A rare cancer that attacks the body’s mesothelial cells around the organs is mesothelioma. A protective membranous lining for the internal organs and allows moving organs (i.e. the heart and the lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures is provided by the mesothelium.

mesothelioma

Image source: www.usaep.org (click here to original image)

Three regions of mesothelial cells that provide protective coating are named:

  1. Pleura: the sac which surrounds the lungs
  2. Peritoneum: the lining which protects the abdominal cavity
  3. Pericardium: the sac which surrounds the heart

These three different regions attacked by three different types of mesothelioma cancer.

Pleural Mesothelioma

The pleura surrounding the lungs are attacked by a type of lung cancer. This affects affecting approximately two-thirds of all mesothelioma patients and is the most common type of mesothelioma.

Hoarseness, fever, blood in sputum, swollen arms and face, coughing, loss of weight, difficulty breathing, chest pain, weak muscles, and reduced tactile sensitivity are the symptoms.

Peritoneal mesothelioma

The peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity is attacked by this cancer. Approximately one-third of all mesothelioma patients are affected by this disease. Abdominal bloating, impaired bowl function, fever, swollen feet, and nausea are the symptoms.

Pericardial mesothelioma

It is extremely rare type of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma attacks the pericardium surrounding the heart. Chest pain, dyspnea, cough, and palpitations are the symptoms.

Asbestos exposure has been linked to mesothelioma. Asbestos is described as a type of building material used in ceiling tiles and thermal insulation products. Asbestos usage peaked during the 1950s – 1970s in United States.

Concerns over the health consequences of asbestos exposure began to arise during the late 1960s, thus in two decades later the amount of asbestos manufactured was decreased. a new industry of asbestos abatement began to flourish by the 1980s.

However, as many as 733,000 schools and public buildings still contain asbestos, according to the Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Small asbestos fibers which enter the air can remain suspended in the air for a long time since they don’t evaporate. When the fibers breathed into the body, they are toxic. These are three types of asbestos exposure:

  1. Occupational asbestos exposure high exposure to asbestos is most likely occurred to people working in factories that manufacture asbestos. They are most at risk of developing asbestosis or mesothelioma.
  2. Para occupational asbestos exposureWorkers’ family members are susceptible to exposure from asbestos dust brought home by the worker on his clothes or skin since the workers are exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
  3. Neighborhood asbestos exposureIn the vicinity of an asbestos manufacturing plant, people who live there are at risk.

It is still rare form of cancer – mesothelioma. In the Australia, there are estimated 2,000 – 3,000 new cases per year.

Male patients with a history of asbestos exposure contract mesothelioma are approximately 7-13 per one million. 20 to 40 years after initial exposure to asbestos usually is when diagnosis of this cancer occurs.

You may have heard about asbestos and its danger. In the past, the material was extensively used as house materials in the construction industry. The effect of its massive use continues to the present.

Many houses were installed with asbestos. It was not only in a residential building that you can find asbestos, but buildings like schools and even hospitals were also identified to have this deadly material.

What makes the substance dangerous is that its fibres can that are so tiny and thin can easily enter the respiratory system when people are exposed to airborne fibres. Through inhalation, the material can remain in our respiratory system and cause a serious health risk and lead to death.

People who used to work in the mining of asbestos or construction industry are those who have suffered the most because they were exposed to numerous amount of asbestos fibres. Most of them ended up infected by serious respiratory diseases such as lung cancer, asbestosis and even mesothelioma.

Fortunately, with the massive campaign of the danger of asbestos, people begin to aware of the danger of asbestos exposure. Asbestos, in fact, causes more non-malignant condition compared to cancerous ones. These noncancerous conditions start from mild as well as non-threatening to critical and life-threatening.

Why Asbestos Removal is Strongly Recommended

The followings are the diseases that are caused by the exposure to asbestos:

Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer can cause more death compared to other female reproductive cancer although it only represents three percent of female cancer diagnoses. Asbestos exposure can cause ovarian cancer. It was confirmed by a study conducted by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) in 2012. A lot of cases were reported in women whose husband or father worked with asbestos.

Although the accurate procedure for how the asbestos fibres get through to the ovaries is subject to debate, the researchers theorise that the fibres are transferred by the lymphatic system. In some cases, talc that is contaminated with asbestos were related to the disease.

Asbestosis

It is a progressive pulmonary disease inhibiting lung function and health. The disease starts when the fibres are inhaled, and they accumulate in the lungs and generate scar tissue to form. Over some period of time, the scar tissue causes the lungs to get hardened and limits the lungs’ elasticity.

As the condition progresses the patient suffered from the disease will have breathing difficulty and feel painful. The scare tissue reduces the ability of the lungs to supply oxygen to the blood stream. Quite often, to control the symptom, a patient will need pain medication and oxygen tanks. The disease cannot be stopped, and there is no cure for it. However, the symptoms can be minimized with oxygen supplementation and medication.

Benign Pleural Disease

The condition such as lung cancer and asbestos attack lung tissue but pleura is another condition that has an impact on the lining of the lungs. The only cancerous disease that has an impact on the pleura is mesothelioma. However, asbestos affects several mild conditions to grow in the lung lining.

