Mesothelioma Research Charities

Posted by bhagis | 7:30 AM | 2 comments »

The Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund
c/o British Lung Foundation
Sir G B Hunter Memorial Hospital The Green
Tyne & Wear
NE28 7PB

Telephone: 0191 2630276
Cheque payee: Mick Knighton Mesothelioma Research Fund

The June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund
c/o Adrian Budgen, Irwin Mitchell
Riverside East
2 Millsands
S3 8DT

Telephone: 0114 2744420
Cheque payee: June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund

Special Trustees of St Bartholomew's Hospital
Dr Jeremy Steele
Mesothelioma Group
Department of Medical Oncology
St Bartholomew's Hospital

Cheque payee: Special Trustees of St Bartholomew's Hospital 
(this will be forwarded to Bart's Mesothelioma Research Fund Account)

Tests and diagnosis

If you have signs and symptoms that might indicate mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct a physical exam to check for any lumps or other unusual signs. Your doctor may order imaging scans, such as a chest X-ray or a computerized tomography (CT) scan of your chest or abdomen, to look for abnormalities.

It's not uncommon for mesothelioma to be misdiagnosed initially because mesothelioma is rare, and its signs and symptoms aren't specific. Your doctor will likely rule out other more common conditions before considering mesothelioma.

Biopsy, a procedure to remove a small portion of tissue for laboratory examination, is the only way to determine whether you have mesothelioma. Depending on what area of your body is affected, your doctor selects the right biopsy procedure for you. Options include:

  • Fine-needle aspiration. The doctor removes fluid or a piece of tissue with a small needle inserted into your chest or abdomen.
  • Thoracoscopy. Thoracoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your chest. In this procedure, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions between your ribs. A tube with a tiny video camera is then inserted into your chest cavity — a procedure sometimes called video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery (VATS). Special surgical tools allow your surgeon to cut away tissue for testing.
  • Laparoscopy. Laparoscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your abdomen. Using one or more small incisions into your abdomen, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera and special surgical tools to obtain a small piece of tissue for examination.
  • Thoracotomy. Thoracotomy is surgery to open your chest between the ribs to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing.
  • Laparotomy. Laparotomy is surgery to open your abdomen to allow a surgeon to check for signs of disease. He or she removes a sample of tissue for testing.

The tissue sample is analyzed under a microscope to see whether the abnormal tissue is mesothelioma and what types of cells are involved. The type of mesothelioma you have determines your treatment plan.

Once mesothelioma is diagnosed, your doctor orders other tests to determine the extent, or stage, of the cancer. Imaging tests that may help determine the stage of your cancer include:

  • Chest X-ray
  • CT scans of the chest and abdomen
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

Once the extent of pleural mesothelioma is determined, a stage is assigned. Formal stages aren't available for other types of mesothelioma because these types are rare and aren't well studied. The stages of pleural mesothelioma are:

  • I. Stage I pleural mesothelioma is considered localized cancer, meaning it's limited to one portion of the lining of the chest.
  • II. Stage II mesothelioma may have spread beyond the lining of the chest to the diaphragm or to a lung.
  • III. Stage III mesothelioma may have spread to other structures within the chest and may involve nearby lymph nodes.
  • IV. Stage IV mesothelioma is an advanced cancer that has spread to distant areas (metastasized). Mesothelioma most commonly spreads (metastasizes) to the brain, lymph nodes in the chest and areas of the lung that are away from the tumor.

Getting legal help after your mesothelioma diagnosis is an important step toward protecting your legal rights. Most mesothelioma victims, however, have difficulty enough just dealing with the diagnosis—much less its legal implications. We can help. Contact us today to arrange a complimentary consultation to learn more about your legal options and get the legal help you need. 

Recovering the Costs of Mesothelioma

The human costs of a chronic and life-threatening disease such as mesothelioma can be staggering. Years of treatment, medical costs, and hospice care can run into the tens of thousands of dollars, and few patients and their families are able to pay these costs on their own. Health insurance may not cover all the costs. In addition, the loss of a patient's income can be particularly burdensome, and the emotional costs of a potentially fatal disease are difficult to estimate.

Thousands of Americans have contracted mesothelioma after working with or being exposed to products that cause this pernicious disease, and if you are one such victim, you may be eligible for monetary damages from the product's maker or from your employer.

