mesothelium. Over time, the carcinogens eat away at the protective tissues to and promote the formation of cancerous tumors. These tumors have the potential to rapidly metastasize and spread to other organs of the human body. The bulk of mesothelioma sufferers, therefore at some point, were previously employed in jobs where asbestos-containing materials were utilized. 
 
 
Although there are multiple forms of mesothelioma cancer, the majority of mesothelioma cases formulate in the lining of the lungs or the internal wall of the chest cavity. The most common symptoms attached to mesothelioma cancer include: shortness of breath (this stems from a build-up of fluid between the lungs and abdomen), unexpected and severe weight loss and painful/persistent coughing. 
 
 
One of the primary characteristics associated with mesothelioma cancer, and the major reason why the disease is so deadly, derives from its innocuous symptoms. Mesothelioma cancers are nearly impossible to detect in the disease’s early stages. The problems with accurate diagnosis not only stem from the cellular structure of the disease (mutated mesothelioma cells are uniform to other cancerous cells), but also from the disease’s lack of symptoms. Mesothelioma symptoms only become observable when the disease reaches its 3rd or 4th stages. Mesothelioma patients often notice symptoms 15-20 years after the initial infection.
 
 
Similar to other cancers, mesothelioma is categorized by stage. As the cancer progresses into more advanced stages it becomes more aggressive and more dangerous. This insidious characteristic is paired with the cancer’s inconspicuousness to form one of the deadliest diseases on the planet. Those who are infected with mesothelioma cancer will typically die within 6 months to 1 year of diagnosis. 
 
 
In a number of cases, mesothelioma cancers are not diagnosed until the tumors spread to the vital organs of the body. When mesothelioma cancer advances to stage III or stage IV it is often deemed inoperable. If the cancer, by chance, is detected before it metastasizes, curable mesothelioma treatments, such as surgery, may be administered to remove the malignant tumors. If the disease is not detected in its beginning stages (which are more common) palliative treatment mesothelioma treatment options, including surgeries, may be recommended to mitigate the suffering associated with mesothelioma cancers. 
 
 
If you have worked or are working with asbestos fibers or asbestos-containing materials you must immediately contact your doctor to schedule a physical examination. This appointment must be made regardless of how you feel; remember, mesothelioma cancer will not be tangible during the disease’s first 10-15 years. During your physical examination, if your doctor has inkling that you have contracted mesothelioma cancer, he/she will invariably photograph your chest cavity by utilizing a CT scan. The CT scan is a preliminary image; if the CT reveals any irregularities the doctor will order an MRI to further inspect your insides. 
 
 
CT Scans to Diagnose Mesothelioma
 
 
Medical imaging plays a crucial role in the evaluation of malignant mesothelioma cancers. Not only does imaging help a medical professional diagnose mesothelioma cancer, but it will also illuminate as to how far the cancer has metastasized. 
Computed tomography is the ideal imaging modality utilized for the accurate diagnosing and staging of mesothelioma cancer. That being said, CT scans, with regards to mesothelioma diagnosis, is severely limited when compared to other imaging tools, such as MRI and PET scans. 
 
 
The CT scan is the primary imaging modality used to evaluate indicators of mesothelioma cancers. Key findings from a CT scan will suggest mesothelioma cancers include nodular pleural thickening, unilateral pleural effusion and interlobar fissure thickening. In most instances, the CT scan will look for these irregularities. Asymmetrical growth often leads to tumoral encasement of the lungs. When this occurs, the cells will transform into a rindlike shape. The CT scan for mesothelioma diagnosis will look for these alterations. 
 
 
In addition to shifts in cellular size and shape, a CT scan for mesothelioma diagnosis will notice calcified pleural plaques in roughly 20% of patients with malignant mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is acutely aggressive with frequent invasion of the chest cavity and dia-phragm. Chest cavity involvement will manifest as a termination of extra-pleural fat planes, displacement of ribs, invasion of intercostal muscles and destruction of the bones. However, fluctuations in the interface between the patient’s chest wall and the cancerous tumor is not a reliable predictor of chest wall invasions. 
 
