In the modern world, asbestos is a word that strikes fear into the hearts of property owners, tenants, and employees alike. This is because asbestos is associated with one of the biggest boogiemen for the last few decades in the developed world: cancer. And while asbestos is only one of many carcinogenic products out there, it has almost cornered the market on one type of cancer: mesothelioma. This article is going to look at what exactly mesothelioma is, how asbestos causes this cancer, and the importance of getting tested.
What is Mesothelioma?
As we briefly touched on in our article, Hazardous Materials: How Asbestos Makes You Sick, mesothelioma is one of the big three health concerns from asbestos. The mesothelium is a thin lining of tissue that covers the lungs and chest walls, as well as many other organs, with malignant mesothelioma being cancer that can form on this tissue. Mesothelioma causes pain in the chest walls, shortness of breath, coughing, fatigue, and tumor growth and metastasizing. It is resistant to radiation, and long-term survival is rare.
How Asbestos Causes This Cancer
Asbestos is the leading cause of mesothelioma, with 80% of all mesothelioma cases being linked to asbestos. While asbestos usually first enters the lungs (and is also highly linked to lung cancer), it can end up resting against or within the mesothelium, or reach the lining via the heart, stomach, or abdomen depending on how the asbestos gets inside the body. From there, the asbestos can cause multiple types of asbestos through abdomen lining, lymph nodes, the heart’s lining called the pericardium, and more.
Diagnosing and Treating Mesothelioma
In the US, asbestos is so closely linked to mesothelioma that it is considered a “signal” or “sentinel” tumor for the presences of asbestos exposure. Since mesothelioma is usually fairly advanced by the time it is discovered, it’s important to look for signs of asbestos exposure. Some health conditions, like asbestosis, are the first visible signs of exposure. The common treatments for mesothelioma are combined surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, with supportive treatments helping to relieve the symptoms and improve quality of life.
The best way of avoiding mesothelioma and other health conditions is to get yourself and your home and business tested for asbestos exposure. When it comes to getting your property inspected and, if discovered, getting asbestos removed, it’s time to call in the professionals. Fiber Control, Inc. are fully licensed and insured asbestos remediation contractors for Massachusetts and New Hampshire. Contact us today for an inspection.