How an Attorney Can Help

Mesothelioma cases are complex matters. It is not necessarily obvious that there is a cause-and-effect link between a product or environment and someone's mesothelioma. An experienced mesothelioma attorney or law firm can help unravel the link between your mesothelioma and its cause.

Losses Due to Mesothelioma

An attorney's guidance is also very helpful when estimating a mesothelioma patient's losses. Such losses often involve:

  • Medical costs including hospital care
  • Loss of wages and/or earning capacity
  • Loss of companionship or a spousal or parental relationship
  • Loss of financial support
  • Pain and suffering
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Out-of-pocket expenses

Protecting Your Legal Rights

The maker of the asbestos product that caused your mesothelioma or the employer where you worked and contracted mesothelioma may not be agreeable to the idea that they should pay the damages you've incurred due to this disease. In such cases, representation by an attorney or law firm can make all the difference in the outcome of your case.

Just as in other types of personal injury cases, a mesothelioma attorney can:

  • Investigate your case, including interviewing witnesses and getting documents
  • Show the causation between the product or environment and your mesothelioma
  • Help you estimate your total losses due to mesothelioma
  • Negotiate with the defendant company on your behalf
  • Represent you in court and other forums
  • Help recover a settlement or verdict award

Get the Answers and Legal Help You Need

Whether you're experiencing the early symptoms of mesothelioma or are at a more advanced stage of the disease, or if you’ve lost a loved one to this devastating disease, consulting an experienced mesothelioma attorney will give you more insight into your options and your best course of action.

Contact a mesothelioma lawyer today to arrange a private consultation, and get the answers and legal help you need.

Posted by bhagis | 9:50 AM | 0 comments »



Malignant mesothelioma (me-zo-thee-le-O-muh) is a rare cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Doctors divide mesothelioma into different types based on what part of the mesothelium is affected, including:

  • Pleural malignant mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs and is the most common form of mesothelioma.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in the tissue in your abdomen.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the heart.
  • Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis, which occurs in the lining around the testicles.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the United States each year, according to the American Cancer Society.


Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Pleural mesothelioma signs and symptoms may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Painful breathing (pleurisy)
  • Painful coughing
  • Chest pain under the rib cage
  • Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Dry (nonproductive) cough

Peritoneal mesothelioma signs and symptoms may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal swelling
  • A change in your bowel habits, such as more frequent diarrhea or constipation
  • Lumps of tissue in the abdomen
  • Unexplained weight loss

Other forms of mesothelioma 
Signs and symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis are unclear. These forms are so rare that not much information is available. Pericardial mesothelioma signs and symptoms may include difficulty breathing or chest pains. Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis may be first detected as a mass on a testicle.

When to see a doctor 
See your doctor if you have signs and symptoms that may indicate mesothelioma. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma aren't specific to this disease and, due to the rarity of mesothelioma, are more likely to be related to other conditions. If any persistent signs and symptoms seem unusual or bothersome to you, ask your doctor to evaluate them.


In general, cancer begins when a series of genetic mutations occur within a cell, causing the cell to grow and multiply out of control, when healthy cells would normally die. The accumulating abnormal cells form a mass (tumor). Cancer cells invade nearby tissues and can break off from an initial tumor to spread elsewhere in the body (metastasize).

It isn't clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It's likely that cancers form because of an interaction between many factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions and your lifestyle choices.

Benign pleural mesothelioma 
A form of noncancerous (benign) tumor that can occur in the chest is sometimes called benign mesothelioma. However, this name is misleading. Benign mesothelioma doesn't begin in the same cells where the cancerous forms of mesothelioma begin. And, in a minority of cases, benign mesothelioma can be very aggressive, despite the term "benign." For this reason, some doctors now refer this tumor as solitary fibrous tumor.

Solitary fibrous tumor usually doesn't cause signs and symptoms. Most cases are inadvertently discovered during tests and procedures for other conditions. It isn't clear what causes solitary fibrous tumors, but they aren't linked to asbestos exposure. Treatment for solitary fibrous tumor typically includes surgery.

Risk factors

Asbestos exposure: The primary risk factor for mesothelioma 
Asbestos is a mineral that's found naturally in the environment. Asbestos fibers are strong and resistant to heat, making them useful in a wide variety of applications, such as in insulation, cement, brakes, shingles, flooring and many other products. People who work around asbestos fibers are thought to have the greatest risk of mesothelioma.

