Hope for Mesothelioma patients

MESOTHELIOMA

Helping answer your questions about mesothelioma asbestos-related cancer

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PEACE OF MIND by Dr Ian Gawler

 
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WHAT CAUSES MESOTHELIOMA?

In 70-80% of cases of those who suffer from mesothelioma, exposure to some form of asbestos is a factor.

How Does Asbestos Cause Cancer?

 

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibres that are extremely strong, but can be woven like cotton. Asbestos is highly resistant to heat and was commonly used in household items and building materials (such as interior and exterior wall sheeting and insulation). You may have had an asbestos mat that you used on your stove top to protect Pyrex coffee pots, or you may have had asbestos-lined gloves and oven mitts.

Asbestos only causes problems when it's cut or disturbed in some way because this releases the tiny fibres that you can breathe in. Once inside the lungs, these fibres can cause inflammation, fibrosis (scarring) and cancer. Asbestos can also be swallowed when the tiny fibres are air borne.

Industries at Risk

So who can get mesothelioma? 

If I do suspect I have mesothelioma, what help is available? Can I consult a lawyer like Baron and Budd for mesothelioma?

Some cases require prolonged and high exposure levels, such as those of people who worked, unprotected, in industries using asbestos prior to 1970. These industries include:

         factories

         shipyards

         mines

         military

         engineers

         pipe fitters

         steel workers

         auto mechanics

         construction

How Much Exposure is Dangerous?

But other patients received relatively short exposure, sometimes only months or weeks. Cases have been recorded of patients whose only exposure was when changing the brake linings on their cars and breathing the dust.

Others had "passive" exposure, such as women who washed their husbands and son's work clothes.

The disease can appear 20 years after exposure or as long as 50 years after, and some experts believe that cases will continue to rise until at least 2020. 

Always seek competent medical advice so your doctor can make an accurate diagnosis. The earlier you're diagnosed, the better your chances.

Peace of Mind

To help you and your family through this difficult time, see Dr Ian Gawler's book, PEACE OF MIND. Diagnosed with incurable bone cancer in 1975 and given only months to live, Ian Gawler has been helping other cancer sufferers through his Cancer Support Group since 1981.

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Copyright Jennifer Stewart 2006 All rights reserved