 
As stated before, a CT scan will be used as precautionary step in diagnosing mesothelioma cancer. That being said, the CT scan will only be ordered after a chest x-ray is taken (The CT scan will be ordered before MRI’s or PET scans). Therefore, the chest x-ray serves as the foundation for diagnosing mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
The diagnosis of severe respiratory conditions almost always begins with chest X-rays scans. A chest x-ray of a prospective mesothelioma patient with mesothelioma cancer may reveal irregular thickening of the pleura—the thin shield that cushions and protects the lungs. The CT scan for mesothelioma cancer may also reveal pleural calcifications (mineral deposits), an accumulation of fluid in the chest cavity and lungs (pleural effusion) and the lowering of lung fissures (space between the lobes of the lungs). All of these evaluations will serve as ominous signs, leading to subsequent testing and a prospective mesothelioma cancer diagnosis. 
 
 
If the chest x-ray reveals irregularities in the body, your medical professional will ask you to undergo a CT scan (computed tomography scan). The CT scan is a special radiographic technique that utilizes a computer to combine multiple x-ray images into 2 dimensional cross-sectional x-ray images. The CT machine rotates 180 degrees around the prospective mesothelioma cancer patient’s body, sending out thin x-ray beams at numerous points in the body. The CT scan uses crystals—located at the opposite sides of the beam to pick up and record the absorption rates of the fluctuating thickness levels of bone and tissue. The images derived from the CT scan allow a medical professional to evaluate distinct areas of the pleura and the lungs in a more in-depth way than an x-ray. 
 
 
How is a CT Scan Performed?
 
 
For the majority of CT scans, a patient will lie on a padded chair or machine couch while a CT scanning machine rotates around their body. The process of receiving a CT scan is painless; however, the patient may not move or else the image may come out messed up. Moreover, the patient may be administered an injection of dye to promote picture clarity and help make the structures more visible.  
 
 
A CT scan for a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis will take between 30 minutes and one hour to complete. This timeframe will depend on the type of CT scan equipment used. 
 
 
A CT scan for a mesothelioma cancer diagnosis will help determine the size, location and extent of any present mesothelioma tumors. Besides revealing pleural effusions, pleural thickening and other irregularities in the cellular structure of the patient, the CT scan for mesothelioma diagnosis may indicate the spread of the disease beyond the chest wall or lymph nodes.
 
 

Smoking and Mesothelioma

Smoking and Mesothelioma

 
What are the Effects of Smoking on Mesothelioma Sufferers?
 
 
It is important to comprehend that smoking cigarettes does not cause mesothelioma cancer. That being said, smoking complicates an individual’s chances of contracting the cancer. 
Mesothelioma cancer is a serious and rare medical condition that is mostly found in individuals who have had previous experience handling or working with asbestos-containing materials. 
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is extraordinarily deadly—after securing a formal diagnosis, the average mesothelioma patient will only live 1-2 years. The bleak prognosis is widely due to the disease’s inconspicuousness. Mesothelioma symptoms lie dormant for much of the disease’s early life; mesothelioma cancer does not become noticeable until the cancer has proliferated to other vital organs in the body. It is widely thought that mesothelioma cancer’s extraordinary death rates derive from the patient’s inability to detect symptoms. This characteristic coupled with the disease’s obfuscated cellular structure renders detection nearly impossible. 
 
 
Smoking and asbestos exposure is a deadly combination. The repercussions include the overall destruction of the lungs; this combination will greatly increase your chances of developing lung cancer or a lung related disease, such as mesothelioma. 
 
 

Thoracoscopy

Thoracoscopy

 
Malignant Mesothelioma Explained:
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer is a rare medical condition that affects the mesothelial cells of the serous membranes. The most common form of malignant mesothelioma cancer, referred to as pleural mesothelioma, impacts the lining of the lungs. Approximately 2,000-3,000 cases of mesothelioma cancer are diagnosed each year. 
 
 
Malignant mesothelioma cancer impacts the membranes of certain large cavities in the body. These cavities, called serous cavities, shield a number of organs in the body, including the lungs and heart. The membranes surrounding these cavities protect vital organs from friction and abrasions that that result typical daily movement, such as breathing. The serous membranes derive from mesothelial cells, which form to create the mesothelium—tissue layer of the serous membranes. 
 
 
Malignant Mesothelioma may be classified in the following forms:
 
 
Pericardial Mesothelioma Cancer: Takes place in the pericardium (lining of tissue surrounding the heart).
 