When asbestos is broken up, such as during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation, dust may be created. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, the asbestos fibers may settle in the lungs or in the stomach, where they can cause irritation that may lead to mesothelioma, though how exactly this happens isn't understood.

Mesothelioma risk is believed to be increased in people who are exposed to high levels of asbestos, in people who are exposed to asbestos over a long period of time and in people exposed to asbestos at a young age. It can take 30 to 40 years or more for mesothelioma to develop as a result of asbestos exposure.

Some people with years of asbestos exposure never develop mesothelioma. And yet, others with very brief exposure develop the disease. This indicates that other factors may be involved in determining whether someone gets mesothelioma or doesn't. For instance, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Possible risk factors 
Factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

  • Personal history of asbestos exposure. If you've been directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of mesothelioma is greatly increased.
  • Living with someone who works with asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos may carry the fibers home on their skin and clothing. These stray fibers can put others in the home at risk of mesothelioma. People who work with asbestos should shower and change clothes before leaving work.
  • Smoking. Risk of mesothelioma is increased greatly in smokers who are exposed to asbestos.
  • SV40. Some research indicates a link between mesothelioma and simian virus 40 (SV40), a virus originally found in monkeys. Millions of people may have been exposed to SV40 when receiving polio vaccinations between 1955 and 1963, because the vaccine was developed using monkey cells. Once it was discovered that SV40 was linked to certain cancers, the virus was removed from the polio vaccine. Whether SV40 increases the risk of mesothelioma is a point of debate, and more research is needed.
  • Radiation. Some research links mesothelioma to the radioactive substance thorium dioxide, which was used along with X-rays to diagnose various health conditions from the 1920s to the 1950s. Thorium dioxide was later found to cause cancer and is no longer used.
  • Family history. A family history of mesothelioma may increase your risk of mesothelioma, but more research is needed to understand this theory.


Complications from spreading cancer 
As pleural mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can cause complications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Swelling caused by pressure on the large vein that leads from your upper body to your heart (superior vena cava syndrome)
  • Pain caused by pressure on the nerves and spinal cord
  • Accumulation of fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), which can compress the lung nearby and make breathing difficult

Mesothelioma that progresses can lead to death. People who die of mesothelioma usually die from related complications, such as lung failure, heart problems, stroke and other causes.

Preparing for your appointment

You're likely to start by first seeing your family doctor or a general practitioner. However, in some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to a doctor who specializes in lung diseases (pulmonologist) or abdominal problems (gastroenterologist).

Because appointments can be brief, and because there's often a lot of ground to cover, it's a good idea to be well prepared for your appointment. Here's some information to help you get ready for your appointment, and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be aware of any pre-appointment restrictions. At the time you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there's anything you need to do in advance, such as restrict your diet.
  • Write down any symptoms you're experiencing, including any that may seem unrelated to the reason for which you scheduled the appointment.
  • Write down key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes. If you're worried about mesothelioma, make a list of all your occupations, even those you had for only a few months.
  • Make a list of all medications, as well as any vitamins or supplements, that you're taking.
  • Take a family member or friend along, if possible. Sometimes it can be difficult to soak up all the information provided during an appointment. Someone who accompanies you may remember something that you missed or forgot.
  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

Your time with your doctor is limited, so preparing a list of questions will help you make the most of your time together. List your questions from most important to least important in case time runs out. For mesothelioma, some basic questions to ask your doctor include:

  • What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
  • What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
  • What kinds of tests do I need?
  • Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
  • What is the best course of action?
  • What are the alternatives to the primary approach that you're suggesting?
  • I have these other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
  • Are there any restrictions that I need to follow?
  • Should I see a specialist? What will it cost, and will my insurance cover seeing a specialist?
  • Is there a generic alternative to the medicine you're prescribing me?
  • Are there any brochures or other printed material that I can take home with me? What Web sites do you recommend?
  • What will determine whether I should plan for a follow-up visit?

In addition to the questions that you've prepared to ask your doctor, don't hesitate to ask questions during your appointment at any time that you don't understand something.

