In more than 80 percent of all cases of Mesothelioma in the United Stated it has been determined that the cause is asbestos exposure. Occurring most often in men over the age of 40 who at some point have worked in a career that led them to breathe asbestos fiber, Mesothelioma is a slow developing, fast killing cancer. Mesothelioma exposure can lead to significant health risks and should be avoided at all costs.
While it is common knowledge that asbestos causes Mesothelioma, scientists have yet to discover exactly how it causes this deadly cancer. There are several different theories including the thought that asbestos fibers create an irritation and inflammation to the lung tissue where they become lodged. This irritation leads to the body producing cytokines that cause cellular changes leading to a malignant cell transformation. Cancerous cells respond to many different types of treatment including chemotherapy, immunotherapy and radiation therapy. There are several options for treating Mesothelioma if it is discovered soon enough for treatment to work.
Typically by the time a person is diagnosed with Mesothelioma, is it in an advanced stage. This is because most of the symptoms of Mesothelioma are common symptoms of other illnesses and diseases. Shortness of breath, chest pain, abdominal pain, and unexplained weight loss can all be explained by other usually harmless reasons.
OSHA’s Asbestos Regulations
In the mid-80’s when the cause of Mesothelioma was discovered, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) created strictly enforced laws governing the use of asbestos including eliminating asbestos from use in homes. Since then the incidence of new cases in the U.S. has remained stable, and Mesothelioma exposure have begun to decrease. In other countries without such regulations are seeing increasing numbers each year.
OSHA regulations state that the hazards of asbestos for general industry and shipyard employment be addressed. For people who need to work in areas such as these where they will be exposed to asbestos, there are several protective steps that employees must take to limit Mesothelioma exposure. Besides regular exposure monitoring and screening, employees should wear protective clothing, use respirators or facial masks and take care to shower and change before heading home. Each of these protective measures is designed to cut down on the cases of Mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure.
Asbestos Exposure Screening
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos no matter how long ago or how briefly should see a physician for regular screening to detect what is also known of as asbestos disease at the first sign. Early detection and treatment are imperative when it comes to curing Mesothelioma. There are several treatment options, with new discoveries being researched through clinical trials, but if the cancer has gone to an advanced stage without being treated then the prognosis is not good. Mesothelioma caused by asbestos exposure is most common in men over the age of 40 but women and children who were exposed to asbestos before the OSHA restrictions should also have regular medical screening. If you think Mesothelioma exposure might be a problem in your life, you should immediately consult a doctor.