Positive Thinking Can Help You Overcome Addiction

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As a result of living in a society where drinking alcohol is acceptable and even encouraged, millions of adolescents and adults struggle with managing their alcohol consumption. Alcohol abuse, such as binge drinking, can result in many problems like driving under the influence of alcohol and can lead to addiction.

 

While some individuals are predisposed to becoming addicted to alcohol, anyone from any background can struggle with addiction. Overcoming alcohol addiction can be a difficult journey, but many have found sobriety thanks to positive thinking.

Overcoming Negativity During Recovery

 

From an in-patient treatment program for group meetings and counseling, there are many different treatment methods for overcoming alcohol addiction. There is no one specific method that’s better than another as success varies for each. During recovery, addicts learn a lot about themselves, uncover their past, emotions, and what triggers their drinking.

 

For many recovering addicts, negative experiences in life were the catalyst in their alcohol abuse, and it can take some time to come to terms with negativity and let it go. For some, it’s an easy process, for others it’s a lifelong struggle.

Tips for Keeping a Positive Mindset while Overcoming Addiction

 

First of all, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. There are millions of other people who have similar struggles. If your support system is full of individuals who abuse alcohol, it’s time find people who are sober or in recovery. A healthy support system is crucial to staying positive and healthy.

 

Here are some other tips for staying positive:

 

Stay Active: Consider getting a gym membership or start running with a friend. Set goals, hold yourself accountable, and focus on how good you feel after each workout.

 

Eat Well: If you drank alcohol with every meal, it might be challenging to rediscover mealtime without it but allow yourself to discover healthy eating. Take a cooking class, check out new restaurants, host a sober dinner party.

 

Play with Your Pet: Take your dog to the dog park or make a cat tree for your cat. Spending time with your pet can lower your stress levels and be therapeutic overall. On dark days, having a pet can keep you accountable and motivated. If you don’t have a pet, consider adopting or visit the animal shelter.

 

Travel: If you are able, plan a trip to a place you’ve always wanted to visit. Take a hike in the Redwood Forest or swim in the ocean. During your trip, journal, take pictures and meditate. Revisiting this trip, in your mind, can keep you positive when you have a challenging day.

 

Volunteer: Volunteerism is a great way to get connected to others in your community, give back, and have a sense of purpose. Whether you volunteer your time at the local food shelf or with Veterans, recognize that you are making a difference.

 

Treat Yourself: Treating yourself to some of life’s most simple things like a latte from your favorite coffee shop or a fresh new haircut, can bring a smile to your face and make you feel good to be alive and sober.

 

For most, recovery is a lifelong process, but being sober is one of the best things you can do for yourself. Positive thinking is just one of the many valuable tools you will need on your journey.

5 Signs You’re Not Sleeping Enough

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We know the importance of sleep and the negative repercussions that are experienced when we don’t receive the recommended eight or more hours per night. Did you know that the negative impact and reach further than just being tired and grumpy? Sleep plays a much larger role in your health and overall wellbeing. Consider the following signs to see if you’re getting enough sleep:

 

Lack of Sleep Causes Accidents

 

When you’ve been deprived of sleep your mind has a slower reaction time to respond. As reported by WebMD.com, “studies have shown the loss of sleep and low-quality sleep can lead to accidents and injuries on the job.” Robbing yourself of the appropriate amount of sleep is a hazard and one that can follow you to work and result in a workplace accident that can put you out of work for months.

 

Lack of sleep can also put you at risk behind the wheel. When considering delayed reaction time as a result of drowsiness, it would be wise to think twice before endangering the lives of others and yourself.

 

Depression

 

It has also been reported that those who aren’t getting adequate sleep are more prone to experience signs of depression. In fact, the lack of sleep can aggravate symptoms of depression that can even make it more difficult to fall asleep.

 

Keep in mind that if you experience a restless night or two you’re not going to experience severe depression or develop insomnia, these results are a result of long term effects. If you’re having trouble sleeping or falling asleep, evaluate your nightly ritual and determine if you’re taking the necessary steps for a good night slumber.

 

Looking Aged

 

Another sign that you’re not getting enough rest is looking aged and older than you are. Extensive loss of sleep can lead to your body producing cortisol, a stress hormone that breaks down skin collagen. It’s not called beauty rest for nothing. Consider if you’re seeing fine lines, dark circles under the eyes, and skin that lacks in color. Looking your best means feeling your best. Do yourself a favor and get the sleep you need for younger looking skins.

