The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture

Today, most people with access to media are aware that asbestos is dangerous. Even people who are unfamiliar with the rare but deadly asbestos cancer, malignant mesothelioma, have heard that this once commonly-used mineral is toxic. But this was not always the case. In the 1930s, 40s, and 50s when asbestos was at the height of its popularity in the US and other Western countries, the media often portrayed it as something of a “miracle mineral”. A naturally-occurring mineral found all around the world, asbestos has high tensile strength and resists heat, fire and corrosion. For decades it was used in insulation, added to building products like floor tiles and concrete, and made into fireproof clothing, ironing board pads, hairdryer … Continue reading The Evolution of Asbestos and Mesothelioma in Pop Culture »

Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma

On this day when the US honors its fallen heroes, it is important to remember that not all who lost their lives from military service died on the battlefield. In fact, many died decades later of the rare asbestos-linked cancer, mesothelioma, as a result of exposure to asbestos in the military. Others are still battling this aggressive and incurable malignancy. Scientists have suspected a link between the fibrous mineral asbestos and malignant mesothelioma since as early as the 1930s. That was when miners and those who processed asbestos for a variety of uses began to get sick from a mysterious lung-related disease. But many decades passed and many people died—both in and outside of the military—before the Armed Services recognized … Continue reading Remembering Veteran Victims of Mesothelioma »

Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities

mesothelioma survivor

A new study provides more evidence that malignant pleural mesothelioma patients considering surgery would do well to seek out a facility that does a lot of them. Researchers found that mesothelioma patients tend to have fewer complications and shorter hospital stays when they are treated at high volume facilities. The new study is based on data from the National Cancer Database and is published in the latest issue of the journal Lung Cancer. It defines a “high volume facility” as a medical facility that falls into the 90th percentile in terms of the number of pleural mesothelioma surgeries done there. All other facilities were classified as lower volume facilities (LVFs). HVFs vs LVFs for Mesothelioma Treatment Of the 1307 mesothelioma … Continue reading Mesothelioma Outcomes Better at High Volume Facilities »

Malignant Mesothelioma Versus Asbestos Use: Which Costs More?

There is some compelling new evidence on the economic impact of banning the mineral asbestos, the primary cause of the malignant mesothelioma. According to a team of economic experts and researchers at both the World Health Organization and Australia’s Asbestos Diseases Research Institute, asbestos bans don’t have a negative impact on a country’s gross domestic product or employment rates. The news comes as rates of both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma continue to rise worldwide, largely because many third world countries have not only failed to ban asbestos, but are ramping up its use. Asbestos and Malignant Mesothelioma As early as the 1940s, when asbestos was a common component of thousands of building products and insulating materials, there were indications that … Continue reading Malignant Mesothelioma Versus Asbestos Use: Which Costs More? »

Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban

Mesothelioma Doctors & Specialists

Australia’s legacy of asbestos mining and use continues to haunt it almost fifteen years after the country banned all forms of asbestos almost fifteen years ago. A new report published in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health suggests that, although asbestos consumption peaked in Australia in the 1970s, malignant mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases continue to be a significant public health issue. Asbestos is a naturally-occurring mineral that was prized as a building product additive because of its high tensile strength and resistance to heat and corrosion. Australia is rich in the mineral and once operated several of the world’s largest mines. In the 1960s and 1970s, the country also had the highest per capita use of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Persists in Australia Despite Asbestos Ban »

Study Finds Wide Disparity in Global Mesothelioma Rates

New evidence shows there is wide disparity in global rates of malignant mesothelioma, the aggressive disease also known as “asbestos cancer”. The study compared cross sectional mortality rates over a four-year period, as well as trends over almost 20 years (1994 – 2013). The data was compiled by Egyptian oncologist Omar Abdel-Rahman of Ain Shams University in Cairo and reveals almost a 10-fold variation in mortality rates between the highest and lowest of the 30 countries studied. Highest and Lowest Mesothelioma Death Rates Among the 30 countries, the UK had the highest number of per capita mesothelioma deaths—6.25 per 100,000 people. The UK’s high mesothelioma rates have been blamed on the widespread use of asbestos-containing products in the rebuilding of … Continue reading Study Finds Wide Disparity in Global Mesothelioma Rates »

Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Disparities Seen in Lung Cancer Patients, Too

A new study on treatment disparities among lung cancer patients reflects a trend that has been documented among mesothelioma patients, as well; patients who are black or economically disadvantaged are less likely to get potentially life-saving treatments. Like non-small cell lung cancer, pleural mesothelioma affects the lungs. The standard of care is for patients to have a combination of chemotherapy and radiotherapy. For malignant mesothelioma patients as well as those with lung cancer, surgery may also be recommended. But a study conducted by researchers at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia finds that the standard treatments are often not offered to elderly patients, especially if they are black and live in a poor area. Elderly Lung Cancer Patients May Miss Out … Continue reading Pleural Mesothelioma Treatment Disparities Seen in Lung Cancer Patients, Too »

Mesothelioma Report Shows All Types of Asbestos Can Be Lethal

Close Up View of Asbestos

A new report from researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston confirms what many scientists have long believed – that no type of asbestos is “safe” and that all can lead to malignant mesothelioma. In a study of 62 malignant peritoneal mesothelioma patients published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine, the researchers found that more than a quarter of the cases of diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma were linked to chrysotile asbestos alone. The news appears to contradict the argument, made some some companies that mined or used asbestos, that chrysotile asbestos is less deadly than other varieties. Asbestos Varieties and Mesothelioma Asbestos mineral fibers come in several different varieties. The most common is the serpentine-shaped chrysotile  or “white” asbestos found … Continue reading Mesothelioma Report Shows All Types of Asbestos Can Be Lethal »

Fluid Drainage Brings Symptom Relief for Mesothelioma Patients

The majority of mesothelioma patients polled say they could breathe easier after a procedure to remove excess lung fluid from their chest. The more fluid that was removed, the better they felt. Those findings come from a new UK study of patient-reported outcome measures among 158 people suffering from malignant pleural mesothelioma. Collecting Data from Mesothelioma Patients The data that formed the basis of the study was collected as part of the patients’ routine clinical care for their pleural mesothelioma, a virulent cancer of the lining around the lungs. Evaluation tools were used that included two patient-reported scores on their level of improvement after specific mesothelioma treatments. “Excluding diagnostic aspiration, the majority of patients (108/126, 85.7%) experienced symptomatic benefit from … Continue reading Fluid Drainage Brings Symptom Relief for Mesothelioma Patients »

Mesothelioma Incidence Unaffected by Ambient Asbestos in Cities

City dwellers are no more likely to contract malignant pleural mesothelioma from asbestos dust in the air than people who live in rural areas – even though there is more asbestos dust in cities. That is the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Risk Analysis. The study was based on the fact that so-called “ambient asbestos”, or asbestos fibers that are free in the environment as dust, is known to be up to ten times higher in urban areas. What is Asbestos? Asbestos, a fibrous mineral once widely used in building products in the US, is the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma around the world. Once asbestos fibers are breathed in or swallowed, they tend to stay … Continue reading Mesothelioma Incidence Unaffected by Ambient Asbestos in Cities »

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