MCA Staff Writers

MCA Staff Writers

Presenting Up-to-Date Mesothelioma Topics

Recent Posts

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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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 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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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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2 0 1 4Apr22

Coping with Fear of Cancer Recurrence

Fear of recurrence

The question is bound to linger in any cancer survivor’s mind: what if it comes back? Cancer can recur even if it seems that treatment was successful. Cancer cells can sometimes linger undetected and slowly regrow until you become symptomatic. Your genes may have been altered by the cancer in such a way that you’re vulnerable to a new form of the disease.

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stress awareness for caregivers

When a patient receives a cancer diagnosis, a spouse, parent, or close friend often takes on a caregiver role. Since they are not paid, they are called informal caregivers or family caregivers. Most caregivers are women (60%), middle-aged, and have a full time job (59%).

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Stress awareness tips for cancer diagnosis and treatment

A cancer diagnosis sends chills down most people’s spine and triggers much stress. The stress can appear as fear, brain overload, slowness, fatigue, difficulty sleeping, worry about one’s life and loved ones, less interest in life, and occasionally nausea, and vomiting. Some people feel the stress as a hassled feeling of not enough time to get everything done, reliving regrets, and wanting to spend more time with family and friends.

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Dr. Brenda Buck examines rocks for naturally occurring asbestos Image Source: Dr. Buck & colleague examine rocks for NOA

The recent discovery of windblown asbestos dust near Las Vegas, NV has drawn new attention to the phenomenon of naturally occurring asbestos (NOA). Dr. Brenda Buck, a UNLV geologist, was testing for arsenic and other toxic chemicals when she unexpectedly found a different, but equally dangerous, substance: actinolite, one of six minerals categorized as asbestos. She and her colleagues published a paper last year detailing their findings, which focused on the area around Boulder City, a small town 20 miles southeast of Las Vegas.

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2014 Winter Olympics AP Image

With a final bill expected to surpass $50 billion dollars, the upcoming Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia are going to be the most expensive of all time by several times. Russian President Vladimir Putin is intent on using the Olympics to advance the country’s standing on a global stage, and that, combined with endemic corruption leading to kickbacks and overcharging, has helped drive the tremendous expense of the games.

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2 0 1 4Jan28

5 Tips on Caregiving for a Bedridden Loved One

Caregiving for a bedridden loved one

For some cancer patients, their disease can render them bedridden at times. Treatments and physical effects of cancers like mesothelioma and asbestos-related diseases can really limit a patient’s ability to perform normal physical activities. The role of a caregiver can often be a trying one, but can become especially so if the loved one they are caring for is bedridden.

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Spa Treatments

As any cancer patient knows, one of the many terrible things about the disease is how unpleasant the treatment can be. By design, chemotherapy drugs attack cells that rapidly divide. That includes cancer cells, but it also affects normal cells like hair, bone marrow, and fingernails. For that reason, chemotherapy and radiation therapy have a range of debilitating side effects, including:

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LungLeavin' Day 2014

The MCA's very own Heather Von St. James is spearheading an awareness effort on behalf of mesothelioma victims by sharing her personal holiday, LungLeavin' Day. LungLeavin' Day started out as a personal celebration in the beginning of February between Heather and her husband Cameron to recognize each year Heather remained cancer-free, but has now turned into a celebration of life and overcoming fears with many family members, friends and cancer survivors. LungLeavin' Day is not just for cancer survivors though, it is a day for anyone who desires to take control of their lives and throw their fears to the fire. Read our interview with Heather below, check out her new page and share with your loved ones!

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2 0 1 4Jan06

Eat to Defeat: Cleansing in the New Year

Cleansing

For some, the turn of the New Year brings resolutions and promises to make positive lifestyle changes. With that fact, January is aptly named National Staying Healthy month. Popular New Year’s resolutions generally follow the trend of getting healthy and staying healthy like losing weight, getting fit, and quitting smoking. With so many health-focused goals, a good way to kick off your year is to start with a cleanse. We live in a world full of toxins-- in our foods, in our products and in the air-- so a great way to jumpstart the year is to cleanse your body of as many toxins as you can.

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2 0 1 3Dec23

11 Creative Ideas for Gifts that Give Back

11 Gifts that Give Back

This time of year is one for spreading good cheer and goodwill onto others, but it doesn’t have to come in the form of big wrapped boxes under a tree. For a cancer patient or caregiver, gift giving can create unnecessary stress because it is another task to think about, as well as the financial obligation that they may not be able to provide. On the other hand, patients and caregivers who have already gone through cancer treatment may want to pay it forward or give back to their family, friends and community who have helped them out during tough times in the past. Gifts can come in all shapes and sizes; here are some ways to give more without spending more this holiday season.

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2 0 1 3Dec16

4 Tips for a Happy Holiday for Caregivers

Happy Holidays for Caregivers

The holiday season is in full swing and, for some caregivers, their stress levels are in full swing too. While generally being thought of as a time for gift giving and fun parties, the holidays are also notorious for being tough to get through. When you're acting as a caregiver to a loved one with cancer, it can be difficult to keep things “normal” around the holidays. There is nothing that says you can’t create a new normal though! Read these tips to help keep the holidays jolly and bright as a caregiver!

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9 Gift Ideas

It’s that time of year again-- the holiday season, where gift giving is on the minds of many. While the holiday season is supposed to represent a time of joy and giving, some people may not being feeling holly and jolly this year. If a family member or loved one has been recently diagnosed with cancer, they may not be feeling the holiday spirit. Finding a nice gift to give to your loved one may seem a little more daunting than it has in the past. But there are many gift options for cancer patients, even some that can’t be found in stores!

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Eat to defeat during the holidasy

The importance of a healthy diet becomes even more apparent when your health changes radically with a disease like cancer. With the holiday season here, eating healthy typically seems more difficult since big meals and treats are abundant. For someone going through cancer treatment, the traditional fare for holiday meals may no longer seem appealing as well. Despite the holiday season bringing indulgences, following a healthy diet doesn’t need to be confusing. The definition of good nutrition is balancing important ingredients like water, fiber, proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to take in the essential nutrition needed to help your body function best. When you have a body and immune system compromised by disease, taking in a balanced diet is one of the best ways you can help your body stay strong and repair itself. Share these healthy eating tips with a loved one going through treatment this holiday season to keep healthy eating a priority.

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2 0 1 3Oct22

How to Survive Cold & Flu Season With Cancer

Cold and flu season with cancer

As the season changes and ushers in colder temperatures, cold and flu season begins too. The influenza virus, commonly known as the flu, presents many symptoms similar to the common cold; respiratory inflammation, cough, sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, fever, and aches are common symptoms for both. However, the flu generally presents more aggressive symptoms and some people may experience vomiting and/or diarrhea as well. For cancer patients, having an immune system that is already compromised makes cold and flu season especially precarious.

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