What to expect from your doctor 
Your doctor is likely to ask you a number of questions. Being ready to answer them may allow more time to cover other points you want to address. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first begin experiencing symptoms?
  • Have your symptoms been continuous, or occasional?
  • How severe are your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, seems to improve your symptoms?
  • What, if anything, appears to worsen your symptoms?
  • Do your symptoms affect your ability to work?

What you can do in the meantime 
Try to avoid anything that worsens your signs and symptoms. For instance, if you're experiencing shortness of breath, try to take it easy until you can meet with your doctor.

For more

Posted by bhagis | 9:44 AM | 0 comments »

Mesothelioma Lawyers

Every year, thousands of individuals are diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma - a rare form of cancer that affects the lining of the heart, lungs, and abdominal cavity and is primarily attributable to asbestos exposure . Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that was commonly used prior to the 1970s in building materials and a number of consumer products. Health and government officials now deem asbestos a carcinogen and strictly regulate its use.

Unfortunately, symptoms of mesothelioma often take decades to appear. And the prognosis for individuals with mesothelioma tends to be poor since the cancer has already progressed to advanced stages by the time they are diagnosed.

People who have developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos-exposure may be eligible to seek compensation for their losses through a mesothelioma lawsuit If you or a loved one suffers from mesothelioma because of asbestos exposure, a qualified mesothelioma lawyer can help you understand and maximize your legal rights.

Why Contact A Mesothelioma Lawyer?

A qualified mesothelioma lawyer can evaluate your claim and provide you with competent legal counsel. You may be entitled to seek financial assistance to compensate your damages, in which case a mesothelioma lawyer can litigate your case.

Over the years, mesothelioma lawyers have helped their clients recover millions of dollars in compensation for losses suffered. With the help of a mesothelioma lawyer, you may be able to recover both economic and non-economic damages including: lost wages and earning capacity, medical expenses, pain and suffering, and more.

If you or someone you love has developed mesothelioma as a result of asbestos-exposure, you do not have to suffer in vain. Our mesothelioma attorneys have a wealth of experience litigating asbestos-related cases and can help you bring responsible parties to justice. Also, our mesothelioma lawyers work on a "contingency fee" basis, which means that they work for free unless your case is successfully resolved.

For more contents

Posted by bhagis | 9:41 AM | 0 comments »

Pleural Mesothelioma Symptoms

Pleural mesothelioma affects the lining of the chest. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Coughing
  • Sweating
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Swelling in the upper body, especially the face and arms
  • Lower back pain
  • Pain in the side of the chest
  • Muscle weakness

Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma that affects the lining of the abdominal cavity is calledperitoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of this type of mesothelioma include:

  • Stomach pain
  • Weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Swollen belly
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Anemia
  • Fever
  • Blood clotting abnormalities

Pericardial Mesothelioma Symptoms

The pericardium is the lining that surrounds the heart. Mesothelioma affecting this area of the body is known as pericardial mesothelioma and symptoms include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Persistent coughing

Posted by bhagis | 11:27 AM | 1 comments »

Mesothelioma organisations

Cancer research UK information and support

Cancer Research UK

P.O. Box 123
Admin phone number: 020 7242 0200

Cancer Research UK is the largest cancer research organisation in the world, outside the USA.  We are the European leader in the development of new anti-cancer drugs. We fund research on all aspects of the disease from its causes, to treatment and prevention, education and psychological support for patients.

We are also committed to producing high quality information for people affected by cancer, health professionals and the general public.  We do this through our websites CancerHelp UK , News and resources and through our range of health awareness leaflets.

If you have a question about cancer, and you are in the UK or Ireland, you can contact our team of specialist cancer information nurses using this form, or by telephoning 020 7061 8355.

Specific mesothelioma organisations and sites


26 Tollerton Green
Highbury Vale

Helpline: 0115 927 5108 (24 hours)

This is a self help, voluntary organisation, dedicated to helping people with asbestos related diseases.

British Lung Foundation

73-75 Goswell Road,
Phone: 08458 50 50 20 (Helpline Mon-Fri 10.00am - 6.00pm)

Provides information, runs a helpline and support groups, and produces newsletters and publications. Also funds research into lung diseases. This charity is not just for people with mesothelioma or lung cancer.

