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Is There Early Detection For Asbestos Cancer?
Asbestos was mined and used commercially in North America beginning in the late 1800s. Its use increased greatly during World War II. Since then, it has been used in many industries. For example, the building and construction industry has used it for strengthening cement and plastics as well as for insulation, fireproofing, and sound absorption. The shipbuilding industry has used asbestos to insulate boilers, steampipes, and hot water pipes.
A simple blood test could detect early signs of deadly 'asbestos cancer', scientists have claimed. Patients with mesothelioma - often caused by exposure to asbestos - often die within a few years of diagnosis.
About three-fourths of mesothelioma occurrences start in the chest cavity and is known as pleural mesothelioma. Another 10% to 20% begin in the abdomen and is called peritoneal mesothelioma.
In a study published in The Lancet, researchers say checking levels of a key protein can identify over 80% of cases at an early stage.
Researchers from the Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital, Perth, Australia, developed a test to assess blood concentrations of soluble mesothelian related (SMR) protein, which has been shown to be an indicator of other cancers. The scientists believed high levels of SMR might also be seen in asbestos cancer patients.
The EPA suggested that consumers use vermiculite outdoors or in a well-ventilated area; keep vermiculite damp while using it; avoid bringing dust from vermiculite use into the home on clothing; and use premixed potting soil, which is less likely to generate dust.
Malignant mesothelioma is divided into three main types. About 50% to 70% of mesothelioma occurrences are the epithelioid type. This type has the best prognosis. The other two types are the sarcomatoid type (7%-20%), and the mixed/biphasic type (20%-35%). Treatment options for all three types are the same.
Victims who were exposed to asbestos at their workplace are entitled to compensation from government, while those who were exposed by other means can get money under common law.
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