Tips for preventing & treating mesothelioma

Tips for preventing & treating mesothelioma

Your body comprises trillions of cells that group together to form tissues and organs. These cells do not function independently; they are given instructions to work, divide, and grow to ensure your body functions accordingly.

These instructions come from the genes present inside the nucleus of each cell, ensuring that every cell is working as it’s supposed to.

However, a significant change to the DNA causes these cells to mutate, rendering them incapable of working properly.

As a result, cells start growing abnormally and out of control leading to cancer. Cancer cells do not act like normal cells and can abnormally grow anywhere inside the body.  

A group of cancer cells forms a mass known as a benign or malignant tumor depending on whether it is localized or spreads to other body parts.

There are numerous types of cancers based on where they form; a few examples include skin cancer, lung cancer, Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, and mesothelioma.

Some forms of cancer are aggressive, which are incurable even with treatment.

Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest forms of cancer with a poor prognosis. It is commonly found in individuals in the construction and shipbuilding industry who are directly in contact with asbestos.

To find out how to move forward with this disease once diagnosed, type in what is mesothelioma on Google to know what you’re dealing with.

Mesothelioma occurs in the pleural and abdominal lining due to exposure to asbestos fibers. Symptoms like chest pain, fatigue, and unexplained weight loss develop gradually with time and don’t appear until several decades after contact with asbestos.

Due to late diagnosis, treatments are only implemented to control the symptoms. The primary risk factor is asbestos fibers that directly enter and damage the lungs over time after inhaling.

So, how can one prevent the risk of developing mesothelioma? Here are a few tips.

Prevention of Mesothelioma

Adhering to prevention tips is critically important to ensure that you and your loved ones are protected from this aggressive form of cancer.

  1. Asbestos exposure at the workplace is the most common cause of mesothelioma. This means employers must take appropriate measures to ensure employees’ safety and health.

Equipping employees with personal protective equipment significantly reduces their exposure to asbestos fiber.

  • Besides personal equipment, employers must carry out a thorough assessment at the workplace.
  • Workers are usually exposed to asbestos fibers because they lack proper knowledge. Educating employees about asbestos hazards reduces the risk. Inform workers to avoid touching asbestos if they come in direct contact.
  • Seal the area where asbestos is discovered, and avoid doing repairs or renovations like vacuuming or scraping off the site. This will prevent the asbestos fibers from traveling in the air.
  • Provide asbestos awareness training to help workers identify and work safely with asbestos-containing material.

The training includes information about appropriate control measures and knowledge about asbestos-containing materials. This training is for every worker.

  • Asbestos can also be found in homes; hire an asbestos removal professional in such circumstances.

Before purchasing a new home, inspect it to ensure whether asbestos is present.

These tips will help you stay protected from asbestos; however, if you inhale asbestos fibers, get yourself checked to avoid complications later.

Treatment of Mesothelioma

 As mentioned earlier, mesothelioma is terminal; however, treatment can stop the disease from spreading further depending on the stage.

Radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and surgery are the common treatment options for mesothelioma. Let’s see how these treatment options work. 

1.    Surgery

The tumor and some of the healthy tissues surrounding the tumor are removed with the help of surgery. There are two major surgery options when treating mesothelioma, which include pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma.

People with pleural mesothelioma undergo surgery to remove the cancerous cells in the lung lining. Extrapleural pneumonectomy involves the removal of the entire lung.

A portion of the diaphragm and the lining around the heart is performed to remove the tumor completely. 

The surgery is only performed after carefully evaluating the patient’s overall health. Peritoneal mesothelioma involves the removal of the tumor from the abdominal lining.

Since this type of tumor spreads throughout the abdomen, it is difficult to remove it entirely. Surgery aims to remove the primary tumor leaving behind the small ones to be removed with the help of chemotherapy or radiation.

2.    Radiation

Radiation is often recommended after the surgery to destroy any remaining cancer cells. The most common type of radiation applied is called external-beam radiation. In pleural mesothelioma, it is difficult to perform radiation due to the risk of damaging the lung.

However, radiation can be performed when the lung has been removed. It is a form of supportive care to help relieve symptoms such as pain.

In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, giving radiation leads to severe side effects like nausea and vomiting.

Radiation is extremely toxic to the other organs, including the small intestine and kidney. This form of therapy is only used to stop the spread of cancer to surgical scars.

Due to adverse effects, patients must have a proper discussion with their doctor to gather information about radiation therapy.

3.    Chemotherapy

It is the most common systematic therapy recommended to treat mesothelioma. Chemotherapy aims to stop the cancer cells from further growing.

People with pleural mesothelioma are treated with Alimta and Cisplatin, the common chemotherapy drugs used to treat mesothelioma.

The drugs are administered once every three weeks throughout 4 to 6 cycles.

Similarly, these drugs are directly administered in the abdomen through IV after surgery. Side effects usually range from fatigue, hair loss, and nausea, depending on the individual and dosage.

Doctors either use chemotherapy as an independent treatment or in combination with surgery. To help overcome the side effects, patients are often prescribed vitamin B12 or Folic acid.

Conclusion

Mesothelioma is the most aggressive form of cancer that develops after asbestos exposure. It is deemed incurable in most cases because of the late diagnosis.

In such circumstances, the treatment implemented aims to control the spread of cancer and reduce the symptoms.

Although incurable, one can still reduce the risk by taking appropriate measures. Educating employees about the consequences of asbestos exposure, providing protective equipment, and a thorough inspection of the place containing asbestos materials are a few measures to prevent mesothelioma.

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