Here I am again!
Been gone for a month, I guess, and it’s not because I don’t have anything to share to you guys, but it’s all because it is sooo difficult to juggle my time between work, family and my groups. Then after a late Sunday night meeting I had with one of those groups, I silently promised to myself that I will have to sit down and write.
A while back, I received a message from Heather Von St. James, asking me if I could help her out in spreading awareness about Mesothelioma. In my previous 7 years of being in the allied medical profession, I have never heard of it, and before I answered Heather, I first had to answer my own question,
“What is Mesothelioma?”
I immediately had to go to the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance site.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s internal organs, called the mesothelium. It has three recognized types:
1. Pleural – the most common form of the disease
2. Peritoneal – occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity
3. Pericardial – that which is seen in the pericardium, the heart’s lining.
“So, what causes it?”
The disease, generally, is a result of occupational asbestos exposure, but sometimes environmental exposure can be the culprit. When products containing asbestos deteriorate, asbestos fibers can be inhaled and may be lodged into the lining of the lungs, resulting to Pleural Mesothelioma, or if swallowed – can result to the Peritoneal type.
Asbestos exposure is the number one cause of occupational cancer in the U.S. even more than 30 years after the peak of its use.
“But, what is asbestos and where can it found?”
Asbestos refers to a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals, used as a fire-retardant and insulation material. Factories and builders use it because of its wonderful properties like: its resistance to fire, heat, electrical and chemical breakdown, strength, sound absorption and affordability. And so, it is used in roofing shingles, floor tiles, ceiling materials, textile products, cement compounds and automotive parts.
We do not get to worry when these asbestos-containing products are intact and stable. It is only when they get damaged or break down and the minute asbestos fibers get airborne and inhaled, then it would be very hazardous indeed. Therefore, it can be found in many older homes, schools, factories and commercial buildings.
Here’s more about Mesothelioma:
To know more about Asbestos Occupations, click on the link: Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure
And as I have mentioned earlier, asbestos is used in a lot of products and sites so to know more about them, click on: Asbestos Products
“What about Treatment?”
Conventional treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Because of the rareness of this disease, it has been a great challenge to run research studies to compare treatments and find out what the ideal treatment is for every stage of the disease. Therefore, the major goal for treatment of Mesothelioma patients is to reduce pain, and to prolong a patient’s life as long as possible.
Looking at all this, I do not think I would be able to bear the pain, of one suffering from the disease or of a family member having to see their loved one suffer. And now that we know about it, what we can do is to prevent ourselves from contracting it, or if you think you’ve had contact with asbestos materials, it would be best to consult a good doctor who knows about Mesothelioma.
When Heather first wrote to me, I have learned that she’s a Mesothelioma survivor, and I thought and told her that she is one brave Soul, that after winning her battle with the disease she is now working to spread the word about it. I believe in her cause. Awareness does help. So, thank you Heather, for opening my eyes …
To Heather, and everyone at the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance,
and to those suffering from the disease, and their families,
I send my Joy, Peace, Light and Love.
Thanks for stopping by …