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Chemo Combination Improves Survival in Asbestos-Related Cancer

ide effects included blood cell abnormalities, nausea and diarrhea, which decreased in both incidence and severity after the vitamins were added to the treatment.

People who work trades such as shipbuilding, railway engineering, construction work and asbestos manufacture have higher rates of mesothelioma than the general public. The cancer may take 10 to 60 years to develop, and the risk does not diminish after exposure to asbestos has stopped.

Family members of people exposed to asbestos at work also have an increased risk of developing mesothelioma from asbestos fibers carried home on the clothes of the people they live with.

Daniel Baram, M.D., a pulmonologist at the Lung Cancer Evaluation Center at the State University of New York, said, “Most cases [of mesothelioma] are still from pre-OSHA workplace improvements. I suspect that modern asbestos abatement precautions will avoid most, if not all, future cases. The latency is over 30 years, so we are still diagnosing cases with exposure during World War II and the ’40s and ’50s.”

Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose, Green said, because “there is a lag of many years between exposure and asbestosis, which is a nonmalignant condition, and a greater lag before the development of overt malignancy.”

“There is no way of diagnosing the premalignant phase during the latent period of 15 to 20 years,” Green added. “Many of these patients smoke and are in economically disadvantaged communities. Many individuals have moved away from heavy industries and may not admit or know they were exposed to asbestos as young men, with similar issues for their partners.”

According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 10 percent to 15 percent of schools and other public buildings in the United States contain asbestos insulation.

Although safety measures for working with asbestos have been in place since the 1970s, mesothelioma is projected to acco
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