Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Mesothelioma - A Deadly Cancer You May Have Never Heard About

Have you heard about Mesothelioma?  I hadn't until just recently.  The husband of a Mesothelioma cancer fighter/survivor reached out to me to share some important facts and prevention information with you all.

Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer that is caused almost exclusively by asbestos exposure.  Asbestos was a fire-retardant and home insulation product commonly used up until the 1970's in building materials.  Asbestos has been used for thousands of years and over time was shown to cause sickness but only recently did we realize that it was a carcinogen.  

Asbestos can be found in insulation, fire retardants and adhesives.  If your home was made in the 1970s or prior you very likely have it somewhere in your home.  While asbestos exposure is hazardous not all products with asbestos are necessarily hazardous.  You need to inhale asbestos in order for it to be a health risk.

Mesothelioma affects the lining of the organs including the lungs, liver, spleen, bowels and even the heart.  It is a tricky cancer to diagnose because symptoms such as: shortness of breath, chest pain or chronic cough can mimic other minor respiratory conditions.

So what can you do?  Look for asbestos around your home or office in places such as popcorn ceilings or broken/damaged drywall if it was built prior to 1980.  If you think you have asbestos call a professional to have it removed.

Here is a checklist of other summer safety tips just in time for June which is National Safety Month.

For more information on Mesothelioma go here.
To learn about cancer survivor Heather Von St. James.

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