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Mesothelioma: Is There a Hope to Outlive This Illness?

Date Added: January 01, 2013 07:13:11 AM
Author: imurwriter
Category: Respiratory Disorders Asbestosis-Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma: Is There a Hope to Outlive This Illness?


Most often than not, mesothelioma is a job related illness. This affects people who are exposed to asbestos. Asbestos is a type of mineral with physical properties that make it ideal for commercial use. It is heat resistant, robust, with great insulating characteristics and very easily woven into fabrics.  Because this is very thin (50-200 times thinner compared to a human hair), it can stay afloat on the air, causing greater risk for people to inhale it. And because asbestos can be found in mine fields, factories and even in many other types of infrastructures,  not only miners are exposed to it but even factory workers, mechanics, teachers and many others.


What Happens When a Person Has Mesothelioma?


Mesothelioma derived its word from “mesothelium”; a term that refers to the outer covering of the body’s internal organs. This is where the cancer originates before it spreads or metastasize.  Moreover, the anatomical part that is mostly affected is the outer covering of the lungs (pleura). However, it also affects the outer covering of the testis, heart and abdominal cavity. It is also interesting to note that symptoms of this illness will only surface after 20-50 years have passed since the person has been exposed to asbestos. Once fluid will accumulate in the pleural space, the person will experience cough, shortness of breath and pain. The person may also experience abdominal swelling, weight loss, blood clot problems, bowel obstruction, fever and anemia.  As the disease progresses, one may even end have difficulty swallowing or swelling of face or neck.


There are many treatment modalities that are currently instituted to help patients suffering from mesothelioma. This may vary from surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, multimodal therapy or heated intraoperative intraperitoneal chemotherapy. Unfortunately, the prognosis of this condition is very poor. Hence, people with mesothelioma are left with the question on whether they will have the chance to outlive their illness. This is considering the fact that cancer is a disease that is known to have no cure.


Finding Hope by Reflecting on Other People’s Fate


However, one must not lose hope when diagnosed with mestothelioma. Records show that there are people who survived after having been diagnosed to have the disease. One example is Stephen Jay Gould. After having been diagnosed to have the illness in 1982, he survived for another 20 years. He passed away due to adenocarcinoma of the lung and not due to mesothelioma. Heather Von St James is another example of a person who survived the illness. He underwent extrapleural penumonectomy in 2006 and still survives up to these days.      She is now serving as an advocate in blogs and cancer research funding about her experience on mesithelioma. Paul Krause is another concrete example of Mesothelioma survivor. After being diagnosed to have this type of cancer in 1997, the doctor told him that he only had only a year to live his life. But he continued to live up to these days, which prompted him to write a book in titled; “Surviving Mesothelioma and Other Cancers: A Patient’s Guide”.


Remember not to lose hope. After all, this is something that no one can take away from you. Experts may tell you that you only have a few months to live. But as long as you continue to fight to survive even in your last breath, then nothing else really matters.