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Hurricane Victims at Risk for Mesothelioma Cancer

After the 2008 hurricane season millions of Texas residents became at risk for developing mesothelioma cancer. Asbestos fibers were mixed into a toxic sludge during flooding and as the sludge dried, hurricane victims became at risk for becoming exposed to asbestos.

Although Hurricane Ike hit nearly a month ago, residents of Galveston and the surrounding Texas counties are still suffering from lingering affects of the destruction including potential exposure to asbestos fibers.

According to the International Herald Tribune, following the hurricane, homes and roads were left with debris as well as a toxic sludge made of mud, human waste, lead, gasoline and asbestos in the wake of floodwaters, which have since receded. The potential for these fibers to dry and become airborne may be serious and could cause an increased risk of mesothelioma cancer among hurricane victims as well as nearby residents because of asbestos exposure.

What is Asbestos Exposure?

Asbestos fibers become airborne and cause the development of cancerous cells among victims. For years an exposed individual can live and behave as normal while the cancer remains dormant. Unfortunately, a mesothelioma victim has a slim survival rate the longer they have waited to diagnose their condition.

The National Cancer Institute (NCI) described the following symptoms of mesothelioma:

* shortness of breath

* pain in the chest because of an accumulation of fluid

* weight loss

* abdominal pain

* bowel obstruction

* blood clotting abnormalities

* anemia

* fever

Diagnosing Mesothelioma Cancer

Unfortunately, mesothelioma cancer is considered such a rare condition, that it is often misdiagnosed for other similar diseases. The best way to diagnose mesothelioma cancer is to immediately speak with a medical professional upon any indication that exposure to asbestos has occurred.

The individuals affected by debris from Hurricane Ike as well as those affected by any additional natural disasters, which may have left toxic materials behind, should contact their physician to set up a mesothelioma screening. According to the England center for cancer research, Cancer Research UK, a number or all of the following procedures will likely be administered to narrow down the likelihood of a mesothelioma diagnosis:

* general physician examination

* blood tests

* chest X-ray or abdominal X-ray

* CT scan of chest/abdomen to determine swelling in body organs/lymph nodes

* biopsy of the pleura is done, also known as a thoracoscopy, in which a small incision is made the chest wall in which a video camera is inserted

* fluid drainage, also known as the thoracocentesis or abdoparacentesis), will help to relieve fluid from around the lugs or abdominal cavity for those with peritoneal mesothelioma

Uses for Asbestos

Asbestos has been classified as a human carcinogen because of the scarring of tissue and inflammation it can cause among its victims. During the 20th century, asbestos was heavily used increasing it as a potential threat for individuals.

Asbestos was mined from the late 1800s up through World War II and was used for commercial use, according to the NCI:

* building and construction

* strengthening cement and plastics

* insulation

* roofing

* fireproofing

* sound absorption

* shipbuilding

* insulate boilers

* steam pipes

* hot water pipes

* vehicle brakeshoes

* vehicle clutch pads

* ceiling

* flooring

* paints/coatings

* tile

* adhesives

* plastics

* gardening materials

* talc-containing crayons

By the end of the 1970s after millions, potentially billions, of tons of asbestos had been used in products as well as homes, apartments, hospitals and elementary schools throughout America, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) finally banned the use of new asbestos in products and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took responsibility for ensuring proper cleanup is used to remove asbestos, which still remains a threat to many Americans today.

Professional Mesothelioma Assistance

As millions of individuals remain potentially at risk for asbestos exposure across America it becomes important to be self-educated on the condition, its symptoms as well as diagnosing steps. Individuals who feel they may be suffering from mesothelioma cancer should contact not only a medical professional but also a mesothelioma attorney. Most legal consultations are freeBusiness Management Articles, which allows an individual to better understand the development of a mesothelioma case.

Article Tags: Hurricane Victims, Mesothelioma Cancer

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Learn more about asbestos fibers and how they can expose victims to developing mesothelioma cancer by visiting or Additionally, individuals can learn about other legal topics such as how to obtain a truck accident attorney or overcoming Avandia risks.

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