The pleura has two layers: inner and outer layers. The inner lines the lungs and outer lines the ribs. The existence of asbestos fibres will lead to the inflammation of these layers and cause the layers to rub against each other. This condition is called pleuritic. Medication is helpful to control the pain.

Knowing how serious these diseases can risk our health, being cautious and preventive are important. If your older house is identified with asbestos, the best thing to do is to have the asbestos removal in Sydney. By removing the material will avoid any exposure to asbestos fibres and that means to save you and your family.

In medical research, the current belief holds that most cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens, and that carcinogens cause cancer by damaging DNA.

However, a few discoveries and little benefits to the public have been produced by the huge effort and billions of dollars invested by the NIH, private foundations, and pharmaceutical companies in searching for damaged DNA in cancer. This limited success has a simple reason. Most of the cancers’ causes is not damaged DNA.

Major Discovery of How Carcinogens Cause Cancer

Hunting for Genetic Mutations and Cancer

A Little background about cancer:

  • A gene is an assembly line that generates protein. DNA makes a gene.
  • Proteins are cells’ major building blocks
  • A mutated gene is assembly line that is modified. Removing an essential part of the assembly line, replacing an important part with junk, etc. are some examples of how a modification can take many forms. In most cases, a mutated gene is considered damaged DNA.

Current belief

As the word cause has two meanings, the cause of the cancer first refers to carcinogens, such as tobacco, x-ray radiation, asbestos, other chemicals, etc. which are elements in the environment that impact our body. Hundreds of substances are classified as carcinogens today.

The internal element of the body, which is the first to collapse under the attack of the carcinogens, is referred as the other meaning of the word cause. This element is called “Achilles heel.”

That most cancers are caused by exposure to carcinogens, and that carcinogens cause cancer by mutating genes are the current belief in medical research holds. In other words, the structural integrity of our genes is our Achilles heel, and therefore, the first internal element to collapse under the attack of the carcinogens, according to the current belief.

The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), an institute at the NIH, recently stated that “all cancers are based on genetic mutations in body cells” as this belief is so ingrained.

Furthermore, the keywords “Mutation” AND “cancer” produced 86,490 papers and 12,238 reviews on PubMed, the search engine for scientific papers in life science. It is a big business as well, the mutation hunting.

Look at the number of biotech companies chasing genetic mutations, the magnitude of the licensing agreements between biotech and pharmaceutical companies aimed to utilize newly discovered genetic mutations, the NIH budget allocated to discoveries of genetic mutations, and the number of stories in the media on genetic mutations and their so-called “link” to disease.

Nevertheless, only a few discoveries and little benefits to the public have been produces by this huge effort and billions of dollars. The limited success of this is because the cause of most cancers is not a genetic mutation. The structural integrity of our genes is not our Achilles heels. A typical example of mutation hunting is the story of the BRCA1 gene.

The Mystery of BRCA1

In general, genes produce protein which is cells’ building blocks. Protein’s concentration is tightly regulated. An abnormal concentration of its protein produced by a mutated or physically altered gene can lead to disease.

Mark Skolnick, PhD, discovered the BRCA1 gene (BRCA1 is short for BReast CAncer 1) in 1994. Scientists observed an abnormally low level of the BRCA1 protein in breast cancer tissues when following the discovery. The BRCA1 protein prevents cell replication or a cell cycle suppressor.

Scientists believed that they were on the verge of finding the cause of breast cancer at that time. In breast cancer patients, a defected BRCA1 assembly line, which would explain the decreased production of the protein, and the excessive replication of breast cancer cells in tumors – this is the reason why breast cancer have a mutated BRCA1 gene.

Each year, there are 180,000 cases of breast cancer are diagnosed in the United States. However, there is only less than 5% of the BRCA1 that is mutated in these cases. The assembly line is not defected in more than 95% of breast cancer patients the gene is not mutated. So the mystery is here.

Why are the tumors showing low levels of the BRCA1 protein if the gene is not mutated in the great majority of the breast cancer patients? It is the biggest mysteries in cancer research.

Since the BRCA2 gene is not unique, many normal (perfect shape, non-mutated) genes exhibit a mysterious abnormal (increased or decreased) production of proteins in cancer.

In other diseases, such as atherosclerosis, obesity, osteoarthritis, type II diabetes, alopecia, type I diabetes, multiple sclerosis, asthma, lupus, thyroiditis, inflammatory bowel disease, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and graft versus host disease, abnormal gene expression of normal genes are reported in studies.

“The prevalent view of the nature of cancer holds that it is a complex genetic process resulting from the progressive accumulation of mutations in specific cellular genes, such as proto-oncogenes or tumor-suppressor genes, leading to perturbations in processes involving signal transduction, cell cycle regulation, and/or apoptosis. Genetic instability in tumors has been known for decades, however, the role of genomic instability in causing and promoting tumor growth remains controversial. Furthermore, although many studies report abnormal gene expression in cancer cells, often, no mutations or chemical modifications are observed around the locus of the deregulated gene(s), suggesting that a genetic alteration is not the initiating event of cancer” – as expressed by Dr. Raxit J. Jariwalla in his European Journal of Cancer paper: (Jariwalla RJ. Microcompetition and the origin of cancer. Eur J Cancer. 2005 Jan;41(1):15-9).

