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An informational website for those injured or impacted by mesothelioma and asbestos

Asbestos Network Blog - A Blog Created Specifically for Those Affected by Asbestos

Montana sets up special mesothelioma claims court

Libby, Montana, included one of the nation’s largest vermiculite mining sites. In the years since the mines closed, thousands of former workers, their spouses and residents have developed mesothelioma, the deadly cancer caused by exposure to asbestos dust. Thousands have died from asbestos-related diseases.

The Libby mining operation remains one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in the nation’s history.

Types of Lung Cancer, Stages, and Treatment Options

lung-cancer-types-stages-treatment.jpgNovember is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, and our blog has been focused on different questions related to this deadly disease. Lung cancer is the second most common cancer, but it is the most deadly as it will kill approximately 155,000 people this year. Today we will be discussing the different types of lung cancer and treatment options available for those who have already been diagnosed. Cancer treatment plans should be agreed upon by both the doctor and the patient. According to the Mayo Clinic, treatment plans are affected by some key factors, including:

  • Type and stage of cancer
  • Overall health
  • Personal preferences of the patient

How Do Doctors Detect and Diagnose Lung Cancer?

x-ray-image-568241_1280.jpgIn honor of Lung Cancer Awareness Month, we are sharing a series of posts on our blog as part of our effort to inform others about the dangers of this deadly cancer. In previous posts, we have discussed the toxic substances (such as smoking, asbestos, and other chemicals) that can cause lung cancer, who is typically at risk of developing it, and what actions can be taken to mitigate risk. For at-risk individuals, early detection is important as it can be a deciding factor in the prognosis and treatment. For these reasons, heavy smokers or individuals who have been exposed to large amounts of asbestos, radon, diesel fumes, or other toxic carcinogens are encouraged to get screened before symptoms occur.

What Actions Can Be Taken to Mitigate Lung Cancer Risk?

doctor shows patient lung x-ray graphicNovember is Lung Cancer Awareness Month, which has provided an opportunity for us to share a series of posts on our blog with vital information about the risks and causes of lung cancer. In this post, we will be discussing some of the actions that individuals can take to decrease the risk of developing lung cancer.

Avoid Toxic Carcinogens

In a previous post, we discussed some of the toxic substances that cause lung cancer - the most common being tobacco smoke, asbestos, and radon. The best way to decrease anyone's risk of developing deadly diseases, such as lung cancer is to avoid these substances. It is nearly impossible to avoid one hundred percent of all toxic chemicals, but there are steps that you can take to decrease exposures - including awareness of what substances are dangerous and where they can be found.

What Causes Lung Cancer?

cancer-156101_640.pngThe upcoming series of blog posts we will be sharing is focused on informing and creating awareness about lung cancer. During Lung Cancer Awareness Month, it is our hope that we can alert others about the causes of this deadly disease and possibly prevent future diagnoses.

Exposure to Toxic Carcinogens Results in Lung Cancer

If toxic carcinogens, such as asbestos, tobacco smoke, radon, or others, are inhaled into the lungs, they damage the cells causing cancers to develop. Exposure to these substances, whether it is firsthand, secondhand, or even third hand, puts individuals at risk. While multiple government agencies have confirmed that tobacco smoke causes 80-90% of all lung cancer-related deaths in the general population, the number one source of occupational-caused lung cancer is asbestos.

Follow Our Blog for Lung Cancer Awareness Month

lung-cancer-awareness-part1.pngLung cancer is the deadliest cancer in the country, but it is also the most preventable. Largely caused by exposure to tobacco smoke and asbestos, this disease will kill an estimated 155,000 people this year. In an effort to create awareness and hopefully prevention, we will be sharing information about lung cancer on our blog throughout the month of November.

Can Mesothelioma Spread to the Brain?

can-mesothelioma-spread-to-the-brain.jpgMesothelioma is a specific type of cancer overwhelmingly caused by exposure to asbestos. It involves mesothelial cells which form the very thin linings/membranes surrounding and encasing the lungs, heart, abdominal cavity, and gonads. These linings are called the serosal membranes or mesothelium. After a person inhales or ingests asbestos fibers, those fibers reach the mesothelium where they cause genetic errors of the mesothelial cells that comprise the membranes. This results in daughter cells without the ability to control cell growth. This loss of controlled cell growth can lead to cancer of the mesothelial cells, which is mesothelioma.

It is Rare for Mesothelioma to Spread to the Brain

Mesothelioma brain metastasis is possible, however, it is extremely rare, even in the late stages of the disease, and only occurs in an exceptionally small percentage of patients. In the few known cases of mesothelioma brain metastasis, tumors have been found in the cerebral cortex, the cerebellum and the brain stem, however, are often not discovered until post-mortem. Local progression of the tumor as it rapidly grows is the much more common method of mesothelioma spread rather than distant metastasis. Therefore, mesothelioma most commonly spreads to the tissues and organs within the chest and abdomen. Most typically, it spreads from one pleura to the other pleura, the pericardium, or the peritoneum.

3300 New Mesothelioma Cases Each Year in the United States

3300_mesothelioma_cases_per_year.jpgAsbestos is a naturally-occurring, fibrous mineral that has been used in various consumer products for decades. In fact, its use dates back more than 4,000 years ago. However, starting in the late 1800s, it became well understood in medicine, science, and industry that asbestos dust from any source was deadly. In addition, many asbestos manufacturers were aware of the serious health issues surrounding asbestos but kept the information secret.

Massachusetts Home With Asbestos Siding Carelessly Demolished

demolition_asbestos.jpgLocal residents in Wilmington, Massachusetts are concerned and angry that a home with asbestos siding was demolished, sending toxic dust all around neighboring homes. The contractor who received the demolition permit from the town "went rogue" and illegally moved forward with demolition plans before an asbestos professional could do a proper inspection. Local residents immediately contacted the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, who was able to stop the demolition that same day.

Sadly, improper demolition of asbestos-ridden homes and buildings is not uncommon. There are many situations where asbestos regulations are not enforced until it is too late, similar to this situation in Wilmington. According to reports, Town Manager Jeff Hull claimed there was no process in place for handling asbestos, and that they were "going on the honor system and taken advantage of."