Banks-Barksdale, Santeria S. – Surviving Mesothelioma

Banks-Barksdale, Santeria S.

Mesothelioma Cancer: What would you do?

In the world of political debates, economic failures and despair, and irregular civil liberties, illnesses take their place amongst the background of today’s societies. Scientist and doctors alike are discovering the real fact to this dilemma- our bodies are fragile and taking care of them is more of a job than what we could ever think about. We often ignore our body’s indications in the fact that something isn’t right. Many of us finds out much later that as time goes on, the risk becomes greater than imagined with age. Even with the most rarest, common illness we yet, have began to realized that most of them carries a death sentence.

What am I talking about? I’m talking about “Mesothelioma”. In this essay, you’ll find an adequate amount of information on this dreadful illness, the story of one man who was brave enough to face the illness and at the same time, spun scientists and doctors alike to find a cure for Mesothelioma, and of course, last but, not least, what would I do if I was face to face with the disease itself. Then again, what would you do?

What is Mesothelioma?

You might be asking yourself, “What is Mesothelioma?” According to Wikipedia (2010) and the National Cancer Institute (2002), “Mesothelioma is a malignant but rare form of cancer that develops from the body’s protective lining called the mesothelium”. The mesothelium is the lining that surrounds majority of the organs. To most people it is simply known as the diaphram. However, it can develop in other places other than the mesothelium. These other places are: the peritoneum (the lining of the adominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (the sack that surrounds the heart or timica vaginalis). The most common place happens to be the “pleura” or the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall). Mesothelioma is very hard to diagnose due to its symptoms being very similar to other diease’s symptoms.

The symptoms includes: abdominal pain, acites or an abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen, a mass in the abdomen, problems with bowel functions, and weight loss. In severe cases, blood clots in the veins, which may cause a disease called thrombophelebitis, disseminated intravascular coagulation-a disorder causing severe bleeding in the many body organs, there’s jaundice or yellowing of the eyes or skin, low blood sugar level, pleural effusion, pulmonary emboil or blood clots in the arteries of the lungs, and severe ascites. Regardless of these symptoms, the disease does not usually spread to bone, brain, or adrenal glands. Pleural tumors are usually found only on one side of the lungs.

Mesothelioma is mostly caused by exposure to a substance called abestos.

Abestos is a two or more incombustible, chemical-resistant, fibrous mineral forms of impure magnesium silicate, used for fire proofing, electrical insulation, building materials, brake linings, and chemical filters. The diagnosis for Mesothelioma usually begins with a review of the person’s medical history. Your medical charts may indicate that you have been exposed to asbestos in the past and therefore, may increase suspicion or the disease. The next thing to follow is of course, a full physical examination, which is then followed with chest x-rays and lung function tests. The tests may show or reveal the “pleural thickening” that is commonly seen after coming into contact with abestos. However, if there is a large amount of fluid that surrounds the infected area, abnormal cells may be detected by cytology. The method is usually done by a syringe. Depending on the outcome of the results of the cytology, it can be regarded as suspicious. In order for doctors to confirm a positive diagnosis, a biopsy would be needed. A biopsy can be done in different ways , depending on the location where the abnormal activity is. If there is any sign of cancer in your chest, the doctor then would perform therocoscopy. Therocoscopy is where the doctor would make a small incision into the chest wall and insert a thin, lighted tube called a therascope between the ribs (Become Natural, (2006).

In the history of people contracting the deadly, malignant form of cancer, most people may not know that they have it. According to “Become Natural (2006)”, reported incidences have increased in the past 20 years”. The odds favor only one in 1,000,000 people. Malignant mesothelioma current ranges goes between 7 and 40 per 1,000,000 people in Western nations. It also have been estimated that incidences may have peaked at 15 per 1,000,000 in the United States in 2004.

James “Rhio” O Connor : A Personal Perspective

Amongst the statistics and all that goes on with research and medical procedures, many people live a little while longer than others. Then again, people with this type of cancer most often don’t let the disease get them down but, assists their doctors, scientists, communities, and etc. to help find a cure for Mesothelioma. In other words, they donate their time, money, and knowledge for a bigger and better cause. One such human being did just that until his timely death; his name- James “Rhio” O Connor.

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