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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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