Asbestos Exposure and Mesothelioma Cancer Risks

 By: Adam Stewart
Covering our internal organs, the mesothelium is a protective tissue that lubricates and protects our internal organs thus allowing our lungs to breathe and our heart to contract or expand without any discomfort for us. The mesothelium tissue covering our lungs is known as the pleura. The mesothelium membrane located in our abdominal cavity is called the peritoneum, and the mesothelium membrane covering our heart is known as the pericardium. This fine tissue, the mesothelium enables breathing and heart beating therefore being essential to our survival.

This article focuses on a specific disease affecting the mesothelium - the mesothelium cancer known simply as mesothelioma. Though mesothelioma is considered a rare condition, this awful disease affects lots of people from all corners of the world and it is almost entirely caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos was used intensively as a flexible and very resistant material for constructions until recently because it has valuable properties but its effect on human health is devastating. Almost all cases of mesothelium cancer are linked to an exposure to this material and today almost all countries ban the use of asbestos due to its risks for human health. Almost all mesothelioma patients have a long asbestos exposure history at their workplace.

Because only a very long exposure to asbestos leads to the mesothelium cancer most people suffering from this condition are older people of over 60 or 65 years of age and mostly men suffer from this disease. Fortunately there are fewer cases of mesothelioma every year in the Unites States of America but Europe and other parts of the world register an increasing number of asbestos related mesothelium cancer cases. In 2005 European countries banned the use of asbestos in any sector of the economy and hopefully fewer and fewer people will be diagnosed with this cancer over the next few years in Europe.

Still, if you can think of times when you were working with asbestos or you were exposed in any way to this material, you should seek expert medical advice as chances are a mesothelium cancer may be developing in your body and discovering this condition in time is the only way to overcome this life threatening disease. You should keep in mind that mesothelioma is very quiet in its initial stages and you might easily ignore its early symptoms. This is why you should take your time now and remember all your past asbestos contact at the workplace. If you think you were exposed to asbestos for a longer period of time, even if that happened a long time ago, you need to talk to your physician as soon as possible.
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If you are in the construction business or employed by an industry that uses products containing asbestos, you may wonder "Are asbestos fibers visible to the eye"? Generally asbestos fibers are too small to be seen by the naked eye. Asbestos becomes dangerous when it has broken down into small fibers and is inhaled. It is nearly impossible to detect the presence of asbestos without taking the material to a lab for testing.

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