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Your message to us will be held in strict confidence. All requests for information by mesothelioma patients and their family members will be answered within 24 hours. Mesothelioma Treatment and Care Guides are sent to mesothelioma patients and families by overnight delivery.

Ban Asbestos to Prevent Mesothelioma

asbestos mesotheliomaThe way to prevent mesothelioma is by banning asbestos.  Research is vital in making progress for a cure.  Banning asbestos in the United States will prevent future generations from acquiring these asbestos related diseases.

The Center for Disease Control- CDC- is charged with protection of public health and safety through the control and prevention of disease.  As noted on the CDC website asbestos victims are still threatened by mesothelioma and other issues caused by asbestos exposure. According to data, an estimated 1.3 million construction and general manufacturing workers are potentially being exposed to asbestos.  Approximately 1,700 metric tons a year of asbestos is still used in the U.S. in a wide variety of construction and manufacturing applications.

OSHA has tried to enforce limits of what is legal in the work place.  OSHA has also taken the position that no level of exposure is safe.  In 1989, the Environmental Protection Agency attempted to ban asbestos but were unsuccessful because of court challenges.

Each time we have the privilege of meeting new mesothelioma patients it reminds us that mesothelioma is not going away.  We have seen patients as young as 18 and as old as 90.  These patients are not statistics — they are all unique individuals with their own story to tell. For most the asbestos exposure happened years ago.  The period from exposure to symptoms can be 20 to 40 years.

How do we raise awareness about the use and banning of asbestos in the United States?  There is one organization that is dedicated to banning asbestos, Asbestos Disease and Awareness Organization- ADAO. Linda Reinstein and Alan Larkin founded this organization in 2004 after the death of Linda’s husband, around the same time a close relative of Alan’s also died from mesothelioma.  For the 13th year ADAO is hosting a conference in Washington D.C. from April 7th to 9th at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel.

Getting involved in prevention and research for a cure is a positive way to honor all those effected by mesothelioma. Raising awareness amongst others and our government leaders that asbestos needs to be banned, educating all of us to the dangers of asbestos, can serve to honor all that have died and all that are suffering with asbestos related diseases.

– Lisa

Mesothelioma Recurrence: Continuing to Fight and Finding Hope

“We cannot wait two months, it will be too late.”

I was taken aback when I heard my patient tell me that was what the oncologist told her.   She was supposed to be cancer-free and now her lymph nodes are positive.

Mesothelioma recurrence is very difficult to avoid even after the most aggressive surgery. Recurrence happens because the mesothelioma tumor is located so close to vital organs.

At this time, physicians can only offer hope by delaying mesothelioma recurrence and keeping the mesothelioma under control.

My patient, Mary, thought she would have to have chemo, but so quick? Some days she felt like she was going to beat this and other days she felt like she got hit with a brick. After a month of chemo, she says her appetite is improving but not where it is supposed to be.

The part that is so scary is what if she waited or was not up to it. Will that god-awful tumor grow back? She just got rid of a large tumor that encapsulated her left chest. Her surgeon removed her lung diaphragm and reconstructed her pericardium. It really does not seem fair. Chemotherapy once every 3 weeks for 12 weeks- a total of 4 cycles.

Another issue is what will the chemo do to her body. She is a young woman of childbearing age. The oncologist explained that she may want to freeze her eggs for a later date when she would like to possibly have a child. So much to think about!

She is not thinking about children but now she is forced to consider this and other issues.

It makes her reflect upon her life.

Where is this all going to go? When is the treatment going to end? When will she be back to herself?

Fortunately, she has goals and would like to go school. It is good to have a focus about what lays ahead. Yes, we know any kind of treatment is not easy but the flipside is treatment will allow her to live her life.

Although this is a difficult disease to treat, as professionals, we remain hopeful. Nothing is more rewarding than having a group of patients come to clinic for follow up and not one patient has evidence of recurrence. Another reward is when we visit someone after discharge and see them living their life.

It is the little things that give hope. The idea that patients are able to move forward with their life is inspiring for us to fight this disease.

– Lisa

The Power of Positive Thinking for Mesothelioma Patients

think positive mesotheliomaYou hear the expression all the time, “think positive”. What does that mean? What if you don’t usually “think positive”? Is there any scientific basis for this? Can you learn to “think positive”?

Mesothelioma patients and their caregivers are told from diagnosis to “think positive” about their disease and treatment options. Looking at the statistics for malignant mesothelioma it is very difficult to “think positive”.

Historically it has been thought by many people that positive thinking is healthy and can improve your quality of life. The qualities of optimism and pessimism have a marked influence on your psychological and physical well-being.

