What Is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelium (a thin lining on the lungs and abdomen). Approximately 3,000 people in the USA and 2,000 people in the UK develop this form of cancer each year. Unlike other types of cancer (where the exact cause is unknown), mesothelioma has been directly linked to past exposure to asbestos and is often referred to as asbestos lung cancer. In this article I’m going to be taking a detailed look at mesothelioma, the main types of mesothelioma and some of the natural treatment options that are available.
Who Is At Risk For Mesothelioma?
Since mesothelioma is almost always caused by exposure to asbestos, people who have had previous long term exposure (six months or longer) to this material are the most likely to develop it. Some of the most high risk occupations for this disease include asbestos mining, construction, demolition and the military (particularly the US Navy).
Even if you have not come into contact with asbestos for many years, your risk for developing the disease is still high if you’ve had past exposure. In most cases, the symptoms of mesothelioma do not start to appear till around 40 years after the initial exposure and can take as long as 60 years to show.
Types Of Mesothelioma
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium. There are two main types which are listed below:
1) Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma affects the pleura (the area of the mesothelium that lines the lungs). It’s the most common type of mesothelioma and accounts for around 75% of all cases.
The pleura itself is made up of two parts – an inner layer (which lines the lungs) and an outer layer (which lines the chest). These two layers protect the lungs and also support the breathing process by producing lubricating fluid which allows them to easily slide over each other as the lungs expand and deflate with air.
When pleural mesothelioma develops and the symptoms start to show, these two layers enlarge and press against the lungs. Not only does this make breathing more difficult but it also causes chest pain and can lead to a buildup of lubricating fluid in between the two layers.
2) Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the peritoneum (the area of the mesothelium that lines the abdomen) and represents approximately 25% of all cases.
Like the pleura, the peritoneum has two parts – an inner layer (which lines the abdominal organs) and an outer layer (which lines the abdominal wall). These two layers protect the abdominal organs, hold them in place and produce lubricating fluid which allows them to easily slide over each other when you move.
When peritoneal develops to a stage where symptoms start to show, the two layers start to enlarge and press against your abdominal organs. This then leads to abdominal pain, a buildup of lubricating fluid in between the two layers and bowel problems.
Natural Treatments For Mesothelioma
Since the symptoms of mesothelioma do not usually manifest until the cancer is at an advanced stage, treating it is very difficult and the survival rates are low. However, if you look at the stories of many mesothelioma survivors, natural treatments seem to have been the key to their success. The list below outlines some of the best methods for treating mesothelioma naturally:
1) Increase Your Intake Of Plant Based Foods: Adjusting your diet and increasing your intake of plant based foods is believed to be one of the most effective ways to treat mesothelioma naturally. The reason behind this is that plant based foods are loaded with beneficial antioxidants and nutrients that have been shown to combat mesothelioma and a range of others cancers.
2) Avoid Smoking: While smoking doesn’t cause mesothelioma, it can weaken your immune system and damage the mesothelium which makes it much more difficult for your body to combat this disease.
3) Exercise Regularly:Like with smoking, there’s no direct link between exercise and mesothelioma. However, regular exercise keeps your body and your immune system strong and ensures that you’re in the best possible shape to fight this disease. It also stimulates the release of pain reducing hormones and can make dealing with the negative symptoms of mesothelioma more bearable.
I hope this article has helped you learn about mesothelioma and the benefits of leading a healthy lifestyle. Even if you’re not currently showing any symptoms of mesothelioma, making the positive lifestyle choices discussed above is still a good idea, as they will improve your overall health and quality of life. So if you’re currently a smoker, fast food addict or couch potato, start making some changes today. Ditch the cigarettes, ensure that you’re having some fruits, nuts or vegetables with every meal and start moving more.
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