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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 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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Chemotherapy

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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2 0 1 4Jul23

Did the DC Court of Appeals Doom the Future of Obamacare?

Uncertain future of Obamacare

On July 22, two judges on a three-judge panel of the 3rd District Court of Appeals in Washington, DC, ruled that “Obamacare” insurance exchange subsidies are illegal in 36 states. If this decision is upheld, that means about 4.5 million people in those states will lose subsidies intended to help them afford insurance — which means they probably will lose their insurance as well. 

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Geologists find erionite in ND

While asbestos exposure is the most commonly known cause for mesothelioma, it has also been discovered that a mineral called erionite can be a cause as well. One case of erionite-induced mesothelioma has been reported in a male living in North Dakota.1 Similar cases with eronite-induced mesothelioma have also been reported in areas of Turkey. Because chronic erionite exposure must last decades before mesothelioma develops in the cases in Turkey, this single case report suggested that North Dakota (ND) may have a source for chronic erionite exposure.

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Asbestos fibers

Chronic exposure to asbestos fibers is a major risk factor for development of mesothelioma. How asbestos induces asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma, is being investigated and probably involves several mechanisms.

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2 0 1 4Jul08

Taking a Moment for Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma cancer ribbon

Mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. To those who have never heard of the disease or have never known someone affected by it, mesothelioma may seem more like a foreign word than a real health danger. To help spread awareness about this disease, take a moment to read the key facts about mesothelioma:

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2 0 1 4Jul01

Advocate of the Month - July 2014

MCA

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank Abigail Cashelle for sharing her story of how mesothelioma touched her life. Abigail is a twenty-something girl, living with Ehlers-Danlos syndrome (a connective tissue disorder), and our Advocate of the Month for July. Living the rollercoaster of illness and medical treatment has taught her that what's hidden beneath the surface is what really counts. Abigail blogs at Hidden Courage.

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2 0 1 4Jun27

Senator Flake and the FACT Act: What is Fair?

When U.S. Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) introduced the Furthering Asbestos Claim Transparency (FACT) Act of 2014 (S. 2319) to the Senate on May 12, he claimed the bill was needed to prevent fraud. But there are open questions whether the fraud the bill addresses is real or imagined, and if it is real, whether there is another way to address the alleged fraud that wouldn’t hurt the very real victims of asbestos exposure.

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mesothelioma treatment

The 4th International Symposium on Lung Sparing Therapies for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma showed the spotlight on lung-sparing surgical techniques, lung-sparing adjuvant therapies, supportive therapies and potential future adjuvant therapies on June 7th, 2014.

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mesothelioma chest xray

Mesothelioma, like many cancers, has several ways to hide from the immune response and keep growing. Ideally, a person’s T cells would recognize the mesothelioma cells when they first become cancerous and kill them. Unfortunately, in some people, their T cells don’t recognize the mesothelioma cells as cancer and the mesothelioma cells continue to divide… and divide… and divide until the person has symptoms.

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2 0 1 4Jun04

What You Need to Know About the VA Scandal

VA Scandal

Veterans who depend on the VA for their health care and who hear the talking heads on television yammering about the “VA scandal” must be concerned. These include our many Vietnam veterans, most of whom are aged 60 and above now. Statistics tell us Vietnam vets are unusually susceptible to high blood pressure and cancer. Former Navy sailors and shipyard workers suffer high rates of mesothelioma. Gulf War veterans have an increased risk of fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome.

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2 0 1 4Jun03

Advocate of the Month - June 2014

Berit Brogaard

The Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance would like to thank our June Advocate of the Month, Berit Brogaard. Berit's grandfather suffered from malignant mesothelioma, which ultimately took his life too soon. Read Berit's story below and help share her message for raising awareness.

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2 0 1 4May27

Prize-Winning Series Exposes Injustice to Sick Miners

Coal miners

This year a Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting went to Chris Hamby of the Center for Public Integrity, a nonprofit news organization. Hamby’s “Breathless and Burdened: Dying from Black Lung, Buried by Law and Medicine,” was a year-long investigation of how the coal industry denies benefit claims of coal miners who are sick and dying of black lung disease.

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2 0 1 4May20

The Sun, Cancer, and Chemotherapy

The sun & chemotherapy

In honor of Skin Cancer Awareness month, we are reviewing the effect of sunlight on human health and treatment of mesothelioma and lung cancers.

Effect of Sunlight on Human Health

Sunburn damages skin and can increase the rate of some skin cancers,1 whereas sunlight in moderation promotes a healthy glow in people. Sunlight exposure helps regulate our circadian rhythms (day-night cycle), hormone levels, and vitamin D levels. Humans need 5 minutes of exposure to sunlight in their eyes to maintain the day-night cycles coordinated by the pineal gland. The pineal gland produces higher quantities of melatonin in the evening which helps regulate the circadian rhythms, the immune system, and hormone levels.2

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2 0 1 4May12

The Effect of the Recalcitrant Cancer Act on Cancer Research

Recalcitrant Cancer Act

The words “cancer research” may evoke an image of white-coated scientists working diligently in their laboratories. But cancer research is also about money.

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The hunt for biomarkers

Cancer patients and physicians often face the question, “Will this treatment benefit this individual patient?” Scientists prefer to answer this question by measuring a biomarker in the blood, urine or tumor tissue from the patient.

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