Thursday, July 31, 2008

Early Breast Cancer Detection

Most women are familiar with mammography as our gold standard for breast cancer screening. However, there are additional tools available that women can add to their arsenal.

One of the most effective tools in breast cancer screening is breast self-exam (BSE). However, BSE works best when women are appropriately trained in the procedure, and then followed-up with annual clinical breast exams (CBE) from their physicians. In a 2000 University of Toronto study, approximately 20,000 women were screened for breast cancer with BSE and annual CBE, and 20,000 were screened with BSE and mammograms. After more than 10 years, the BSE and annual CBE reported 610 cases of invasive breast cancer, and 105 deaths. In the BSE and mammogram group, there were 622 cases of invasive breast cancer and 107 deaths. Without question, the first line of defense against breast cancer begins with diligent BSE.

Other tools that are available to women include the AMAS (anti-malignan antibody screen) test and the NMP Nuclear matrix protein) test. Both these are blood tests that measure a certain protein in the blood that may indicate cancer. The AMAS test has been around for several years while the NMP test has not been available until only recently. Clinical trials continue in this area.

One additional tool that may detect an issue early is digital infrared thermal imaging or DITI. In 1982, the FDA approved thermography as an adjunctive tool for breast cancer screening. DITI measures heat emitted from the body and is accurate to 1/100th of a degree. DITI examines physiology, NOT structure. It is in this capacity that DITI can monitor breast HEALTH over time and alert a patient or physician to a developing problem; possibly before a lump can be seen on X-ray or palpated clinically. There are no test limitations such as breast density. DITI is a non-invasive test that does not emit radiation.

The unique characteristics of cancer allow DITI to detect breast cancer at an earlier stage of growth. As cancer is developing, it builds its own blood supply which is then reflected as increased heat in that particular region of the breast. DITI has a specificity of 83%; which reflects a problem in its early stages of development not late-stage cancer as in mammography. An abnormal thermogram carries a 10-times greater risk for cancer and a persistently abnormal thermogram carries a 22-times greater risk for cancer.

Clinical research studies continue to support thermography?s role as an adjunctive tool in breast cancer screening and the ONLY tool that measures breast health over time. There are now more than 800 publications on over 300,000 women in clinical trials. A recent finding published in the American Journal of Radiology in 2003 showed that thermography has 99% sensitivity in identifying breast cancer with single examinations and limited views. Scientists concluded that a negative thermogram is powerful evidence that cancer is not present.

Thermographic screening is not covered by most insurance companies but is surprisingly affordable for most people. For more information or to find a certified clinic in your area, go to

Brenda Witt is co-owner of Proactive Health Solutions in Southern California. She is an American College of Clinical Thermology (ACCT) certified thermographer in the Orange County area.

Mesothelioma Lawsuits Road To Justice For The Unfortunate Victims

What are mesothelioma lawsuits and how do they arise?

Mesothelioma lawsuits are filed by the victims of mesothelioma to avail reparations for medical expenses, pain & suffering and loss of income associated with the growth of this disease. Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer, which is inflicted by exposure to asbestos most frequently used in industrial and residential places till the late seventies. The numbers of mesothelioma victims were on the rise as the employers continued using these hazardous materials despite knowing the harmful consequences of them. Thus the poor workers, who were ignorant of the potential health risks that they were about to confront, were the unfortunate victims.

In case the victim dies there is a provision that one of the family members or the executor of his estate can file the lawsuit. On the other hand a family member who has contracted the disease from the victim of mesothelioma can also file a lawsuit.

Thus, if an individual is victimized owing to the negligence of another person, he has absolute right to take legal actions in the court of law for compensation. An individual needs to first consult with an attorney who deals with asbestos litigation and on his discretion the victim can file the suit.

How long does the process take and what are the end results?

