Mesothelioma is a devastating disease that is nearly always attributed to asbestos exposure. Between 2,500 and 3,300 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma every year. Although there is still no cure, current research offers hope with methods of early detection and treatments that can help mitigate some of the symptoms.
The “electronic nose”: Researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have created a non-invasive breath test that is capable of distinguishing malignant and non-malignant asbestos related diseases. By analyzing the volatile organic compounds (vocs) in exhaled breath, it can accurately diagnose asbestos related conditions. In a study of 50 patients with both mesothelioma and benign asbestos related diseases “the nose” accurately identified 88% of the patients. This device, which is very similar to the current breath test used in traffic/suspected DUI cases, has the potential to non-invasively diagnose mesothelioma , with-out the standard blood tests, bronchoscopies or biopsies that can be quite painful and may lead to any of various complications. Early detection is critical when it comes to treating and beating this highly aggressive cancer. We are now one step, or at least one BREATH, closer to a cure.
Another way to detect the risk of mesothelioma is through skin lesions. Studies have shown that specific skin spots may be an indicator of the increased risk of mesothelioma. Researchers at the University of Hawaii say that these mole-like tumors have a mutation in the BAP1 gene, which has been linked to a higher susceptibility to developing mesothelioma. With the mutation of this gene, the body’s natural cancer-suppressing functions are hindered and do not function properly or sufficiently. The appearance of the mole is likely to occur before the symptoms of mesothelioma begin to present. Biopsy and pathology would need to be done on the skin or tissue sample to confirm the existence of the specific characteristics that are unique to this gene mutation. Once confirmed, this can lead to early detection and diagnosis of mesothelioma, which can lead to early treatment and a significantly greater chance of survival.
Once diagnosed with mesothelioma, chemotherapy and radiation are the most common treatments designed to stop or at least inhibit the progression of the tumor. Scientists, Sean McAllister and Pierre Desprez, say that their research indicated marijuana can stop metastasis in certain cancers including mesothelioma. Marijuana, although still a prohibited substance, has been approved as a medicinal means to fight nausea and stimulate appetite, to control and/or treat glaucoma, schizophrenia, convulsions and neurological disorders. Now it has been found that the marijuana plant, more specifically the compound cannabidiol found in the marijuana plant, has the ability to stop the expression of the Id-1, a gene protein often responsible for the metastasis of cancers. Clinical trials are pending, but the scientists have already begun synthesizing the cannabidiol in the lab in hopes of avoiding any potential legal complications in getting the drug approved.
If you think you may be at risk for mesothelioma or any asbestos related disease, seek advice from a medical professional. Routine medical check-ups and open communication with your primary care physician are an essential part of maintaining good health.
If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma or any asbestos related condition, we can help you. Preserve your legal rights before time runs out. Our experienced Florida asbestos law firm of Reyes, O’Shea & Coloca, P.A are dedicated to the fight for the rights of these individuals stricken with mesothelioma and other asbestos related conditions, who were unknowingly exposed and put at risk. Each case is handled individually and given the attention and priority it deserves by our carefully trained legal team.