Mesothelioma is among the chronic malignancies that affect the mesothelium tissue layer. The mesothelium layer covers several internal organs lying in the abdomen cavity, pelvis, and chest. And the condition can cause cancer of any organ within the mesothelium layer. Its signs can vary among patients, but mostly they experience breathlessness, painful cough, lumps on the chest and pain, and weight loss.
Mostly, people with asbestos exposure, a hazardous element, are more vulnerable. Though asbestos production and utilization are no more allowed, its traces and impacts are still present. Its lightweight, flexible, resistant, and insulation properties were the reasons for its usage in the 19th and 20th centuries. Thus it was a cost-effective option for housing, shipbuilding, automation, power generation, military, and other sectors, still present today. Since it is an occupational condition, veterans with asbestos exposure constitute the majority of mesothelioma patients. However, asbestos exposure is not the only reason for developing mesothelioma cancer. Other fibrous minerals and pathological agents also pose the risk of mesothelium cancer.
Whatever the cause, advancements in the treatment, diagnosis, and drugs can lessen its symptoms and expand the patient’s life span. Thus seek assistance at your earliest to increase your chances of managing the malignancy and its symptoms.
The following paragraphs explore some causes and treatment options for patients with mesothelioma.
1. Contact with Asbestos
Contact with asbestos is one of the prominent causes of falling victim to mesothelioma. Studies reveal that naval veterans are more likely to acquire this cancer than other military-related workers. It is because several navy operations and activities were dependent upon asbestos consumption. They used it for the construction, repair, and insulation of ships. Sleeping quarters of naval forces also used asbestos to maintain temperature. Thus mesothelioma navy lawsuits constitute the majority of asbestos claims among other army branches. Given these factors, studies reveal that eight out of ten patients with mesothelioma had asbestos exposure at some point in their lives. If you are also a victim of asbestos exposure, contact your general physician and an attorney if need be. Your possible treatment options may include radiation, chemotherapy, targeted surgery, immunotherapy, and palliative care.
2. Exposure to Non-Asbestiform Mineral
Studies reveal that asbestos is not the sole cause of mesothelioma and lung cancer. Exposure to microcrystalline and fibrous minerals, including nephrite and erionite, can also develop mesothelium cancer. These minerals are also naturally occurring, like asbestos. Thus veterans involved in their mining and processing are prone to the dangers. They might have inhaled fine and thin fibers of these minerals while working in a contaminated environment. Once inhaled, tiny pieces irritate mesothelium layering, which leads to inflammation. Exposure to non-asbestos minerals can lead to pulmonary fibrosis and other mesothelium layer cancer. Like other malignancies, treatment depends upon the extent of damage and symptoms. Some possibilities involve targeted therapy, surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. In worst cases, palliative care options are also available for veterans. And you can seek veteran assistance programs or occupational compensation through the legal options available to manage medical expenses.
3. Hereditary Transmission of the Disease
Family members of the affected veterans are also at risk of developing mesothelioma. They can touch and inhale residue fibers from workers’ gears and clothes. And their offspring can also acquire the disease via genetic transmission and mutation. It is because the condition leaves a long-term impact on the genetic code of the affected patient. And the next generation inherits faulty genetic code from their parents and grandparents. If you are related to a mesothelioma victim, you may run the risk of developing mesothelioma at any stage of your life. Do not wait for symptoms and go through the screening process as soon as possible. Early screening can prepare you for worst-case scenarios. Even if your probability is positive, you can avail yourself of the range of treatment options. The higher the treatment options, the better to minimize disease progression and symptoms.
4. Exposure to Intense Radiations
Even if hazardous materials do not cause it, mesothelioma cancer can have other causes. As such, long-term exposure to high-intensity radiation, including x-rays and radioactive rays, can also promote its development. It is because intense radiations interfere with the genetic sequencing of the cells and impair their programmed functions. As a result, cells of the region that undergo radiations can grow uncontrollably. Thus patients frequently undergoing radiation therapy for other health issues are prone to the disease at some stage.
Additionally, those who work in the nuclear power and energy generation sector are also an at-risk group. If you also work in this sector, ensure abidance to precaution while working. Wear protective gear and clothes, and go through frequent screening to minimize the likelihood of developing mesothelioma.
5. Simian Virus-Based Tumor
Simian virus (SV) is a carcinogenic agent that contributes to mesothelioma. The virus can disturb the DNA sequence and develop tumors in the body. Humans acquire this virus from rhesus monkeys. In the past, these animals helped in the preparation of anti-polio vaccines. However, since scientists used to culture the poliovirus in rhesus monkeys’ kidney tissues, polio vaccines became contaminated. Whoever received shots of polio vaccines before the 1990s can develop SV-induced mesothelium cancer. SV40 can also cause osteosarcomas, brain tumors, and lymphomas. Veterans and the elderly population who have received polio vaccines in the past can trace their correlation.
Furthermore, malignancy acquired through this root cause is also contagious for other people, given viral transmission. Therefore, consultation with healthcare professionals is inevitable if you have had exposure to the virus or an infected individual. They can guide you regarding possible treatments, anti-virus vaccines, and drugs.
Mesothelioma is manageable if it is predicted and diagnosed at early stages. If you have had a connection to risk factors and risk-prone occupations, consult with a physician to confirm probabilities. If you are a veteran and experiencing symptoms, do not ignore them. Otherwise, diagnosis delays and severity of the condition can minimize treatment options. And aging-related compromised immunity can further amplify your risks and lead to life-threatening consequences.
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