These lawsuits tend to be cumbersome and longwinded. It could also stretch to years even to reach any settlement. Again all lawsuits are not necessarily longwinded; some of them take lesser time. However, in some of the cases the victims receive negligible amount of money, most of which are used to meet the lawyer?s and the court?s expenses. Nevertheless victims of mesothelioma should exhibit their rights and fight for their compensation. Again, mesothelioma lawsuits are generally settled out of court before they are set for trail. This actually makes more sense because it curtails court expenses for both the parties.

What can you do if you are uncertain about exposure to asbestos?

If you don?t know where and when you were exposed to asbestos, you should speak to your lawyer who will help you out. The lawyer may possibly hire a professional investigator who can make the necessary investigations so as to find out where the exposure had occurred and who are the ones that can be held responsible.

How much do you have to pay?

Factually, you need not pay unless and until you receive your compensation. It is only then that your lawyer shall take a percentage out of the compensation as his remuneration.

How much can you expect as compensation?

Well it depends on how creditable your case is. You will find that past settlements amounted to quite a ransom. But in the recent past with the subsequent increase in the number of mesothelioma lawsuits, there is a sleek chance to realize the entire amount.

The history of mesothelioma lawsuits

According to U.S mesothelioma history, the first ever mesothelioma lawsuit was filed in 1966 against the careless use of asbestos. But unfortunately the verdict went against the case. For the second time, another suit was put forward for a co-worker and this time the case was won. This gave impetus to all those helpless victims who craved for justice as innumerable mesothelioma lawsuits cropped up simultaneously.

Mesothelioma lawsuits also tells us that how ignorant people were initially about the causes and the aftereffects of the deadly disease. But now with the intervention of the law firms the victims of mesothelioma are provided with all-round assistance as regards lawful solutions to their righteous problems.

Choosing A Mesothelioma Doctor

Choosing a doctor that is right for you can make all the difference in your treatment experience. Below are doctors with national and international reputations for their work with mesothelioma patients. The American Cancer Society has provided a checklist of topics to consider and questions to ask your doctor which may be helpful in choosing a doctor as your treating physician or to get a second opinion.

A Mesothelioma diagnosis can be stressful for anyone and therefore you will have a lot of questions. The following worksheets will guide you in asking the right questions when consulting a doctor about what the right course of treatment is best for you.

Where Do I Go From Here?

After diagnosis, it is important to understand your treatment options. Your doctor or oncologist will provide you with information on the treatments that are available to you.

If you have mesothelioma, or any other asbestos-related disease, you were most likely exposed to asbestos. Many of the manufacturers of asbestos insulation products knew for decades that asbestos was hazardous, yet made a business decision not to warn people of those hazards. As a result, you may have a right of recovery against those manufacturers, which can help defray the costs of treatment and provide compensation for your pain and suffering.

Pleural Mesothelioma Diagnosis

Proper diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma, a form of cancer in the thoracic cavity caused by contact with asbestos, is of great importance because it enables the patient to get disease-specific treatment immediately and also arms him adequately for any lawsuit for compensation.

Unfortunately, diagnosis of this sickness is a very difficult process. The reasons are several. There are no specific to the disease outward signs. The symptoms like breathing difficulty, coughing, weight loss, chest and back pains, and fatigue among others are common to many ailments. They can confuse a doctor. And these indications take twenty to forty or fifty years after contact with asbestos to manifest. If some cases there may be no perceptible clues till the cancer has spread. Many doctors are unfamiliar with the disease. One key factor that would give the correct lead to a doctor is the information whether the patient had exposure to asbestos in the past. Since most of the pleural mesothelioma patients are in the sixty-seventy age group, there is the possibility that some of them may not recall details dating back forty or fifty years.

Diagnostic procedure starts with studying the patient?s medical history in detail and giving him a complete physical check up. Next comes imaging. This includes x-ray, CT (Computed Tomography) scan, MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and PET (position emission tomography). These may reveal irregular thickening of the pleura (membrane lining the thorax), fluid collection in that area, congestion of the lungs, and mineral deposits. Magnified view and laboratory tests assist in determining whether chemicals found are the same as those seen in pleural mesothelioma cases. Analysis of fluid, tissues and lymph nodes helps in reaching a conclusion. Sometimes bronchoscopy, in which a lighted flexible tube is inserted through the moth, is done. Thorascopy in which the doctor looks into the chest cavity may also be performed. Finally, a pleural biopsy confirms the diagnosis.

