Mesothelioma cancer is one of the rarest and deadliest forms of cancer that can be diagnosed to a patient. The life expectancy is often very short and there are often no successful treatment options, which is why it is imperative for a mesothelioma patient to participate in a clinical trial.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has made available an array of clinical trials for mesothelioma cancer patients to become involved in and explains that "clinical trials are research studies that test how well new medical approaches work in people." Additionally, the NCI claims that those who partake in "cancer clinical trials have an opportunity to contribute to knowledge of, and progress against, cancer," which may save the lives of others someday. According to the NCI there are several varieties of clinical trials available to participate in, including the following:
* Prevention trials, which test new medicines, vitamins, supplements or approaches to decreasing the risk of certain cancers.
* Screening trials are conducted in an attempt to detect types of cancers early on, which is extremely important for mesothelioma case studies.
* Diagnostic trials "study tests or procedures that can be used to identify cancer more accurately," according to the NCI.
* Individuals who have cancer can become involved in treatment trials that are developed in a way so participants can better understand and evaluate the effectiveness of a new treatment.
* Quality-of-life or supportive care trials study the side effects commonly associated with cancers and cancer treatments.
Individuals who would like to take part in a clinical trial because of their mesothelioma cancer diagnosis will find that clinical trials are professional and safe, according to the NCI, as they are commonly sponsored by government agencies including:
* National Cancer Institute
* National Institutes of Health (NIH)
* The Department of Defense
* Department of Veterans Affairs
Additionally, the NCI reports that individuals who do participate in clinical trials are protected by "strict scientific and ethical principles" and that "every clinical trial has a protocol, or action plan, which acts like a 'recipe' for conducting the trial." Also, all clinical trials that evaluate new drugs or medical devices for treatment of the cancer or its side effects and that are federally funded are "subject to FDA regulation that must be reviewed and approved by an Institutional Review Board (IRB)."
What Is Mesothelioma?
The NCI reported that mesothelioma cancer is rare and often affects either the mesothelium (membrane covering the internal organs) or the peritoneum, which is the "mesothelial tissue covering most of the organs in the abdominal cavity inside the body,".
Mesothelioma has been linked to the inhalation of asbestos fibers or dust, which has often been linked to employees working in an array of construction-related fields. The University of Toronto Environment Health and Safety department described the following asbestos uses:
* sprayed fireproofing within buildings on "structural steelwork"
* thermal insulation was used for boilers, pipes, hot water tanks and heaters
* ceilings and walls may have had asbestos applied to them as "acoustic or decorative finishes"
* roofing materials
* acoustic paneling, ceiling tiles
* electric insulation
* laboratory bench tops
* water or sewage piping systems
* asbestos-cement products
* asbestos paper, textile or felt products
* door gaskets on furnaces or stoves
* pipeline wrap
* asbestos coatings, sealants, adhesives
* vinyl floor tiles, vinyl sheet flooring
* table pads
* heat protective mats
* fire blankets and protective clothing
Because asbestos was found to be a highly fire-retardant product as well as inexpensive when mass produced, its uses were wide spread for years until researchers made the link between asbestos and mesothelioma. Unfortunately, it took years for the link to be discovered as mesothelioma cancer often remains dormant for 10 to 30 years upon initial exposure.
Living With Mesothelioma
Patients living with mesothelioma often face a grim, uphill battle of tremendously debilitating side effects as well as a lack of treatments and poor quality of life. Becoming involved in a mesothelioma clinical trial can potentially enhance the remaining years of a victim's life or serve to extend the victim's life expectancy.
It is also advisable to participate in a mesothelioma lawsuit, which may offer monetary compensation for a victim of this highly preventable and deadly cancer.
Copyright (c) 2008 Katie Kelley