Mesothelioma Research

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For many years, asbestos was hailed as a great material in construction. Due to its fire- and heatproof capabilities, as well as its strength and durability, it was used widely in the construction of many different types of buildings. Asbestos was also used in everyday consumer goods, such as hair dryers and textiles. The material was used in these areas for more than a century. It was only years later when it was discovered that exposure to asbestos is very harmful and can lead to a deadly cancer known as mesothelioma. Since this discovery, there has been extensive research done to see if the material is the cause of any other illnesses, how many people are at risk, and how the cancer itself can be treated.

Mesothelioma is the most severe of all asbestos-related ailments. Thousands of people die every year and thousands more are diagnosed annually. Approximately 90 percent of mesothelioma cases can be directly proved to be caused by exposure to asbestos, and the other 10 percent are believed to be linked to asbestos exposure, but cannot be conclusively proved.

Mesothelioma is more deadly than most cancers because diagnosing it is very difficult, and because its symptoms are nonspecific. It may go undiagnosed for years because of this. Thankfully, research into mesothelioma is becoming more and more common as technology becomes more advanced, providing new insight into this deadly cancer.

The earliest research done on mesothelioma and asbestos dates back to the 1940s, when a study on the pleural form of mesothelioma involved a construction worker. He was a longtime worker around asbestos materials, but researchers failed to make a connection to the two. Because of this, asbestos continued to be used heavily. A major breakthrough was made in 1960 in South Africa that linked the causation of mesothelioma to the asbestos mineral. However, this still did not have an impact on how it was used in the United States.

It wasn't until 1978 that a major breakthrough was made in the United States, one that would change how asbestos was used and how it was regulated. After years of research, it was found that 15 years after they were first exposed to asbestos, six percent of asbestos workers had died of mesothelioma. Researchers also found that the death rate for mesothelioma in asbestos insulation workers was over 340 times higher than the rate of the general population.

Research is continually being done on better methods to both diagnose and treat mesothelioma. The cancer is hard to treat because by the time it is found and diagnosed, it is usually too advanced to treat with traditional methods such as chemotherapy and radiation therapy. With 3,000 new cases diagnosed each year, it is essential that this research be done in order to get to the bottom of the disease and find a way to prevent those at risk from developing it, or even a way to detect it early on. The biggest research being done is trying to determine just how the asbestos fibers and minerals get into the cells and change how they function. Progress is being made, but nothing solid has yet been found.

If you have worked with asbestos in the past, it is essential to get regular check ups by your doctor. If mesothelioma is caught early enough, there is still hope and more treatment options available. If it is, the first step is usually surgery. This is done to get rid of as many of the cancer cells as possible. After the patient has recovered from the surgery, the next step is usually either radiation or chemotherapy.

Everyone who has been diagnosed with a disease due to exposure to asbestos is entitled to compensation. Every day, more and more research is being done to find a better way to understand mesothelioma. If you have been exposed to asbestos in the workplace, talk to an experienced lawyer or attorney who has dealt with mesothelioma cases in the past. Although every situation is different, they will have experience in dealing with all different kinds of cases and will be able to get you the money you deserve.


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