An October 2005 report states that a new method that assists diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is to measure the presence of osteopontin in blood.

Pleural Mesothelioma provides detailed information on Malignant Diffuse Pleural Mesothelioma, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma, Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma Survival Rate, Mesothelioma Pleural Brachytherapy and more. Pleural Mesothelioma is affiliated with Peritoneal Mesothelioma Lawyers.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

10 Options in Treating Mesothelioma

As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.

It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:

1.If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy. Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.

2.Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.

3.Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.

4.Biological therapy using interleukin 2.

5.Immunotherapy where the body?s own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.

6.Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy.

7.Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.

8.Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.

9.Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.

10.Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy.

Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient?s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.

In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.

Paul Wilson is a freelance writer for , the premier REVENUE SHARING discussion forum for Health Forum including topics on health care, Children's Health Issues, addiction, Cancer, fitness equipment, Burns & Injuries and more. His article profile can be found at the premier Health Article Submission Directory

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What Is Mesothelioma Cancer?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the abdominal cavity, chest cavity, and the area around the heart. It has an uncommon nature that makes it difficult to diagnose and treat. It has been connected with exposure to asbestos, which is a material that was found in many work environments. There is a small amount of people that are diagnosed with this terrible disease.

Normal mesothelioma therapies include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. You should keep in mind that if you choose one course of action for mesothelioma treatment, you might preclude other courses. All of your options should be considered as soon as possible.

When individuals have a prolonged history of working with asbestos, they are at higher risk of Mesothelioma cancer. It will take the people that have been exposed to this type of asbestos to not have any kind of symptoms for up to forty years. This means that the average age of the people that are finding out that they have this problem are between the ages of fifty and seventy. There are more men that are being diagnosed than women. This is due to the fact that there were more industrial settings found to have the asbestos.

Mesothelioma cancer will cause fluid to accumulate between the lung lining and the chest cavity. This can be determined through a chest x-ray as well as a CT scan. A biopsy will have to be performed to confirm the diagnoses.

Mesothelioma cancer is a life threatening disease and should not be left untreated. If someone had this type of cancer, they need to seek the help of a medical professional as soon as possible. There are forms of treatment that have to be set into place so that the person has a chance at their life.

In recent years asbestos has not been used in anything. Since it has been determined that it is so dangerous to one?s health, the federal government has forbad the use of this type of material in any industry or products. A lot of the industries in the fifties and sixties were contaminated with asbestos that caused many people to have mesothelioma cancer.

Many sources are dedicated to help the victims of this awful disease. Many agencies are going to great lengths to help the people that have been affected and the families that have had to suffer because of this terrible disease. Even though this is a rare disease, it can affect thousands of families each year.

Some of the treatments of Mesothelioma cancer include surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. You need to keep in mind that if you choose one course of treatment for this disease, you may have to take on another challenge or even try another form of treatment for it to work. You must keep going and try all that is offered to ensure that you beat this terrible disease.

Copyright 2006 - Ivar Rudi. Ivar suggests you find great market for less by shopping online today. For more information and resources about this subject check out: and also

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Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) Are You In Balance?

It has been two years since the Women's Health Initiative Estrogen plus Progestin (WHI) arm of this large trial was stopped early because it caused harm. The WHI showed the opposite of what was expected--Estrogen (Premarin) plus Progestin (Provera) caused heart disease and breast cancer as well as blood clots and strokes. WHI results show that estrogen does not improve the quality of life for women. WHI estrogen plus progestin results are evidence-based. We now have evidence-based proof that HRT is harmful to women.

But people are still taking Hormone Replacement Therapy and are concerned about estrogen deficiency. Why?

