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Study: 40 years after asbestos exposure, mesothelioma risk rises

While most people are well aware of the deadly medical conditions often associated with asbestos exposure -- including mesothelioma -- many are surprised to learn that the risk of developing these conditions can last for years after exposure. In some cases, victims don't even show symptoms of mesothelioma until decades later.

Could FitBits help monitor the surgical recovery of meso victims?

While most people simply use their FitBits to track their steps and daily activity, one student intern at the Pacific Heart, Lung & Blood Institute (PHLBI) is hoping to use these common fitness trackers to monitor the surgical recovery of patients. The goal of this newest clinical research project is to use data collected both before and after surgery -- including walking data, heart rates and sleeping patterns -- to determine how quickly surgical patients get back to their normal routines following surgery. Ultimately, the researcher hopes to demonstrate that the use of an activity monitor can help patients return to their daily lives faster.

Are genetic biomarkers the key to treating mesothelioma?

Victims of malignant mesothelioma -- an aggressive form of cancer typically linked to asbestos exposure -- have few effective treatment options available today. In fact, while overall survival periods have increased in recent years due to the introduction of chemotherapy treatments, some estimates still put the average survival at only 14.5 months. Even worse, the response rate to chemotherapy when it comes to malignant mesothelioma is only roughly 40 percent. However, researchers in Slovenia have developed a model that will hopefully improve these numbers. Specifically, they recently studied whether genetic biomarkers can be used to create individualized treatment options for mesothelioma victims, which they hope will improve the response rate to chemotherapy.

Will drug trial help in the fight against mesothelioma?

For years, researchers have known of the link between asbestos exposure and the development of mesothelioma — a deadly form of cancer that affects the membrane protecting the body’s major internal organs. In fact, virtually every new case mesothelioma can be tied to asbestos exposure in one way or another.

Will proposed bill keep asbestos legal?

Despite some estimates that asbestos continues to claim as many as 15,000 lives every year, it still hasn’t been completely banned in the United States. In addition, the Senate is now considering new legislation that many believe will, if passed, make it much more difficult for federal agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to ban this dangerous material in the future.

'Bathroom upgrade' was actually asbestos removal, residents claim

After being asked to leave their Massachusetts apartment complex for 10 days for supposed bathroom upgrades, many residents began to worry when they were still unable to move back nearly a month later. Why the delay? Residents found out that asbestos was actually being removed from their building.

Think your home may contain asbestos? Homeowner do's and don'ts.

If your home was built prior to 1980, there is a good chance that it once contained asbestos — and it may still be there today. In fact, many building materials used to contain significant amounts of asbestos, including various types of insulation, roofing and siding shingles, ceiling/floor/vinyl tiles, cement board and pipe wrap, just to name a few.

While serving their country, countless vets exposed to asbestos

While vets from virtually every branch of the military may have been exposed to asbestos while serving their country — including those in the Army, Air Force and Marines — those serving in the US Navy may have experienced the worst of it. In fact, you could probably find asbestos on almost any US Naval ship built prior to the 1980s. From fireproofing to insulation, literally tons of asbestos was used for a variety of purposes on each vessel.

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