Saturday, 15 November 2008

Hurricane Victims at Risk for Mesothelioma Cancer

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Victims of Hurricane Ike continue to face struggles even after the hurricane has come and gone. Now, in the aftermath of the hurricane is a toxic sludge containing asbestos fibers that, once dry, may affect individuals in the surrounding area and potentially cause an increase of mesothelioma cancer as caused by exposure to asbestos.
According to the International Herald Tribune, following the hurricane, homes and roads were left with debris as well as a toxic sludge made of mud, human waste, lead, gasoline and asbestos in the wake of floodwaters, which have since receded. The potential for these fibers to dry and become airborne may be serious and could cause an increased risk of mesothelioma cancer among hurricane victims as well as nearby residents because of asbestos exposure.
What is Asbestos Exposure?
Asbestos fibers become airborne and cause the development of cancerous cells among victims. For years an exposed individual can live and behave as normal while the cancer remains dormant. Unfortunately, a mesothelioma victim has a slim survival rate the longer they have waited to diagnose their condition.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) described the following symptoms of mesothelioma:
* shortness of breath
* pain in the chest because of an accumulation of fluid
* weight loss
* abdominal pain
* bowel obstruction
* blood clotting abnormalities
* anemia
* fever
Diagnosing Mesothelioma Cancer
Unfortunately, mesothelioma cancer is considered such a rare condition, that it is often misdiagnosed for other similar diseases. The best way to diagnose mesothelioma cancer is to immediately speak with a medical professional upon any indication that exposure to asbestos has occurred.
It is important to set up a mesothelioma cancer screening if you feel you have been exposed to absestos. According to the England center for cancer research, Cancer Research UK, a number or all of the following procedures will likely be administered to narrow down the likelihood of a mesothelioma diagnosis:
* general physician examination
* blood tests
* chest X-ray or abdominal X-ray
* CT scan of chest/abdomen to determine swelling in body organs/lymph nodes
* biopsy of the pleura is done, also known as a thoracoscopy, in which a small incision is made the chest wall in which a video camera is inserted
* fluid drainage, also known as the thoracocentesis or abdoparacentesis), will help to relieve fluid from around the lugs or abdominal cavity for those with peritoneal mesothelioma
Uses for Asbestos
Asbestos has been classified as a human carcinogen because of the scarring of tissue and inflammation it can cause among its victims. Asbestos is a prevalent threat in America because of its extensive use and availability during the 20th century.
Asbestos was mined from the late 1800s up through World War II and was used for commercial use, according to the NCI:
* building and construction
* strengthening cement and plastics
* insulation
* roofing
* fireproofing
* sound absorption
* shipbuilding
* insulate boilers
* steam pipes
* hot water pipes
* vehicle brakeshoes
* vehicle clutch pads
* ceiling
* flooring
* paints/coatings
* tile
* adhesives
* plastics
* gardening materials
* talc-containing crayons
By the end of the 1970s after millions, potentially billions, of tons of asbestos had been used in croducts as well as homes, apartments, hospitals and elementary schools throughout America, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finally banned the use of new asbestos in products and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took responsibility for ensuring proper cleanup is used to remove asbestos, which still remains a threat to many Americans today.
Professional Mesothelioma Assistance
As millions of individuals remain potentially at risk for asbestos exposure across America it becomes important to be self-educated on the condition, its symptoms as well as diagnosing steps. Individuals who feel they may be suffering from mesothelioma cancer should contact not only a medical professional but also a mesothelioma attorney. Most legal consultations are free, which allows an individual to better understand the development of a mesothelioma case.
For more information on asbestos visit Additionally, by visiting individuals can learn more about other legal issues such as overcoming the Avandia risks or developing a Ketek class action lawsuit.
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