The plight of an LA actress who found out she had lung cancer because of a COVID test is a sobering reminder to be aware of the early signs of pleural mesothelioma. The woman’s story was recently featured on the Today Show website. Fifty-nine year old Annabelle Gurwitch is a non-smoker with no known lung cancer risk factors. She and her 23-year-old child decided to get COVID tests after her child came home from college. Although the COVID test was negative, Gurwitch writes that doctors were concerned about her persistent cough. Ongoing cough can be a one of the early signs of pleural mesothelioma, too. An X-ray revealed that Gurwitch was suffering from Stage 4 lung cancer, the most common … Continue reading LA Woman’s Story is a Sobering Reminder to Watch for Signs of Pleural Mesothelioma
Research at MIT suggests that an inhaled vaccine may trigger a strong immune response against infections and even cancer in the lungs. The findings could be good news for people at risk for the rare lung-related cancer, pleural mesothelioma. Lung infections often start on mucosal membranes. So researchers developed a vaccine that binds to a protein in mucus. When they immunized mice in a way that mimics an inhaled vaccine, their lungs produced many T-cells. T-cells are immune system cells that can help fight infections and cancer. Pleural mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. Right now, there is no way to vaccinate against it and no cure. If an inhaled vaccine could bring more T-cells to the lungs of … Continue reading Could an Inhaled Vaccine Help Prevent Mesothelioma?
Cancer experts are warning that the fear of contracting COVID-19 may result in delayed mesothelioma diagnosis and worse outcomes for some patients. A study from the Epic Health Research Network shows that many patients delayed cancer screenings and other preventative health appointments during the pandemic. Although the numbers have started to increase, the trend may mean that some patients have already faced a delayed mesothelioma diagnosis. Understanding Pleural Mesothelioma Pleural mesothelioma is a fast-growing cancer on the tissue that surrounds the lungs and lines the chest wall. It is most common in people who lived or worked around asbestos. Even in the best of times, mesothelioma is extremely difficult to diagnose. Most mesothelioma patients have very few symptoms until the … Continue reading COVID-19 Fears May Lead to Delayed Mesothelioma Diagnosis
New lung cancer screening guidelines for smokers might have an unexpected benefit for people who have also been exposed to asbestos: They may catch mesothelioma earlier. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a lung-related cancer caused by asbestos. It develops over many years. Many mesothelioma patients do not show any symptoms until the disease is very advanced. There is currently no routine screening for mesothelioma. The new lung cancer screening guidelines apply to people ages 50 to 80. They suggest that those who have smoked the equivalent of a pack a day for 20 years should have annual low-dose CT scans. If screening shows a tumor, doctors can dig further to determine its type. Both lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma are more … Continue reading New Lung Cancer Screening Guidelines Could Catch Some Mesotheliomas Earlier
A pair of occupational medicine experts say the dangers of asbestos – particularly its ability to cause cancers like malignant mesothelioma – are still being downplayed by those who mine and sell it. The report appears in a recent issue of the Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology. The authors are experts in the field from Hamburg University in Germany and Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia. Scientists around the world have warned about the dangers of asbestos for decades. Asbestos is responsible for tens of thousands of mesothelioma deaths every year. In the US, about 2,500 people die of mesothelioma annually because of asbestos exposure. Early Recognition of the Dangers of Asbestos Asbestos is a fibrous mineral … Continue reading The Ongoing Effort to Downplay the Dangers of Asbestos
Amazon and Ebay are the latest retailers to remove a list of asbestos-containing cosmetics from their sites after warnings from the Environmental Working Group. Asbestos can cause lung cancer, malignant mesothelioma, and other serious health issues. The EWG says tests by Scientific Analytical Institute found asbestos-tainted talc in three of 21 cosmetic products. The asbestos–containing cosmetics include two eye shadow collections and one toy makeup kit for children. The scientific journal Environmental Health Insights recently published the EWG’s report. It is the latest in a growing body of research on the prevalence of asbestos contamination in personal care products. Asbestos Contamination in Talc Most asbestos-containing cosmetics are made with talc. Talc is a soft, powdery mineral. Its moisture-absorbing properties make … Continue reading Asbestos-Containing Cosmetics Removed From Retail Websites
A new Australian study suggests that exercise is unlikely to prevent mesothelioma development in people who have been exposed to asbestos. The study focused on asbestos-exposed mice. Asbestos cancer can take decades to develop. Researchers thought the long latency period might offer an opportunity to prevent mesothelioma development with physical activity. But even mice that had no mesothelioma symptoms were less likely than mice their same age to be physically active. How Mesothelioma Develops Over Time Malignant mesothelioma has one of the longest latency periods of any cancer. The latency period is the time between exposure to a carcinogen and development of the disease. Scientists know that asbestos can cause mesothelioma. But they have not found a way to prevent … Continue reading Exercise Unlikely to Prevent Mesothelioma Development
If you are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, you may want to think twice about taking low dose aspirin on a regular basis. A new study suggests that low dose aspirin could speed up the growth and spread of cancer cells in older people. The study appears in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It involved more than 19,000 people in Australia and the US. Low Dose Aspirin and Mesothelioma Many older people take small daily doses of aspirin to reduce their risk for heart attack. Aspirin reduces inflammation and the blood’s ability to clot. This makes it less likely to form the blockages that cause heart attacks and strokes. But mounting evidence suggests that taking low dose aspirin … Continue reading Low Dose Aspirin Could Increase Mesothelioma Risk
Cancer expects from Ohio State University have just released an updated version of their recommendations for people with a genetic predisposition for mesothelioma. These people have an inherited mutation on their BAP1 tumor suppressor gene. This mutation puts them at risk for several different types of cancer, including malignant mesothelioma. It is not possible to prevent cancer in people with this genetic risk factor. But the Ohio State doctors say awareness and screening may help extend the lives of people with a genetic predisposition for mesothelioma. BAP1 Tumor Predisposition Syndrome BAP1 stands for BRCA association protein 1. The BAP1 gene encodes for the BAP1 protein. BAP1 is one of the proteins that helps keep normal cells from turning into cancer … Continue reading Recommendations for People with a Genetic Predisposition for Mesothelioma
As concern about the novel coronavirus spreads around the world, there could be an unexpected upside to social distancing for mesothelioma patients. Social distancing is the recommendation that people not gather in larger groups. Even in smaller settings, the CDC recommends that people stay at least six feet apart from one another to avoid spreading the virus. The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is caused by the virus SARS-CoV2. Because humans have not yet built up immunity to SARS-CoV2, it is more likely to make them sick. Mesothelioma patients may have even lower resistance to disease. This is why social distancing for mesothelioma patients is especially important. As people become more aware of the threat to themselves at others, they are less … Continue reading Social Distancing for Mesothelioma Patients: Unexpected Upside?