So, what is this event if a genetic alteration (also called genetic mutation or damaged DNA) is not the initiating event of most cancers? And how this event initiated by carcinogens? Find the answers to these questions at www.causeofcancer.org.

The fastest growing cancer in the world is lung cancer. We have seen many cases of asbestos that are simply destroying entire families in the Australia. Over the last 15 years, mortality from lung cancer has more than tripled, not only in states with a huge history in the construction industry that have shown thousands of cases of asbestos victims.

The most common, the one that takes 15 to 20 years to develop after exposure, is one of the most dramatic and serious problems with lung cancer. Scarring of the lung tissue or asbestosis takes 15 to 20 years to appear as well. It means that the people responsible of the damages based on asbestos may be already out of business or not even alive when asbestos starts to reveals its presence.

Removing asbestos from older buildings is a difficult, dangerous and expensive process and clearly not a job for amateurs even though many companies are already aware of the dangers of asbestos. For all these precautions, there is good reason. A licensed contractor who is registered with the state is the one who should conduct asbestos removal from public buildings.

asbestos exposure mesothelioma affected

Why do we still have buildings with asbestos?

Removing or abating asbestos in a public building can run into hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars which is a very, very expensive kind of work for any company to afford, that is the main reason why.

Building owners are required to perform in-depth surveys of their property and report to the construction inspectors in all the part of the Australia. The building owner must contact and hire an authorized asbestos removal company which will take care of this dangerous quemical, including removing it, transporting it and destoying it, if asbestos qualifies for removal.

If there is friable asbestos present, there are not allowed to be demolished if buildings are going to be destroyed, as many cases show. AHERA, the Asbestos Hazard Emergency Response Act requires any sort of schools or educational center to be inspected and have a management plan prepared, which is to be maintained and available for public inspection.

How health experts are so keen in having different points regarding asbestos is interesting. About 2.3 of every 98,000 people living in buildings made from cement containing asbestos are liable to develop lung cancer, according to a university research. Health damage due to exposure to asbestos will certainly increase rapidly in the coming months and years as it has been proven.

From many possible areas and sources, healthcare maintenance workers and engineers can be unknowingly exposed to asbestos. When making repairs to old piping or doing minor renovations or while working in furnace rooms where boilers are insulated with asbestos, engineers can be exposed.

In ultramafic rock, including serpentine, and near fault zones are where asbestos commonly found. Usually, the amount of asbestos that is typically present in these rocks can be less than 1.

So, how asbestos infiltrate to our lungs?

When asbestos materials are destroyed, asbestos fibers can be released into the air. If the objects with asbestos remain in one piece, there is only little or even no risk for our health.

Several lung cancer treatments are now available and the determination as to which one is prescribed depends on the lung cancer stage that’s been identified, the location of the cancer, and the patient’s health.

lung cancer treatment options

The most common treatments for lung cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy.

1. Surgery

Surgery involves cutting away a cancerous tumor and a portion of the tissue which has surrounded the tumor. Sometimes the surgical treatment involves removal of the entire affected lung.

Surgery is often effective, but recovery period can be extended. Because the surgeon will have to cut through the rib cage for the lungs, there will be pain and bed rest for one to two months following the procedure.

In addition to traditional surgical methods, other types of surgical procedures can be utilized based on the location of the tumor and also the patient’s physical state. A craniotomy, which is basically surgery performed through a hole made to the skull can be prescribed to tumors located in the brain.

For small tumors, a process whereby a video camera is inserted into a tiny incision assists the surgeon zero in on a tumor. Since the incision is small, pain is generally reduced.

2. Radiation

Radiation may either be used by itself or in conjunction radiation. Radiation can be beamed directly at the cancerous tumor from the exterior of the body using a laser, or radiation can be delivered directly to the tumor via a small pellet.

When a patient’s overall state of health is poor, radiation is a far better alternative than undergoing a surgical procedure. In cases where surgery was performed, radiation could also be prescribed as a way to remove the cancerous cells that for whatever reason could not be surgically removed.

Radiation to eliminate brain tumors can lead to altering the brain’s functionality later on, but may be the only option.

3. Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs can be taken either orally or administered via an injection into a vein. Because the blood can carry the drug through the body, Chemotherapy is often the preferred treatment when lung cancer has spread well beyond the lungs.

1 problem associated with chemotherapy is that it may also cause damage to healthy cells and the cells that make blood that live within the bone marrow. Low blood counts can result in a number of different problems so chemotherapy treatment must be carefully monitored.

4. Targeted Therapy

Targeted Therapy is a relatively new treatment option which does show promise. Rather than focusing on destroying damaged cells (that may also damage healthy cells), these drugs instead are intended to interfere with a cancerous cell’s ability to grow. And regrettably, targeted therapy hasn’t been successful for all patients.

Each lung cancer treatment option has advantages, risks and often, side effects. Deciding which option is best is something that only a doctor and patient can determine.