Heartland Teachers Face Mesothelioma Risk in the Classroom

Even though teaching is not a profession typically associated with asbestos exposure, a newly published report out of Wisconsin offers a disturbing reminder of the mesothelioma risk posed by asbestos, wherever it is found.   Researchers with the Wisconsin Department of Health Services and the University of Wisconsin analyzed mesothelioma incidence in the state between 1997 and 2013. They discovered that, not only are there higher numbers of malignant mesothelioma cases among people in construction and manufacturing — two areas that have often been linked to mesothelioma — but the incidence also appears to be elevated among teachers. Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestos Exposure Malignant mesothelioma is the most deadly of a group of illnesses associated with exposure to asbestos, a fibrous … Continue reading Heartland Teachers Face Mesothelioma Risk in the Classroom »

Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes

People with the most dangerous subtypes of malignant pleural mesothelioma may live longer if they undergo surgery. In an article in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery, University of Arizona researchers say cancer-directed surgery can lengthen survival in people with sarcomatoid and biphasic mesothelioma, two of the hardest cancers to treat. Multiple studies have suggested that there is a survival benefit from surgery in people with epithelioid mesothelioma, the most common subtype. But, the evidence is much more scanty for people with either sarcomatoid or biphasic mesothelioma, both of which are associated with a worse mesothelioma prognosis  and shorter overall survival. Now, the Tucson-based research team says surgery aimed at removing the cancer (rather than just alleviating symptoms) can help these mesothelioma … Continue reading Surgery May Offer Survival Advantage for Rare Mesothelioma Subtypes »

Advocacy Groups Call for Asbestos Ban on Mesothelioma Awareness Day

Today marks the annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day in the US and mesothelioma patient advocacy groups are once again using the day to call for a total ban on asbestos, the primary cause of of this rare and deadly cancer. Asbestos is a carcinogenic mineral that was once commonly used in a variety of building, insulation, and household products. Since it was definitively linked to both pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma in the early part of the 20th century, fifty-five countries have banned it. Even though asbestos is blamed for the mesothelioma deaths of an estimated 2,500 Americans every year (and as many as 40,000 deaths from other asbestos-related illnesses), the US has failed to institute a ban — a fact that … Continue reading Advocacy Groups Call for Asbestos Ban on Mesothelioma Awareness Day »

Mesothelioma Survival Has Changed Little in Two Decades in Canada

There was some sobering news out of Canada this week that gives even more urgency to the need to find a cure for malignant mesothelioma. According to data compiled by Statistics Canada, while the net survival of several types of cancer has increased since the early 1990s, there has been little change in mesothelioma survival. Analysis of Cancer Net Survival The report, published in the journal Health Reports, calculated changes in net survival (where cancer is hypothetically the only possible cause of death) of patients with 30 different types of cancer during two 2-year time periods — 1992 to 1994 and 2012 to 2014. After factoring for age-related changes, the report analyzes differences in the five-year survival rates of patients … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Has Changed Little in Two Decades in Canada »

Mesothelioma Survival Odds Better for Women Than Men

Women diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma tend to live longer than men with the same disease.  Australian researchers say understanding exactly why that is could open the door to improving mesothelioma treatment for both genders. Assessing Mesothelioma Survival Rates By Gender Researchers led by the Cancer Epidemiology and Intelligence Division of Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne used cancer registry data to identify cases of malignant mesothelioma and 24 others types of cancer diagnosed in Victoria between 1982 and 2015. Then, they assessed the survival differences for each type of cancer between men and women, adjusting for each patient’s age and year of diagnosis. According to their report published this week in Cancer Causes & Control, the bad news for men is … Continue reading Mesothelioma Survival Odds Better for Women Than Men »

New Report Highlights Mesothelioma Danger in British Classrooms

A new report suggests that teaching is a surprisingly dangerous — and, in some cases, even deadly — profession in Great Britain. That is because more than 86 percent of the country’s 24,000 schools were built with products that contain asbestos — the primary cause of malignant mesothelioma. As these schools age, there is an increasing likelihood that some of that asbestos will turn into dust and that teachers, staffers, and even students may be inadvertently exposed to it. Asbestos in Schools Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was once routinely used to add strength and fire-resistance to everything from concrete to floor and ceiling tiles, roof shingles, wallboard, and insulation. It has also been definitively linked to lung cancer, … Continue reading New Report Highlights Mesothelioma Danger in British Classrooms »

Mesothelioma Risk May Differ Between Children and Adults

Australian researchers say it may take longer for asbestos-exposed children to develop malignant mesothelioma than it takes adults with the same level of exposure. Public health researchers with multiple Australian Universities and Utrecht University in The Netherlands say being younger may offer a short-term reprieve from the mesothelioma-inducing effects of asbestos. Unfortunately, that lower susceptibility is unlikely to last for a lifetime. Studying the People of Wittenoom Scientists determined that asbestos-exposed children are less likely to contract malignant mesothelioma, at least in the short term, by studying the records of Australians who lived around the notorious Wittenoom asbestos mine. The Wittenoom mine, which mined for crocidolite or “blue” asbestos from 1943 to 1966, has now been linked to hundreds of … Continue reading Mesothelioma Risk May Differ Between Children and Adults »

Hundreds of Mesothelioma Deaths Predicted for Taiwan

Taiwanese cancer researchers say a total asbestos ban is “urgently needed” to help stem the tide of pleural mesothelioma cases predicted in the next 30 years. While the incidence of malignant mesothelioma has finally begun to level off in some countries, its incidence worldwide continues to grow. Taiwan is just one example of a country where mesothelioma rates, as well as the rates of other asbestos-related diseases (ARDs), are expected to keep climbing for at least another couple of years. Even after 2020, the authors of a new mesothelioma study say the disease will continue to be a problem for decades, highlighting the need for Taiwan to implement a total asbestos ban and devote more resources to mesothelioma screening, diagnosis, … Continue reading Hundreds of Mesothelioma Deaths Predicted for Taiwan »

Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy

Twenty-six years after Italy instituted a ban on cancer-causing asbestos, the number of people dying of malignant mesothelioma is still rising. Researchers with the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome computed the mortality rates from mesothelioma between 2003 and 2014 in each of the country’s 8,047 municipalities and found that more than 16,000 people had died from malignant mesothelioma. Most of those deaths were from pleural mesothelioma and most occurred in areas near industrial asbestos sources. Malignant Mesothelioma and Asbestos Bans An estimated 80 percent of people diagnosed with mesothelioma have some type of known exposure to asbestos, a naturally-occurring fibrous mineral that embeds itself in body tissues. Even though scientists were exploring the connection between asbestos exposure and diseases … Continue reading Asbestos Ban Not Enough to Wipe Out Mesothelioma in Italy »

Does Alcohol Increase Mesothelioma Risk?

A new study suggests that drinking too much could raise the risk for developing malignant mesothelioma or another type of cancer. Surprisingly, not drinking quite enough appears to do the same thing. The study was conducted by public health researchers in Northern Ireland and at the National Cancer Institute in the US. It included data from nearly 100,000 adults between 55 and 74 participating in the US Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian (PLCO) Cancer Screening Trial. To better understand how alcohol impacts cancer development, researchers assessed the overall risk of death among the study subjects, as well as the risk of death specifically from cancer, and compared it with reported average lifetime alcohol consumption. “In comparison to lifetime light alcohol … Continue reading Does Alcohol Increase Mesothelioma Risk? »

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