Health and Safety Executive

HSE Knowledge Centre
(1G) Redgrave Court
Merton Road
L20 7HS
HSE Infoline: 0845 345 0055

Produces a range of information on the use of asbestos in the workplace and about the legislation relating to asbestos.  The Bootle information centre is open to personal callers, but the HSE do ask that everyone rings their helpline for advice.  There are other regional offices throughout the UK.

June Hancock Mesothelioma Research Fund

This organisation raises money for research into mesothelioma treatment.  Their website has some useful information about the financial and legal aspects of mesothelioma, including claiming state benefits.

Mesothelioma UK

National Macmillan Mesothelioma Resource Centre
Hospital Management Offices
Glenfield Hospital
Groby Road
Helpline: 0800 169 2409

Provides impartial up-to-date information on mesothelioma. Supports the development of specialist nursing practice and research. Queries to the helpline can be referred to a specialist mesothelioma nurse.

Occupational and Environmental Diseases Association

PO Box 26
Phone: 020-8360 6413

Organisation that supports those with asbestos related diseases and advises on compensation claims and benefits

Ridings Asbestos Support and Awareness Group (RASAG)

50B Town Street
LS13 3RW
Phone: 0113 231 1010 (Monday-Friday 10am - 4pm)

This organisation runs an information and support service and a website. The website has a forum for exchanging information with other patients and relatives.  A specialist lung cancer nurse takes calls on the phone line on Tuesdays from 10am to 4pm.  They produce a booklet and a newsletter, which you can order through the website.

Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation

200 London Road
L3 9TA

Helpline telephone number: 0800 358 7200
Phone: 0871 220 5426
Fax: 0871 220 5427

This organisation provides support and information and raises money for research into lung cancers.  They have support groups around the country.

British Thoracic Society

This organisation is a professional body for respiratory specialists.  The website has information about lung cancers and the investigations commonly used to diagnose lung cancers.  It also has the BTS guidelines for the management of mesothelioma, published in 2001.  Please note: this material is written for medical professionals and you may find the information written in a blunt and factual way. 

General support organisations and sites

This is a free, web-based support network where you can get in touch with other people who have the same cancer type as you or your relative or friend. Just click the link, choose 'C' for cancer and choose the cancer type you are interested in from the list. You can join the network and post a message asking other people to contact you through the site. The network is safe and confidential. People can only contact you through – they will not be given your email address.

National Cancer Institute

This link will take you to the American National Cancer Institute's patient information on malignant mesothelioma. It is detailed and comprehensive but there are no images: 

Posted by bhagis | 11:19 AM | 0 comments »

What mesothelioma is

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer.  It is a cancer of mesothelial cells.  These cells cover the outer surface of most of our internal body organs, forming a lining that is sometimes called the mesothelium.  So this is where this type of cancer gets its name.  

Mesothelioma cancer can develop in the tissues covering the lungs or theabdomen

Mesothelioma in the chest
The tissues lining (or covering) the lungs are called the pleura.  There are two pleura.  These can be called pleural membranes.  The gap between them is called the pleural space.  The pleura are fibrous sheets.  They help to protect the lungs.  They produce a lubricating fluid that fills the gap between the two pleura.  This helps the lungs to move smoothly in the chest when they are inflating and deflating as we breathe.


Mesothelioma is most often diagnosed in the pleura.  This is known aspleural mesothelioma. Because it is so close, pleural mesothelioma can also affect the sheet of tissue covering the heart - the pericardium.  Doctors call the pericardium the lining, although it is on the outside of the heart.  It protects the heart and allows it to move smoothly within the sac that surrounds it.  So it does much the same job for the heart as the pleura do for the lungs.


Mesothelioma in the abdomen

The tissue lining the abdomen is called the peritoneum.  It helps to protect the contents of the abdomen.  It also produces a lubricating fluid.  This helps the organs to move smoothly inside the abdomen as we move around.

Mesothelioma of the tissues lining the abdominal cavity is known asperitoneal mesothelioma.  It is much less common than pleural mesothelioma.

It is unusual for mesothelioma to spread to other parts of the body.  But if it does, it does not usually cause troublesome symptoms.

Benign mesothelioma

There is a form of non cancerous (benign) mesothelioma that can develop in the lining of the lungs, or in the lining of the reproductive organs.  It can occur in either men or women.  These non cancerous tumours are very rare and we don't cover them in this section of CancerHelp UK.

