There are many bumps in the road to good health. Unfortunately, for many that “bump” is cancer. The many types of cancer can be overwhelming – most people have numerous friends and family members that have been impacted by the disease. Of the many types of cancer the spotlight is often shed on just a handful while others remain relatively unknown leaving Americans more vulnerable.
Mesothelioma is one of those rare diseases – there are 3,000 people diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States. September 26, on Mesothelioma Awareness Day, is the one day a year that mesothelioma is given the spotlight.
Asbestos exposure is the only known cause of mesothelioma. When inhaled the asbestos dust is embedded in the lining of the organs developing into cancer. The toxin was used widely in construction and building materials into the 1970s. While there are now strict guidelines in the United States surrounding asbestos use it is still legal to use in the country.
The key to #Livingto100 – avoid asbestos and seek medical attention if you think you may have been exposed. Mesothelioma prognosis is so poor because the disease is often misdiagnosed multiple times before a correct diagnosis is given and treatment can be administered. The disease is most often diagnosed in the third or fourth stage – when patients are given 12 to 21 months to live.
There are four types of mesothelioma – pleural, peritoneal, pericardial, and testicular. The most common form of the disease in pleural mesothelioma, which occurs when asbestos imbeds in the lining of the lungs. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are often mistaken as the flu or pneumonia. Symptoms of the disease include difficulty breathing, fluid buildup in the lungs, fatigue, weight loss, fever and night sweats.
Asbestos is often found in buildings constructed up to the 1970s – if you live or work in such a building do not be afraid to ask about the presence of asbestos. Be your own health warrior and increase your chances of #Livingto100.
To learn more about the dangers of asbestos and mesotelioma join the Mesothelioma Awareness Day tweet chat on September 26 at 12 p.m. ET using the hashtag #EndMeso