 

Weight Gain

 

Another signal that you might be losing on the snoozing, is an increase in your weight. Loss of sleep can trigger an appetite. When you are losing out on the sleep your body needs, your body send mixed signals which is the result of being hungry, particularly for foods that are high in fat and carbohydrates. If you’re looking to shed a few pounds, the result could be as easily as sleeping it off.

 

Health Issues

 

By this point, it’s obvious that sleep is a detrimental part of our daily routines; however, it should also be noted that an experience in sleep loss can be a severe risk to your health. A few risks to consider can be that of diabetes, heart disease, heart attacks, and high blood pressure. Considering these high-risk factors of sleep loss, it would be in your best interest to make yourself get enough sleep each night. Avoiding these health hazards by sleeping is an easy way to promote wellness in your everyday routine.

 

We understand the importance of getting a good night’s sleep and symptoms that could entail that we’re not getting enough. Consider monitoring your sleep and review your daily routine to determine whether you should be making changes.

 

What are other signs that you’re not getting enough sleep?

How to Boost Your Confidence During Chemotherapy

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Are you feeling down and out about chemotherapy treatment side effects? Many people find it difficult to cope with the drastic physical change of this treatment since it results in hair loss and weight gain. The truth of the matter is that most people aren’t alone in struggling to feel their best with their body image.

 

Since chemotherapy can cause hair loss and trigger menopause, which often leads to weight gain, its normal to feel like you’ve been betrayed by your body. Fortunately, a growing number of cancer treatment centers offer body image counseling. Take into consideration a few tips that should lead you on the path of coping with your body, post-cancer.

Be Inspired by What You’ve Always Liked About Yourself

 

Many people can admit that there is one single thing they like about themselves. This would be a great opportunity to enhance that with your favorite attire and makeup. At this point, it would also be an appropriate time to consider your favorite wig or headpiece that makes your feel your best.

 

Boosting your confidence with some minor retail therapy can certainly make you feel your best. Make sure to bring your closest friends to get their opinions as well.

 

Physical Activity

 

Exercise has been a great way to feel good about yourself. As you’re embarking on a new journey with some side effects that can result in weight gain, it would be a time in which you can consider regular exercise. Exercising regularly can help you combat fatigue and weight gain. Exercise will also result in making you feel stronger and becoming another way to boost your self-confidence. Nothing can compare to the feeling of overcoming your struggles by doing something physical to fight back.

 

Another great form of exercise to increase your strength is yoga. In addition to feeling stronger and avoiding fatigue by working out is feeling the physical benefits of yoga. Those to practice yoga regularly have an increase in flexibility, tone and muscle strength, energy, metabolism, and overall performance.

 

Stay Honest

 

In seeking for support and advice, it can be difficult to tap into your raw feelings as you continuously take orders from the doctors as you’re being picked and probed, test after test. It would be wise to be honest with yourself about how you’re feeling. One way to cope with this would be journaling. There are many forms of journaling and due to technology, a great way to share your journey as an inspiration to others is by video blogging, or vlogging. This video journal shares your thoughts and feelings as you experience an array of emotions. This provides you with an opportunity to connect with others going through the same thing that you are. This opportunity allows others to find something to relate to, including yourself.

 

Another way to keep in touch with your emotions is to be honest with your partner. In a time where everything is new and scary, it’s best to keep the ones you love close. Tell your partner about your concern and let them know how you feel. This can be a sensitive time and keeping a healthy line of communication will allow you to feel that support that you need.

 

Although, these are all great ways to boost your level of self-confidence during a time of need, there are many other ways to help yourself. Be sure to continue to accept support, partake in activities for yourself, and whatever makes you feel better.

What You Need to Know about PTSD and How You Can Prevent it from Controlling Your Life

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop after experiencing any kind of shocking event. Often times, people associate PTSD with members of the armed forces. While there are people in the military who do develop this disorder after a traumatic event, it can also occur in people who are involved in car accidents, have undergone a surgery or who have experienced a loved one passing away.

According to auto accident attorneys at Millar and Mixon, if you have been in a motor vehicle accident of any kind, you could be at risk of developing PTSD. If you start to notice signs or symptoms, it’s important that you speak with your doctor right away.

Symptoms of PTSD typically begin early – within 3 months of the incident – though there are situations where they can start to arise years later. Because each individual’s situation is so different, the course of the disorder will always vary. Some people recover after 6 months, while for others it can take years to heal.

