For most people, a cancer diagnosis can come as a complete surprise. Even those with no family history of the disease and who live a healthy lifestyle are susceptible to a range of cancers, many of them often beyond their control. This is part of what makes cancer so devastating. However, certain cancers are considered preventable because they have a specific root cause.
How to Prevent Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma, a cancer affecting the linings of internal organs, is a notable example caused by exposure to the mineral asbestos.
Asbestos is a set of six naturally occurring minerals found in the Earth’s crust. Tremolite, chrysotile, and amosite are the most dangerous and widely used types of asbestos. It was widely used throughout much of the 20th century as an additive in a variety of products and industries.
This mineral was mainly valued due to properties of heat resistance and electrical insulation, which made it an attractive additive for products that experience heat and stress. Vehicle brake pads, wire insulation, fire retardant blankets, and wall insulation are only a few of the many products that have contained asbestos.
When any of these products decay over time or are broken otherwise, microscopic asbestos fibers are released into the air. Once airborne, they can be inhaled or ingested and settle in the body. The fibers are too small to be naturally expelled by coughing or other bodily processes and become stuck in sensitive internal tissue. These particles stay in the body for many years, and over a period of 40 years can develop scarring and cancerous tumors.
These tumors, most commonly occurring in the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen are known as mesothelioma cancer. This form of cancer takes a long time to detect, making the life expectancy unfortunately short.
Since this cancer has an identifiable external cause, it is considered preventable.
Protect Yourself and Others from Asbestos
Though many of the dangerous asbestos-containing products are no longer being manufactured, the products of yesteryear still pose a threat to human health.
Professionals who may come into contact with asbestos-containing products include boilermakers, shipyard workers, mechanics, construction workers and first responders. Since no level of asbestos exposure is considered safe, these men and women are instantly put into danger when exposed to the material .
If you work around these products or in these industries, be vigilant. Keeping masks on hand to cover your nose and mouth is standard for some people, and is a good way to prevent contact for others. If you see or suspect asbestos present you should go through a four-step process.
4 Steps to Prevent Exposure to Asbestos
#1. Immediately cover your airways. Either with a mask or a clean cloth, the fabric will catch the fibers before they can enter your body.
#2. Hose down the area. Though asbestos fibers can stay airborne for up to 72 hours, they are not impervious to water weighing them down. Wetting an at-risk area will prevent any further fibers from being released immediately as well.
#3. Change and thoroughly wash your clothing. Asbestos fibers can also settle into the weave of fabric, where they may be shaken off later and endanger other people. This exposure is known as third-wave exposure, because it may infect people who neither manufactured nor came directly into contact with the products at a later date.
#4. Call an abatement professional. These professionals are well-trained to properly remove and dispose of asbestos-containing materials and are always the best ones for the job. Call different professionals for a quote and to actually do the job to ensure you’re getting a fair price. Do not attempt to remove asbestos on your own.
Taking these steps will hopefully prevent exposure from asbestos in previously manufactured products. However, though asbestos is banned in more than 60 nations worldwide, including Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, it is not banned in the United States.
Currently, the U.S. allows asbestos in amounts of up to 1% in new products. Though this may not seem like a lot, it’s still enough for contamination. Additionally, even with these guidelines, asbestos can end up in unwanted places.
Over the last year, multiple different makeup brands have been found to contain asbestos. Clearly, applying asbestos fibers directly to one’s face poses a larger threat than it does in insulation hidden behind drywall. The best course of action is to educate yourself on where asbestos may be found and how to avoid it.
Heal Your Body from Asbestos Contamination
Unfortunately, many times even the most cognizant and hard-working people fall are affected by asbestos contamination. Surgery, immunotherapy, drugs, and radiation are all commonly prescribed forms of treatment for mesothelioma cancer.
Recent research also suggests exciting new advancements in more natural remedies. Practices like short-term or intermittent fasting, as well as increased attention on mental health, may hold keys to unlocking a fool-proof mesothelioma cure.
Studies have shown that fasting, when done properly, can often starve and prevent the growth of cancerous cells. Once diagnosed, mesothelioma moves quickly and gives patients a short life expectancy that may be greatly extended by stopping the cancer’s progression in its tracks.
To be effective, fasting must be closely monitored by a professional to insure the patient isn’t ultimately harming their body. Fasting is considered most effective when coupled with other treatments. Starving the cancer cells creates a sort of barrier to growth to allow alternative forms of treatment to take effect.
Research into the mindset of cancer patients has also found a two-way connection between mental health and cancer outcomes. Not only does a poor prognosis seem to increase the incidence of depression and anxiety, but pre-existing depression and anxiety seem to lead to shorter life expectancy.
Among cancer patients, those with cancers affecting the lungs have been found to have the worst levels of mental health disorders stemming from diagnosis. The Australian Psychological Society found that these patients experience higher morbidity when coupled with anxiety or mental health disorders.
Treating the body as a whole system is the only way to truly fight cancer and have the patient come out healthy on the other side. Taking into account mental health, as well as nutritional value, could have profound effects on a person’s life span and wellbeing.