Life with Mesothelioma
A diagnosis for mesothelioma is difficult for both the patient and their families. Many are left still wondering where and how they were ever exposed to asbestos. There have been mesothelioma victims who have never worked anywhere near asbestos a day in their lives, yet still were exposed and are now ill. Many life changes are to be expected and that includes not only the emotional changes you may be experiencing, but also the physical changes. Mesothelioma can take a toll on your overall quality of life and the side effects caused by your medications.
Asbestos Exposure Can Happen Anywhere
Asbestos exposure can occur anywhere from a jobsite to your own home. Prior to the 1970s, asbestos-containing products were widely used by the construction industry when building residential homes and business buildings. Even schools and churches contained asbestos. When asbestos fibers are disturbed, they are released into the air and are more readily available for exposure to humans.
Asbestos Exposure Can Occur In the Following Places and Items:
- In your home through HVAC rooms, insulation, flooring, tiling, cement
- In the construction industry
- In the metal works industry
- In the shipbuilding industry
- In fireproof garments and/or protective gear both at work and home
- In the military during the 1940s through 1970s
Exposure is not limited to just the walls surrounding you. Asbestos can also be found in more secluded areas. Your home may be built near a naturally occurring asbestos deposit that is found below ground. Naturally occurring asbestos can be found in the form of a rock, like serpentine. These rocks are somewhat harmless until they are crushed or broken. When crushed or broken, the asbestos fibers are disturbed and may become airborne. These asbestos disturbances increase the chances of exposure.
You may have been living around asbestos-containing products a majority of your life and not ever know. Asbestos can also be in your home and remain undisturbed for years. Asbestos can even be found in some parts of your car. Brake pads and clutches have been known to contain asbestos. Things in your own household such as tape, paint, nails, and the fake snow that was used for Christmas decorations all may have asbestos. The stove pads that you use to cook on and the baby powder used for your infants may all contain asbestos.
Asbestos Can Also Be Found In
Asbestos companies still exist today. However, companies using asbestos products are now regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This means that the construction companies building homes using asbestos products are monitored closely by the OSHA. Unfortunately, smaller companies may operate under the radar and improper asbestos practices may be unintentionally overlooked by OSHA. If you or a loved one have worked or are currently working in a work environment with asbestos, you may be at risk for exposure.
- Heat reflectors
- Corrugated paper
- Pots, pans
- Fireproofing materials
- Ironing boards
- Children's clay
What You Can Disclose To Your Physician
It is vital that you disclose any and all asbestos exposure, or even possible sites of exposure, to your physician in order to expedite the diagnostic stage of your disease. The sooner you are diagnosed, the sooner you are treated. Write down your employment history if it will help you remember whether or not you may have been at risk for exposure back then. Your prognosis will be determined by how soon and accurate your diagnosis is.
Even if you are unsure whether or not your workplace has asbestos, do disclose the possibility of asbestos exposure, particularly if you have worked in any of the affected industries (construction, shipbuilding, metal works, and military). Your disclosure of asbestos exposure can be the difference between a lung cancer diagnosis and a mesothelioma diagnosis.
The more your physician knows about your medical history, the better they can help you select a treatment plan and diet. Your disclosure does affect your treatment plan. In order to fully assess your illness and situation, your physician must know of all family, past and current health concerns and conditions. Just because you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, does not mean you are not able to have other conditions such as diabetes. It could be helpful to prepare a list of questions for your physician in order to save time.
Ways to Improve Your Quality of Life With Food
How satisfied you are about the quality of your life during your mesothelioma treatment is important and can affect your life expectancy. There are activities you can try that can help improve your body's strength against any negative side effects caused by your treatments.
The most important aspect to improving your quality of life and your endurance to treatment is your nutrition. What you consume daily does directly affect your body and therefore it also affects how your body reacts to your mesothelioma treatments. Someone with bad nutrition undergoing chemotherapy may not do as well as someone who eats healthily.
There are a group of foods that are called "super foods" that can provide you with more than the average amount of nutrients necessary for your dietary needs. These foods are simple and can be incorporated into many meals that can prove to be both delicious, as well as nutritious.
Some Super Foods Include
There are more food items that are considered "super foods" and if you would like an extensive list, simply fill out the form to request a list and we will send one to you promptly.