 
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer: Occurs in the peritoneum (membrane surrounding the abdomen). An infrequent form of this cancer may also affect the male testicles (the lining surrounding the scrotum is an extension of the peritoneum). 
 
 
Pleural Mesothelioma Caner: As stated above, this form of mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma cancer. Pleural mesothelioma cancer disrupts the lining of the lung cavity. 
 
 
All types of mesothelioma cancer derive from an acute tumor. Mesothelioma cancer rapidly spreads to surrounding organs and tissue. The majority of mesothelioma cases are associated with exposure to asbestos fibers. That being said, not everyone who is in habitual contact with asbestos fibers will be infected with malignant mesothelioma cancer. 
Although malignant mesothelioma cancer is uncommon, it is extremely lethal. When detected, mesothelioma cancer is primarily found in its advanced stages, so prognosis for mesothelioma sufferers is far worse when compared to patients with other types of cancer that are typically detected earlier. The average survival time attached to a mesothelioma diagnosis is only 1 to 2 years. This timeframe; however, varies based on the type of mesothelioma cancer and the general health of the patient. 
 
 
Mesothelioma cancer is extremely difficult to accurately diagnose because the symptoms are slow-developing.  Mesothelioma cancer patients will not observe symptoms for 10-15 years following infection. Moreover, complications associated with diagnosis stem from the cellular makeup of malignant mesothelioma cancer—the disease is nearly impossible to differentiate from more basic cancers. That being said, numerous examinations and diagnostic tools are being studied and implemented to achieve a faster and more accurate mesothelioma diagnosis. One of the most common procedures associated with mesothelioma diagnosis is a Thoracoscopy.  
 
 
What is a Thoracoscopy? 
 
 
A Thoracoscopy is an advanced medical procedure involving internal examination, a biopsy, and/or a resection of masses or cancerous cells within the thoracic and pleural cavity. This procedure is performed either under sedation or general anesthesia. 
 
 
To explicitly examine the inner walls of the abdomen, medical professionals employ the utilization of a thoracoscope, which is a long thin tube attached to a light and magnifying glass. This instrument is inserted through two to three incisions in the abdomen for proper observational angles. 
 
 
Thoracoscopy is often undertaken to observe the pleural area. Thoracoscopy comes in two forms: video-assisted thoascopic surgery, employs the use of the previously-mentioned tube that is attached to a high-resolution camera and demands general anesthesia; and a non-surgical Thoracoscopy which may be performed under conscious sedation. 
A Thoracoscopy is typically utilized when less invasive tests fail to offer a definitive mesothelioma diagnosis. Thoracoscopy may assess for other cancers, be used to collect tissues for further examination or may be applied to introduce alternative medications into the patient’s lungs. 
 
 
It is sometimes necessary for pleural mesothelioma sufferers to undergo an exploratory procedure, to enable a medical professional to collect tissue samples and observe the patient’s cancer. All exploratory procedures help determine other vital facts about a patient’s condition; an exploratory operations aids in designing the most efficient treatment approaches. A Thoracoscopy is a prime diagnostic procedure to observe and evaluate a patient’s mesothelioma cancer. 
 
 
What Should I Expect During a Thoracoscopy?
 
 
Although the procedure is often performed in outpatient settings, a Thoracoscopy is regularly conducted in a hospital under general anesthesia. The operation will begin when the doctor makes two or three small incisions between the patient’s ribs, attempting to minimize damage to nerves and muscles. During the surgery the patient must be hooked up to a ventilator. 
 
 
If the primary purpose of the Thoracoscopy is to examine an infected lung, the diseased organ will be deflated to make room for evaluation. The ventilator will help the other lungs perform their natural breathing effort. A tube must then be inserted through one of the incisions; the tubes for tissue collection and other instruments are then inserted into the remaining incisions. When the surgery is finalized, the infected lung is re-inflated and all but one of the incisions is stitched-up. The remaining incision will be fitted with a specialized draining tube, which is to be removed approximately 3 days later. 
 
 
In most Thoracoscopy procedures, patients will remain in a hospital setting for roughly one week. Pain killers will be administered and the drainage tube will remain attached until the medical professional is satisfied that all excess fluids are removed. Risks following a Thoracoscopy include the following: infection, bleeding and a re-collapse of the infected lung (a terrible situation referred to as pneumothorax). 
 
 

Gemcitabine

Navelbine