Little has changed because the fundamental, negative ideas about women and about menopause have not changed. Universal menopausal hormone therapy ... (is) based on a cultural belief that women are inferior and need fixing. For over twenty years I have been saying that menopause is a natural part of women's life cycle, the low estrogen levels after menopause are healthy and not abnormal. This made me unpopular--I have been labeled as way-out or worse. Therefore the WHI results for me were a vindication, says Jerilynn C. Prior BA, MD, FRCPC Professor of Endocrinology, Scientific Director, Centre for Menstrual Cycle and Ovulation Research, University of British Columbia.

And, she is correct. Two years after the WHI study little has changed. If you go to your doctor today and request HRT most will prescribe it for you. Despite the fact that The Women's Health Initiative, the largest controlled trial of ovarian hormone therapy ever performed, provided the strongest proof that Medicine (which has been strongly influenced by the Pharmaceutical Industry) causes harm for women.

The website for the WHI study said, Women should stop their study drugs immediately. Following that order led to hot flushes in many women who were on hormone therapy because their body had adjusted to that higher level of estrogen. Women who heard the news of the study in the media also often stopped their therapy abruptly. That led to severe hot flushes in hundreds of thousands of women and in virtually all women who had previously experienced them.

Because it is well known that rapid withdrawal from estrogen causes night sweats and hot flushes, all physicians should have been ready with advice for women wanting to stop estrogen. Says Dr. Prior.

For Lack of helpful information, and because the resulting symptoms of night sweats/hot flushes were so miserable, many women, in desperation, reluctantly restarted unwanted HRT treatment.

It seems logical to now say that the WHI results require re-thinking of the concepts on which menopausal replacement and estrogen deficiency were based. The primary assumption that all women needed estrogen because they were deficient still needs to be addressed. I like what Dr. Susan Love said, If estrogen deficiency is a disease, all men have it! Destroying the concept of estrogen deficiency will be hard and may take many years to achieve.

In the mean time where does that leave you and I?

Estrogen Dominance not estrogen deficiency, according to Dr. John Lee is at the crux of our dilemma and bringing our hormones back into balance will be the key to hormonal health.

STEP 1. Become informed. The Let's Talk About Hormones video provides valuable information on hormone balancing. Dr. Lee's What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Menopause has just been updated. Information is the key to your power!

STEP 2. Evaluate your own hormones with a saliva test whether you are on hormones currently or not. Find out if you have adequate hormone levels or are truly deficient.

STEP 3. Work with someone who understands the issues. Dr. Lee felt that most women can themselves oversee their hormonal challenges. If you must select a healthcare provider choose one who like Dr. Prior says, I will never again prescribe estrogen as a pill. There is now overwhelming controlled trial evidence that pill forms of estrogen cause unacceptably high rates of clots and perhaps, through clotting, also increased strokes and heart disease. There are not yet strong data but it is likely that estrogen given through the skin (as a gel, cr?me or patch) will be less likely to activate liver clotting factors and thus safer. To me it means bio-identical or natural kinds of estrogen and progesterone both given in physiological doses.

STEP 4. Just know that balancing hormones is not just about taking additional hormones but about diet and lifestyle changes.

I believe that we have a unique opportunity, right now, as women on this second anniversary of the initial WHI results. We can become pro-active about our own hormone health and share with those women around us who are struggling with their hormone challenges. Women reaching out to other women will have a greater effect than waiting for the research to catch up. Each of us must practice living with these important ideas. Then hormonal health will be ours.

This Article Is Copyright 2006 Jackie L. Harvey & Saliva Testing com

Jackie Harvey is a nutritional speaker who shares her interest and information on hormone health and saliva testing throughout North America in her popular Let's Talk About Hormones seminar. Visit her website for a schedule of events in your area and for more information about her Best Selling 1-hour video Let's Talk About Hormones with Jackie Harvey. Click For More information on Saliva Hormone Testing and Hormone Balancing

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