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New Orleans Asbestos Blog

Your treatment for mesothelioma depends on the stage you are in

After suffering from asbestos exposure at some point in your past, you may have subsequently found out that you could end up suffering from a rare and often fatal form of cancer called mesothelioma. You may have worried about developing it for a few years, but after a decade or two went by, you hoped you had escaped that fate.

Then, 30 or 40 years after your initial exposure, you began suffering from shortness of breath and other troubling symptoms. A trip to one or more doctors confirmed that you developed mesothelioma. Now, not only do you wonder about your prognosis, but also about the treatment options available to you.

What does asbestos taste like?

You worry about asbestos exposure from something as simple as the the dust in the air at work. You breathe it in every day. If it contains asbestos, are you constantly putting even a small amount into your lungs? Inhaling asbestos has been linked to mesothelioma and related disorders that can be fatal.

What you wonder, then, is if you would be able to taste it. Is there anything you should look for or any red flag that can tip you off that the dust may be dangerous?

Can your lung cancer spread to other parts of the body?

Your doctor tells you that you have lung cancer. You have had some discomfort for a while, and you worried that it was serious. Now you know for sure.

Your next question may be just how far it can spread. Will it move from your lungs to other parts of your body? Has it done so already?

What are some talc powder alternatives?

You used talcum powder for years without realizing that it could be dangerous. Now you see it in the headlines constantly, as people link it to ovarian cancer and related issues. You see how millions of dollars have been given out to those who suffered or the families of those who passed away.

Not only are you worried about developing cancer from using talcum powder, but you also want to know how to change your daily routine to make it safer. What are some alternatives you can consider? Here are five examples:

  1. Tapioca starch: Often used in paleo baking, this starch is natural and safe. It comes from the cassava plant, which is found in South America.
  2. Arrowroot starch: Another favorite of paleo bakers, this starch also comes from plants found in the South American tropics.
  3. Cornstarch: Incredibly common and easy to find, cornstarch is a natural option that gives you the same consistency as talc powder. This is a popular option since you really do not notice that much difference during use, but it still gives you peace of mind because you know it is safe.
  4. Oat flour: This is a bit more coarse than talcum powder, but it works very well. Some people even like it more, though some of that is a matter of personal preference.
  5. Baking soda: This is a very common, very cheap alternative. It is often touted as a substance that can be used for 100 different things, so it is no surprise that it works in this capacity, as well.

Do young people get mesothelioma?

Often, mesothelioma takes 20 years or more to fully manifest and develop in the human body. In some cases, it can take as long as 50 years. While this deadly cancer often acts aggressively once it develops, taking lives quickly, it can be decades after the exposure that it really develops.

As such, most people who pass away from it are elderly, with some reports indicating that a lot of fatal cases involve those who are 85 years old and older.

The EPA may allow new uses of asbestos

The Environmental Protection Agency seems to agree that the prohibited uses of asbestos, as they stand right now, should remain banned. Asbestos has been linked to cancer in countless studies and is considered incredibly hazardous. It can no longer be used in many applications where it was once common, such as pipe insulation and tile.

However, the EPA recently announced that it may begin considering new uses for asbestos. It does state that the new uses would need to get approval from the EPA, but they would at least get consideration.

What legal case against Johnson & Johnson means for you

Louisiana readers may be aware of the connections between the use of certain types of talc powders and the development of cancer. A recent successful lawsuit against Johnson & Johnson for the diagnosis of an asbestos-related cancer could lead to more lawsuits filed by individuals suffering from the same diagnosis.

This recent claim stated the claimant was suffering from cancer specifically because of long-term use of Johnson & Johnson's baby powder. Because this is a popular and widely used product across the country, the successful verdict could signal that others could take the same course of legal action in the near future.

Is there a link between alcohol and lung cancer?

Experts have been wondering if there is a link between alcohol and lung cancer since the 1980s. If you already feel skeptical that they could find one, you are not alone. However, multiple studies have now suggested that such a link does exist, that drinking alcohol may increase one's odds of getting lung cancer.

It is worth noting that even official researchers are cautious about proclaiming the link. For instance, the American Institute for Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund hired a number of experts to study it, and they would only go so far as saying that there was "possibly" a correlation.

How does asbestos exposure usually happen?

Exposure to asbestos can happen in rather unexpected ways. For instance, studies have found that some makeups contain asbestos particles. Few people expect that, and it was shocking when the news broke.

That said, asbestos exposure usually happens in a number of more common ways, such as:

  • Breathing in asbestos when doing a renovation on an older building that was constructed with asbestos insulation, asbestos tile or a host of other products.
  • Breathing in the particles when such a building is demolished.
  • Swallowing the particles if they end up in drinking water, which may move through old pipes made of asbestos cement.
  • Swallowing asbestos in food that has become contaminated, perhaps because it was prepared in a room with open asbestos exposure.
  • Breathing in asbestos during the abatement process. Those who work in this industry full-time have specialized protective gear to lower the risk, but there is always a risk.

What is resectable mesothelioma?

A diagnosis of mesothelioma tells you what the underlying issue is, but that alone does not tell you what treatment options will be used or what chances you have to beat this disease. Mesothelioma can be either resectable or unresectable. What is the difference?

This term just tells you if all of the cancer that is visible to the medical team, assuming nothing has been missed, can be surgically removed. If it can be, that's a resectable mesothelioma. If it cannot be removed by surgery alone, that's an unresectable mesothelioma.