Mesothelioma: Myths And Misconceptions
Mesothelioma as a disease is rare and widely misunderstood for many thousands that hear about it broadcasted in various law firm advertisements on television nationwide. Over the years, several misconceptions about the pathology of mesothelioma have spread throughout the population, sowing doubts about the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of mesothelioma.
Understanding all the factors involving mesothelioma can help people stay away from potential risk factors and another important thing, recognize early symptomatology to receive an early diagnosis, more treatment options, and a better percentage of life expectancy.
Here is a list of a few myths and misconceptions that surround the mesothelioma topic.
#1. Mesothelioma Only Affects the Lungs
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is the most frequently occurring form of this disease, but it is also true that this affects the mesothelium, which is the membrane that covers the lungs. Due to the overlapping symptoms, mesothelioma is often confused with pleural or lung cancer. However, these types of cancer have their differences, leading to mistakes in the treatment plan and bad prognosis when misdiagnosed. A proper mesothelioma diagnosis is essential in order to receive a proper mesothelioma prognosis and have the chance to explore new mesothelioma treatment options.
The main difference between these is that mesothelioma affects the lung linings, while lung cancer affects its tissues. Also, asbestos is not the only cause of lung cancer, including smoking, air pollution, etc., while mesothelioma has a tight relation with asbestos as the only cause. Treatment is typically found to be easier for lung cancer patients, of which can have a higher survival rate than mesothelioma patients. Natural mesothelioma treatment options should be explored by patients who have been diagnosed with the cancer.
#2. Mesothelioma Symptomatology is Easy to Recognize
Mesothelioma symptoms can often be confused with symptomatology of other forms of diseases which can lead to a misdiagnosis. The symptomatology of mesothelioma is not easy to recognize, often appearing only at late stages of the disease such as stage 3 mesothelioma or stage 4 mesothelioma, aggravating the whole picture even further. People who have a known asbestos exposure history or history of second-hand asbestos exposure should focus on recognizing potential risk factors, health abnormalities, and early symptoms of mesothelioma so they can be properly diagnosed by a licensed medical physician.
#3. Mesothelioma Only Develops in Older men
This myth has extended due to statistics that display 75% of the fatalities caused by mesothelioma belong to men. For this reason, people usually think that only older men are susceptible to develop this aggressive type of cancer. But this cannot be further from the actual truth, because both men and women can develop mesothelioma at any age regardless of the amount of asbestos they have been exposed to.
Of course, there are some reasons why men of certain age represent the major part of mesothelioma deaths. Men represented a majority of the workforce for industries which exposed them to asbestos, a well-known cause of this cancer. Miners, mechanics, mill workers, construction workers, pipefitters are among the few forms of occupations that were worked mostly by men. Another thing to consider is that symptoms like coughing, fever, and chest pain may appear at older stages of life due to the 20-40 year latency period of time that the disease takes to develop.
The truth is that both men and women can be diagnosed with mesothelioma. In fact, certain types of this cancer like cystic or papillary mesothelioma are more common in women. In regard to the age, mesothelioma has been diagnosed in children, young adults, and adults.
#4. Mesothelioma Can be Contagious
It is very common to see people wondering if a rare disease that someone has developed is contagious or not. Mesotheliomas life expectancy is typically short due to its aggressive evolution, this makes being diagnosed with mesothelioma very concerning.
Having said this, mesothelioma is not a contagious disease. However, there are certain genetic risk factors that can make people more susceptible to having the rare cancer when in contact with asbestos. Secondary exposure to this material is something to also take into consideration
#5. Only Longtime asbestos exposure Can Cause Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure is related to the development of asbestosis, asbestos lung cancer, and of course mesothelioma. Asbestos exposure is an important aspect to consider, increasing the chances of developing the disease the longer the exposure in some cases, but the truth is that any amount of exposure can lead to the appearance of mesothelioma.
#6. Asbestos can be removed by anyone
Asbestos is known to be a very harmful and dangerous carcinogen, in which exposure at home, workplace, schools, or any other place should be avoided. This usually leads to people thinking that they can simply remove the element from their environment using simple tools and by taking basic precautions. This cannot be more false.
Asbestos removal must be done by experts that have the necessary knowledge and equipment to do so. This needs to be done even if the existence of asbestos is only mildly suspected. Tampering with asbestos can cause its fibers to scatter through the air where they can be easily inhaled or ingested, without causing any noticeable respiratory disturbance.
#7. Asbestos does not Exist Anymore Anywhere
While it is true that asbestos use has been limited due to the creation of certain laws and regulations, it is still used and found in some places. Buildings developed before the year 1980 usually contain asbestos and need to be handled with great care. Also, asbestos is still being used in certain products. Hopefully, the ban on asbestos will extend worldwide in the coming years.