“The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity. The optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” — Winston Churchill

In 1985 the psychologist, Michael F. Scheier and co-author Charles S. Carver published a landmark study, “Optimism, Coping, and Health: Assessment and Implications of Generalized Outcome Expectancies”. This paper helped bridge the gap between psychology and biology. The study included a test to measure the effect of a personality variable on a person’s physical health. By developing a tool that was simple and easy to use, scientists were then able to measure what was thought of “the power of positive thinking”. As a result of this work and many after this publication, there is now scientific proof of the positive benefits of positive thinking on your health.

To start on the path to positive thinking look at yourself and what goes on in your head. Self-talk is that stream of thought that goes through your head that is not spoken. These thoughts can be positive or negative. Some of the thoughts may be logical, others can be from lack of information, and misconceptions. If you find that the unspoken thoughts that you are saying to yourself are negative, you can change that with time and practice. Be nice to yourself and encouraging. Give yourself a break! Look at the thought and evaluate it and remind yourself what is good about yourself!

Increasing positive thinking in your life can be done by figuring out what makes you happy. Spending time with people who you enjoy – such as your children or grandchildren — or doing a hobby that you enjoy. These could all be ways to increase positive emotions. Recent studies have proven that meditation has a positive effect. People that meditate daily have more positive emotions than those who do not. Writing has also shown to help. A study was published that showed that writing about one positive experience a day had a lasting effect on moods, and results in fewer visits to health centers, as well as better overall health. Exercise has also proven to help, as has allowing yourself time to explore something new and having fun.

Optimism and pessimism are personality traits. Positive thinking comes from optimism and then is used effectively in stress management. By thinking positive it does not mean that you deny reality. Mesothelioma is a deadly cancer, to take the approach that you are going to “think positive” and all will be well is not realistic. Positive thinking means that you approach the challenge of a mesothelioma diagnosis in an optimistic and constructive way.
There are ways to become a positive thinking person. Look at a situation that did not turn out as well as you expected and ask yourself: “what have I learned from this”? Change does not happen overnight but it is possible. Positive thinking will only aid you and your family members along the journey with mesothelioma.

– Ellie

Raising Awareness About Asbestos & Mesothelioma

asbestos mesotheliomaThe leading cause of mesothelioma is exposure to the mineral known as asbestos.  Asbestos is a naturally occurring product that for centuries was used as a fire retardant, insulating product, used in boilers, and in the manufacturing of many products.  These products can be found in the home and workplace.

Global Asbestos Awareness Week is April 1st – 7th, 2016.  Asbestos is still imported into the United States.  Last year an estimated 4 million metric tons were imported.  Asbestos is a known human carcinogen.  Asbestos related diseases caused an estimated 300 deaths a day around the world.

According to the World Health Organization:

  1. All forms of asbestos are carcinogenic to humans
  2. Exposure to asbestos causes cancer of the lung, larynx and ovaries, and also mesothelioma.  Asbestos exposure is also responsible for other diseases such as asbestosis, plaques, thickening and effusion in the pleura.
  3. Currently about 125 million people in the world are exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
  4. According to the most recent WHO estimates, more than 107,000 people die each year from asbestos related lung cancer, mesothelioma and asbestosis resulting from exposure at work.
  5. Approximately half the deaths from occupational cancer are estimated to be caused by asbestos.
  6. All the asbestos imported into the United States comes from Brazil.  Russia is the largest producer of asbestos. China is second and Brazil is third.
  7. The users of asbestos in the United States are the chlorine- alkali industry, used in making of chlorine and sodium hydroxide, accounting for around 57% of the mineral.  The remaining approximately 41% is used in roofing products.
  8. Only 52 countries have banned asbestos- the United States is NOT one of them.
  9. Co-exposure to tobacco smoke and asbestos fibers substantially increase the risk for lung cancer- and the heavier the smoking the greater the risk.
  10. The countries that are the largest consumers of asbestos  products are Russia, China, India and Brazil.

Source :  World Health Organization- and

In the United States the organization that is dedicated to being the voice of the asbestos victim is the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization- ADAO-.  ADAO is a non-profit that is dedicated to preventing and eliminating asbestos- caused diseases.  Linda Reinstein is the founder of ADAO.  Linda lost her husband to mesothelioma. During this week ADAO has scheduled activities to increase awareness and knowledge of asbestos in 2016.

Victims of mesothelioma and their families know first hand what the devastating effect of asbestos exposure can do to the health of their loved one.  This week spread awareness to the dangers of Asbestos.

Eleanor B. Ericson, RN

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Your message to us will be held in strict confidence. All requests for information by mesothelioma patients and their family members will be answered within 24 hours. Mesothelioma Treatment and Care Guides are sent to mesothelioma patients and families by overnight delivery.

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