How common mesothelioma is

Mesothelioma is quite a rare cancer, but it is becoming more common.  Just over 2,100 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma in the UK each year.  There are about 5 times as many cases in men as in women.  This is probably because many cases have been caused by exposure to asbestos at work.  Pleural mesothelioma is much more common thanperitoneal mesothelioma.  

Asbestos and mesothelioma

Unusually for cancer, we do know what causes the majority of cases of mesothelioma.  It is most often linked to exposure to asbestos.  We have known of a link between asbestos and lung disease since the beginning of the 18th century.  But the link with mesothelioma has only been known since the 1960's.  Unfortunately, the number of cases of mesothelioma in the UK each year is expected to rise sharply over the next 20 years because of the heavy use of asbestos in industry from the end of the second world war up until the mid 1970s.

Between 7 and 8 out of every 10 people (70–80%) diagnosed with mesothelioma say they have been in contact with asbestos.  Your risk is greater if you were exposed to large amounts of it from an early age for a very long period of time.  But there are some patients that say they have no history of any heavy exposure to asbestos.

Remember: Many people who develop mesothelioma due to asbestos exposure may be eligible for compensation.  You should talk to a solicitor about this as early as possible.  Your specialist doctor or nurse may be able to give you some information on this from their dealings with other mesothelioma patients.  Or some of the mesothelioma organisations inHelp and Support should be able to help.

What asbestos is

Asbestos is an insulating material that is heat and fire resistant.  In the past, asbestos was used widely in the

  • Building industry    
  • Ship building industry    
  • Manufacture of household appliances    
  • Motor industry       
  • Power stations       
  • Telephone exchanges
So most cases of mesothelioma occur in men who have worked in manufacturing using asbestos or used asbestos products, particularly in construction or engineering.  The use of asbestos was very heavy in the years after the war (after 1945).  Mesothelioma may not develop until 15 - 40 years after you have been exposed to asbestos, which is why we are seeing an increase in cases now.  The number of cases is expected to peak around 2020 and then start to decline.

There are three main types of asbestos: blue, brown and white.  Blue and brown asbestos are strongly linked with mesothelioma.  They have been banned since the late 1980's and cannot be imported into the UK.  White asbestos is now also thought to be harmful.  The use of all asbestos was banned in 1999 in the UK.

How asbestos causes mesothelioma

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibres.  You can breathe these fibres in when you come into contact with asbestos.  The fibres work their way into thepleura, lining the lung.  They irritate the pleura and damage the cells that the pleura are made of.  Some of the fibres that have been breathed in can be coughed up and swallowed.  This is probably the cause of peritoneal mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, your family may also have been exposed.  Asbestos fibres can be carried home on your clothes.  Research studies have confirmed that the families of people exposed to asbestos also have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma.


Pleural and peritoneal mesothelioma  has been known to develop after exposure to a type of radiation called thorium dioxide (Thorotast).  This was used until the 1950's in some X-ray tests.

Other chemicals and mesothelioma

A mineral found in Turkey called Zeolite may cause mesothelioma.

The SV40 virus

There has been some research into a virus called SV40 (the SV stands for 'simian virus').  There is a lot of dispute amongst scientists about this and it isn't generally accepted as a cause.  It seems more likely that the virus doesn't cause mesothelioma.  It is possible that SV40 may help to increase risk if you've been exposed to another more major risk factor.  Doctors call this a 'co-factor'.  But SV40 certainly hasn't been proved to be a co-factor so far.  In any case, it is far less important a risk factor than asbestos.

More at

Posted by bhagis | 11:16 AM | 0 comments »


Because malignant mesothelioma is related to asbestos exposure, many people with the disease have questions about whether or not they can be compensated. There are several potential sources of financial assistance and/or compensation for people with mesothelioma.


People are often surprised to find out that the largest amounts of compensation typically available can be recovered from the asbestos industry. These awards are often large enough to provide financial security for families. There are law firms who handle such cases on a contingency fee basis which does not require out of pocket cost.


Patients can also file a disability claim with social security. (It's advisable to consult with an attorney that specializes in such claims.)


Many people can also file a disability claim if they have disability insurance either privately, through their employer, or as part of a life insurance policy.


If asbestos exposure occurred on the job, in addition to claims against the asbestos industry, a worker's compensation claim or other types of legal action may be filed against an employer. Again, it is advisable to consult with an attorney handling worker's compensation claims. It is prudent to consult also with an attorney handling claims against the asbestos industry to make sure the various claims do not conflict with your optimal strategy.


