Tag Archives: epithelial mesothelioma

Madison Wisconsin Doctor Calls for Asbestos Ban

Madison, Wisconsin epidemiologist Marty S. Kanarek that an epidemic of asbestos mesothelioma is coming from emerging marketss.  Long banned in Wisconsin and the rest of the U.S., asbestos is known to be the primary cause for the cancer known as mesothelioma.   Mesothelioma is typically a rare form of cancer in the lungs lining  and abdomin that often arises 30-40 years after exposure to asbestos.

Asbestos was a fire-resistant mineral used in the U.S. for brake linings, insulation, and various other building materials.  Many U.S. Navy veterans have contracted mesothelioma from asbestos exposure aboard ships.  Asbestos exposure has killed more than 130,000 in the United States in the last 20 years or so.   Asbestos is still mined in countries, like Canada, which interestingly will not allow asbestos to be used in its homeland, but is more than happy to export the hazardous product to emerging markets.  Dr. Kanarek has seen dozens of studies of mesothelioma cases including those involving miners, brake workers, cement pipe factory workers and others. He concludes that throughout the world chrysotile asbestos is associated with mesothelioma.

Wisconsin Mesothelioma Lawyer

Symptoms & Diagnosis of Mesothelioma

Symptoms of mesothelioma are not easily diagnosed especially in the early stage. In fact, typically after mesothelioma is diagnosed, patients often relate symptoms to their doctor that have been present for many months.  Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (mesothelioma of chest) include low back pain, chest pain beneath arms, shortness of breath, trouble swallowing, cough, fever, fatigue, weight loss, hoarseness, facial swelling or swelling in the arms, and muscle weakness.  Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include abdominal pain, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal fluid or mass.  Certainly, if you have such symptoms visit a physician immediately, especially if you know you were exposed to asbestos.

Those having symptoms will undergo a physical to determine whether there are additional signs of mesothelioma or asbestos lung cancer. Patients with pleural mesothelioma will often have pleural effusion (fluid in lungs). Some may have ascites (fluid in abdomine) in cases of peritoneal mesothelioma, or pericardial effusion (fluid in pericardium) in cases of pericardial mesothelioma. If the foregoing shows the potential for a diagnosis of mesothelioma, then other tests will be done, including imaging tests like x-rays, CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans. Tests may reveal irregular thickening of pleura, calcium deposits or fluid in pleural space.  Tests may also allow the doctor to begin determining the extent of cancer (staging). If a pleural effusion, ascites or pericardial effusion is found, the doctor may sample fluid for diagnosing cancer by a pathologist. Also, tissue samples may be taken via thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, mediastinoscopy or bronchoscopy, or sometimes surgery, thoracotomy or laparotomy, may be done by a surgeon.

Mesothelioma is generally very difficult to diagnose and in all cases, I always recommend a biopsy. In case of death, I also recommend an autopsy. A great place for information on the symptoms and diagnosis of mesothelioma is the U.S. National Library of Medicine and the National Institutes for Health MedlinePlus: Mesothelioma page, which I used along with the American Cancer Society website in writing this.