Be Aware of a Common Cause of Lung Cancer

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Cancer is a serious disease that affects millions of people and often has no known cure. Environmental surroundings or lifestyle choices can contribute to some kinds of cancer. There are many people who have been exposed to high levels of asbestos without ever realizing it. The production of asbestos as a commercial insulation material began more than 125 years ago. It was only a generation after that, at the turn of the 20th century, that physicians and scientists began to make connections between asbestos exposure and lung diseases. Since then, researches have continued to learn about mesothelioma, a rare cancer that affect the pleura (a sac or lining) around the lungs and lining the chest wall. Scientists continue their research about mesothelioma.

If you have been exposed to asbestos, you can take steps to make sure that you are not putting yourself in further danger. Higher levels of exposure increase the chances of acquiring cancer. If you have been exposed to asbestos, you should consider being screened for cancer as soon as possible. It is never too early and never something that should be put off. Even if you do not have cancer, it is worth going through the screening just to be sure of it. Should you be diagnosed with an early onset of lung cancer, it is better to discover this early as more treatment options may be available.

Chemotherapy is one of the most common methods used to treat cancer. The most frequent chemotherapy technique is by injection into a vein. Depending on the type of cancer and the drug used, chemotherapy drugs can also be administered by mouth, injected into the muscle or skin, or placed directly into a body cavity which is known as intracavitary chemotherapy. Chemotherapy drugs may be given as single agents, but often, two or more drugs are given simultaneously in combination therapy.

As science advances, treatments for mesothelioma and other lung affiliated diseases move forward as well. In February of 2004, the FDA approved a new drug called Alimta for victims of mesothelioma. Patients treated with Alimta along with cisplatin experienced measurable improvement in their symptoms, including less pain and shortness of breath. Trials also indicate that patients who use this treatment may live up to 30 percent longer.

The more you learn about asbestos and the relation it has to cancer and other serious illnesses the less likely you are to neglect potential symptoms. If you have been exposed to asbestos, stay educated and keep current with screenings, tests and regular checkups.

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