To find out more information or to see some questions commonly asked about mesothelioma legal issues, call 1-800-998-9729.


For people facing large medical bills and hospital stays, most hospitals have Discharge Planners or other personnel who can assist with issues of medical coverage and hospice. There are also laws that allow patients to take legal action against their insurance company for unfairly denying them coverage for medical treatment. It is important that you actively manage your expenses and health insurance claims.


Posted by bhagis | 11:11 AM | 0 comments »


The treatment program for mesothelioma depends on many factors, including: the stage of the cancer, where the cancer is, how far the cancer has spread, how the cancer cells look under the microscope and the patient’s age and desires.


People diagnosed with this disease are often told the expected survival rate is only eight to twelve months. However, specialists in treating malignant mesothelioma at the leading cancer centers often have better statistics.

For instance, the five-year survival rate has approached 40% for selected patients of Dr. David Sugarbaker at Brigham and Women’s Center in Boston. To qualify for Dr. Sugarbaker’s treatment you must meet certain criteria. One of them is being in the early stages of the disease, so time is of the essence. To find out more about Dr. Sugarbaker and other physicians and cancer centers specializing in mesothelioma.

Keeping track of your medical treatment is useful and a personal medical records file can help.




There are three traditional kinds of treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma:

Often two or more of these are combined in the course of treatment.  (NEW! Click here for the newest trial of trimodal lung-sparing treatment for pleural mesothelioma: The Columbia Protocol.)



In January 2007, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the MESOMARK assay to help monitor response to treatment in epithelial and bi-phasic malignant mesothelioma patients. A specific protein, or biomarker, called Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptide (SMRP), may be released into the blood by mesothelioma cancer cells. By measuring the amount of SMRP in a blood sample, doctors may be able to better monitor a patient's progress. Based on the limited amount of data currently available, use of this test may be beneficial, but effectiveness has not been determined at this time. The MESOMARK blood test has NOT yet been approved for the early diagnosis of mesothelioma.

This test has been approved as a Humanitarian Use Device (HUD), meaning that physicians must follow certain procedures to qualify their patients for testing. Once the physician is certified, informational brochures will be sent to be distributed to each applicable patient.

Those wishing to take part in

MESOMARK testing will be asked to provide one or more samples of blood. The blood samples will then be sent to a national reference laboratory for testing. In conjunction with other clinical and laboratory data obtained by your doctor, decisions regarding your treatment and care may be simplified. You may discontinue testing at any time.

The costs associated with the MESOMARK blood test may not be covered under health insurance, therefore, you may be required to pay all or part of the costs out of pocket. It is recommended that you check with your insurance carrier to determine whether coverage is available under your policy.





As previously mentioned in the "Symptoms" section of this website, a diagnosis of mesothelioma from fluid is many times inconclusive. Given this fact, diagnostic surgery becomes a necessary next step in confirming and staging mesothelioma.

Thoracoscopy enables a physician to evaluate the pleural cavity and to conduct multiple tissue biopsies under direct vision. In up to 98% of cases, a definitive diagnosis can be obtained. Often, chemical pleurodesis aimed at relieving the accumulation of fluid in the intrapleural space, can be accomplished during the same procedure. It is also possible to gauge the extent of the tumor, and make a determination of surgical resectability. While less invasive than an open biopsy, it can only be performed on patients where tumor has not obliterated the pleural space.

VATS, or video-assisted thoracic surgery is an alternative to thoracoscopy, although because of its more invasive nature, concerns of tumor seeding increase. By utilizing small incisions, the physician can view the pleural space with the assistance of a camera, and obtain sufficient tissue samples for analysis by a pathologist. Extent of the tumor (i.e., pleural involvement, chest wall invasion) may also determined, and recommendation as to the type of debulking procedure necessary can be made at this time.

Mediastinoscopy is sometimes used as an aid in staging extent of disease when enlarged nodes are seen using imaging techniques.

Laproscopy is used in mesothelioma patients in cases where imaging techniques suggest possible invasion of the tumor through the diaphragm. This information can be important in evaluating a patient for potential pleurectomy or extrapleural pneumonectomy.

Read the rest in