There are several different types of symptoms that can be seen in PTSD. Re-experiencing symptoms include flashbacks, bad dreams and frightening thoughts. Avoidance symptoms are things such as not visiting certain places and avoiding feelings or thoughts that trigger certain memories. Arousal and reactivity symptoms include the feeling of constantly being on edge or tense. Negative thoughts and loss of interest in enjoyable activities are cognition and mood symptoms.

If you have PTSD, what kinds of treatments are out there that might help? What can you do to stop PTSD from taking a hold of your life?

Cognitive Therapy

Your therapist will help you understand how to change your thoughts and ideas about your trauma and its aftermath. Your goal is to understand how your negative thoughts are bringing on more stress and ultimately worsening your symptoms. Replacing these thoughts with less destructive ones is key as well as learning to cope with feelings of guilt, fear and anger.

Exposure Therapy

Having less fear regarding your memories is the goal with exposure therapy. You’ll learn to take charge of your memories and ultimately show them you’re not afraid or overwhelmed by them anymore.

Group Therapy

For many people, it can help to talk your situation out with others in similar circumstances. Simply knowing you’re not the only person experiencing these thoughts and emotions can help immensely. Sharing your issues can also help build trust and confidence in yourself.

Family Therapy

Involving your whole family is important, especially if your situation has lead to a lack of communication between you and the people you love. Everyone will have the chance to express their feelings open and honestly. This can also help your family be better equipped to support you.

The most important thing is to not lose faith. Stay positive and know that with perseverance, you’ll come out of this a stronger person.

8 Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before Surgery

Surgery can be a scary thing to undergo – not just for the person undergoing it, but also for the person’s loved ones. Complications in surgery can be devastating, and it’s important to cover all of your bases. While you may feel there is uncertainty with surgery, there are questions you, your friends and your family can ask before any action is taken that will help you get the information you need to feel secure.

The wrong move in surgery can be detrimental and can even lead to permanent brain injury. Johns Hopkins medicine recommends several questions to ask before undergoing surgery to help ensure your safety and understanding.

  1. What is the Recommended Operation and Why?

First and foremost, it’s crucial to understand what the recommended operation is and why. What are the details of the procedure? What exactly will your healthcare provider be doing? Ask if there are multiple ways of performing the surgery, and if so, why they’ve chosen one particular method.

  1. Why is This Procedure Needed and is There Any Alternative Treatment?

How will this procedure improve how you currently feel? Know if this procedure is needed to alleviate pain or improve physical function. Are there any less invasive procedures or treatments that could achieve the same or similar results? Additionally, if you do not have the surgery, will your condition worsen, or might the issue fix itself after time?

  1. What Are the Benefits of This Surgery and How Long Will They Last?

In addition to knowing how this procedure could improve your mental and physical wellbeing, it’s crucial to know if these results will be permanent. Will another procedure be needed down the line to keep you reaping the benefits?

  1. What Are the Risks and Possible Complications?

Weigh the pros and the cons. What is the likelihood that something could go wrong, and what is the worst-case scenario if it does?

  1. What is the Cost?

Health care plans are all incredibly unique, so make sure you’re completely clear on what your insurance will cover.

  1. What Should I Expect During Recovery?

While it may not change your recovery period or the intensity of your recovery, knowing what to expect ahead of time can often help you overcome the mental aspect of the challenge. What will the first week or so be like after surgery, and what is the timeline like from there on out?

  1. What is the Experience of the Surgeon?

Know all about your healthcare provider. How many times have they performed this surgery, and how long has he or she been practicing? Don’t be afraid to ask about the sanitation practices of the surgical team. Make sure you have peace of mind that the surgery area will be completely clean and germ free.

  1. What Type of Anesthesia Will I Receive?

Will it be local, regional or general? Is there a reason that this type of anesthesia is being administered?

According to brain injury attorneys at The Colleran Firm, brain injury lawsuits can be filed due to surgical or anesthesia errors, a delayed or missed diagnosis, birth trauma and other various forms of medical malpractice. Make sure you know all there is to know about your specific situation, surgery, healthcare provider, and alternative options to help ensure your safety before any action is taken.

How to Stay Safe When Attending Halloween-Themed Events

Even though Halloween is just one day out of the year, there are several events and activities to attend to celebrate all the fright and fun of Halloween. Whether you attend a haunted house or visit the corn maze at a farm on the outskirts of town, Milwaukee personal injury attorneys at Gruber Law Offices, LLC, remind you to consider your safety and look out for certain hazards to prevent a personal injury. It’s one thing to wear a ghastly head wound as part of your Halloween costume, but it’s another to actually receive a nasty head injury while attending a Halloween festivity.

