Saturday, December 12, 2009

Introduction to Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest diseases known to man; the average life span of an inflicted person from the time of diagnosis until death is less than 24 months. It’s a disease that strikes approximately 3,000 United States citizens each and every year; hard working people who have labored for a lifetime to provide for their families, doing the work that keeps this country running and a great place to live. They worked in factories, at shipyards, in mines, for the US military, as engineers, as pipefitters, as steel workers, as auto mechanics, and in so many other professions.

Mesothelioma is a rare and virulent form of cancer that affects the lining of the lung, lining of the abdominal cavity or lining around the heart. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, and occurs in those who have breathed in asbestos fiber, in many cases 20 to 50 or more years ago. Some were exposed on their jobs; others were exposed secondarily through family members who without their knowledge, brought fiber home on their work clothes or on their hair or skin.

Despite the serious nature of the disease, there is hope. Every year, doctors and scientists worldwide are developing new treatments and making new discoveries that help to improve the chance of survival and the patient’s quality of life. This website, Beat Mesothelioma, helps patients and their family members connect with the resources they need to be informed and make the best decisions on their potential treatment and care.

The first section of our website answers common questions about Mesothelioma and its cause and discusses those at risk. In the next section, the most common symptoms are discussed, as well as the various testing procedures which may be used to come to a diagnosis. The treatment section discusses types of aggressive treatment such as surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and clinical trials being conducted by cancer facilities throughout the world, as well as the palliative care option for those who either can not or choose not to be treated. Every year, progress is being made.

Beat Mesothelioma is a site created to provide you with up to date information on the deadly disease Mesothelioma. We endeavour to provide the most complete overview of the disease and all aspects of it. This includes general information on the disease, breaking news on the search for a cure and perspective legislation designed to limit you as well as all other news on the subject, links to other sites and online resources that can provide important and in-depth Mesothelioma and cancer related information, and a legal guide to help you with the complex legal issues involved with Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a disease that is almost 100% preventable; the only known cause is via exposure to the deadly mineral Asbestos. It comes from inhaling the particles of dust as the asbestos degrades; eating away at the lining of your lungs and developing into a deadly cancer. Dust that was inhaled in clouds of white powder, dust that was carried home on the clothes of the men who built this country, dust that was cleaned from the clothes by the wives and children who supported their sole provider at home, dust that was packed around the heating systems in houses and offices and schools, dust that carried a deadly price; and dust made a fortune in blood money for the companies that produced it.

Unfortunately, the effects of asbestos on the human body were known to be deadly for years by the companies who employed the ‘greatest generation’ and made hundreds of millions, if not billions, of dollars off of their backs. But instead of taking the basic steps to solve the problem and save the lives of thousands of their workers, they chose to do nothing and continue to make a “healthy” profit with a “deadly”

product. Many even went so far as to hide the truth from their workers and their families. And because the normal latency period for Mesothelioma (The time from exposure until the patient falls ill) is 20 to 30 years, many got away with this for years. We are only now beginning to see the full effects of the disease, and feel the terrible outcry of the people against those who put profits before human lives to a degree that is simply unfathomable.