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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.

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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Doctor

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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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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