Thank you for visiting the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Blog. Our authors are dedicated to providing timely, informative, and inspiring articles about mesothelioma.

2 0 1 4Dec19

Is a Clinical Trial Right for Me?

Clinical trial doctor

We often discuss the results of clinical trials so let’s discuss clinical trials in more depth: who participates, what’s being tested, how clinical trials change treatment of future mesothelioma patients.

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DNA strand

While a cure for mesothelioma does not exist currently, doctors are working tirelessly to gain a greater understanding of genetic cues that can potentially lead to a cure for mesothelioma. Understanding genetic cues, like genomic mutations, can inform doctors of how mesothelioma develops in patients, which could lead to earlier detection of the disease and creation of individualized treatments for improved prognoses for patients.

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2 0 1 4Dec01

Advocate of the Month - December 2014

Francesca Govier and her dad

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Francesca Govier for sharing her story with our community as December's Advocate of the Month. Francesca's dad passed away after battling mesothelioma and taught Francesca about appreciating her family and being a strong woman at a young age. Share Francesca's story and spread her message of love and support to the cancer community.

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2 0 1 4Nov17

The Importance of a Second Opinion

Medical Consult

Quite frequently, patients may receive a cancer diagnosis from their primary care physician or a doctor at the local hospital rather than from an oncologist specializing in mesothelioma.

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2 0 1 4Nov11

Talcum Powder as a Cause of Mesothelioma?

Talcum powder

A woman came down with mesothelioma but she could not recall any obvious source for exposure to asbestos. Neither she nor any family member worked in a shipyard. No asbestos insulation was reported in her house. The roads did not contain any gravel containing asbestos fibers.

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2 0 1 4Nov03

Advocate of the Month - November 2014

November Advocate Amanda Linehan

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to welcome Amanda Linehan to our blog to share her story of how cancer has affected the lives of her loved ones and the impact it's had on her life. Amanda writes on her blog at Organicglory about living a healthy lifestyle. Read and share her story below.

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Testing Pleural Effusions

One of the major challenges of mesothelioma is early or earlier diagnosis. Mesothelioma causes pleural effusion or fluid build-up between the layers of the lining of the lung cavity in about 70% of its cases.1 About 1.5 million people are diagnosed with pleural effusion in the US each year. Since about 3000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year, most cases of pleural effusions are not due to mesothelioma. However, finding mesothelioma in the pleural effusion or pleural soup could provide an early or earlier diagnosis.

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Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is cancer that develops in the abdominal cavity (peritoneal cavity), like polka dots on the lining of the intestines and the cavity. Peritoneal cases account for approx. 18%- 20% of all mesothelioma diagnoses,1 with approximately 400 new cases in the USA each year.2

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SMART Treatment

Any treatment that doubles the length of survival for cancer patients is a SMART treatment for any cancer, especially mesothelioma. The “SMART” treatment stands for Surgery for Mesothelioma After Radiation Therapy.1 Drs. Cho and colleagues tested the feasibility of treating mesothelioma with precisely delivered radiation therapy first, before surgery in 25 patients.1 The idea is to fry most of the mesothelioma cells with radiation therapy and then remove any remaining tumor and any damaged lung tissue.

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MCA Scholarship

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is proud to announce the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance Scholarship program to benefit college students whose lives have been affected by cancer. $4,000 will be awarded each semester (Spring 2015 and Fall 2015) to one student who has battled any kind of cancer or who has witnessed the personal struggle of a parent, sibling or other immediate family member or close friend.

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2 0 1 4Oct01

Advocate of the Month - October 2014

MCA Logo

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Melinda for contributing as October's Advocate of the Month. Melinda, who writes on her blog The Discerning Reader, shares the story of how mesothelioma took her mother's life and affected her own.

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2 0 1 4Sep26

10 Facts You Should Know About Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

This year, September 26th marks the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day. Mesothelioma Awareness Day was created to promote awareness about this rare and deadly disease. Unfortunately, it’s a disease that lacks widespread awareness. In honor of the 10th annual Mesothelioma Awareness Day, we want to publish 10 key facts about the disease that can be shared with your family and friends to help educate loved ones about this preventable disease.

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2 0 1 4Sep16

How Do Cancer Cells Develop?

Cancer cells

Each day, doctors and research and health organizations are working to better understand the development process of cancer. By understanding how a disease develops, doctors and researchers can create more targeted treatment protocols for patients.

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2 0 1 4Sep02

Advocate of the Month - September 2014

Hana Haatainen-Caye

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Hana Haatainen-Caye for contributing as our September Advocate of the Month. Hana is a writer, speaker, and voice-over talent who spreads her passion for green living on her blog Green Grandma. Today, she shares her story of how asbestos and mesothelioma have played a part in her life. Read and share her story below:

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2 0 1 4Aug26

Combating Chemotherapy's Side Effects With Nutrition

Combating Side Effects with Nutrition

Many mesothelioma patients choose to undergo chemotherapy as part of their cancer treatment. Unfortunately, chemotherapy may cause loss of appetite, nausea, sore mouths, and fatigue; often, chemotherapy leads to weight loss. While many patients find it difficult to eat before and after chemotherapy treatments, nutritious food can be a powerful tool that mesothelioma patients may use to combat cancer and the side-effects of chemotherapy.

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For mesothelioma patients, a number of factors come into play when trying to determine what treatment options will be most effective. For patients who choose to undergo chemotherapy treatments, the commonly used combination of pemetrexed and cisplatin is shown to have potentially harmful effects on a patient's kidneys.

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Photodynamic light therapy

For mesothelioma patients, there is a potential new treatment option involving photodynamic therapy.

What is photodynamic therapy?

Photodynamic therapy uses a laser that produces light at a specific wavelength and a chemical called a photosensitizing agent in a three step process:

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2 0 1 4Aug07

The Importance of Support for Cancer Patients

When I was diagnosed with mesothelioma, I felt more isolated than I ever had in my life.. I was a mere 36 years young and told I had an incredibly rare cancer that, in most cases, was diagnosed in much older men. I felt utterly alone and defeated.

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2 0 1 4Aug04

Advocate of the Month - August 2014

Marcus and Janet Lovett

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Marcus Lovett for sharing the story of how mesothelioma affected his mother and his family's lives as our August Advocate of the Month. Marcus' mother's mesothelioma diagnosis inspired him to share a documentary about his experience with his mother's mesothelioma and exploring lifestyle habits and emotions associated with major life events, like cancer. Read on and share Marcus' story.

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Unexpected Costs of Cancer

Cancer isn’t something that people plan for, especially financially. The most obvious cancer-related costs people have to deal with pertain directly to treatment and recovery. However, other unexpected costs can add up quickly for both patients and the friends and family around them.

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