Haunted Houses

Depending on where you live, haunted houses may be subject to inspection and are required to follow safety codes before opening to the general public. While it can be assumed that most haunted house operations are safe to navigate, it’s important to be on the lookout for certain hazards that could increase your risk of an injury. For example, if you decide to visit the haunted house in your Halloween costume, make sure you have good visibility and your costume won’t trip you up. Keep in mind that haunted houses have poor lighting. If you can’t see well, ditch the mask and focus on what’s around you. Consider walking (not running) through a haunted house with a group of people. Not only will you be safer if you have a difficult navigating, but you can also have an arm to squeeze if you get too scared. If you’re with younger children, make sure you or another adult goes with them and makes sure they follow the rules and stay safe.

Halloween Hay Rides

Often times, hayrides are on the same property as a corn maze. Haunted or not, they can be a great opportunity to enjoy the crisp fall air and a ride with friends. Although hay rides are typically on the back of a large hay wagon, big enough for several passengers, keep in mind that there may not be any sides or safety features. While hay rides travel slowly, it’s important to stay seated and make sure your arms and legs are not hanging off the side of the ride.

Corn Mazes

Corn mazes can be a fun experience, but they can also be a bit disorientating. Whether you are navigating through the maze with a group of adults or as a family with your children, make it a rule for everyone to stick together (particularly with kids). If you want to venture out on your own, use your cellphone to keep in contact with others, in the event if you feel lost. Always follow the paths and never stray off course. Since corn is cut down to create a maze, you may encounter sharp and ragged corn stalks, these can be tripping hazards so watch where you walk and encourage children not to run.

Halloween Injury? Who’s to Blame?

Depending on where you go, you may be required to sign a waiver form or there may be disclaimer posted on tickets or before you participate in the event. However, if you sustain a personal injury due to an actor in the haunted house, for example, or slip and fall in a poorly maintained area, the owner of the operation may be at fault and you may have a premise liability case. However, don’t assume that your injury will be covered or even considered someone else’s fault, therefore, it’s always a good idea to make sure you are as safe as you can be and read any and all warnings posted.

6 Neighborhood Safety Tips for You and Your Kids This Halloween

Brisk air, crunchy fallen leaves and pumpkins galore is a tell-tale sign that Halloween is right around the corner! Your kids (and maybe even you!) have probably already been brainstorming their costume ideas. This is an awesome opportunity for everyone to get a little creative and have fun! There is so much excitement in decorating for the holiday and choosing the perfect costume that it can sometimes be forgotten that you’ll all most likely be heading out after dark. Though, if you have young kids, you’ll probably be with them all night, but it’s still crucial to keep safety in mind. Consider these 6 safety tips for navigating your kids through the neighborhood this Halloween.

  1. Plan Your Route in Advance

Depending on the size of your neighborhood, how far you’re thinking of walking and how long you’re planning to be out, it can definitely be a good idea to plan your route in advance. Stick to roads you and your kids – and their friends if any are with them – are familiar with so that no one feels lost or tired toward the end of the night. This will also ensure safety since you will be aware of your surroundings

  1. Wear Comfortable Shoes and Make Sure You’ll Be Warm

This tip is key. No matter what you or your kids end up dressing as, it better require wearing comfortable shoes. Everyone will regret it otherwise as you begin to consider the high demand of walking and brisk October air. Which is why you should consider the weather. Depending on what climate your in or how cold the weather has already gotten at this point, make sure you’re all prepared with layers if necessary. It’s best to have it incorporated in the costumes so that you don’t end up carrying all of the extras.

  1. If You’re Driving, Go Slowly

Speed limits through neighborhoods are typically 25, but on Halloween, slow it down even more. If you are driving somewhere, keep your eyes open and scanning for any trick-or-treaters. According to car accident lawyers in Denver at The Sawaya Law Firm, personal injuries are commonly seen. The neighborhood could be crowded with foot-traffic, and you never know if someone will dart out in the street on their way to fill their bags full of candy. 

It would be wise to also consider Halloween parties. This is a time of year when family and friends get the opportunity to dress up and have fun as they enjoy the spooky festivities. Be cautious of any drivers that might be under the influence commuting to and from these types of activities.

  1. Optimize Your Visibility

For extra safety precautions, consider having your kids wear lighter colored costumes so they’re more reflected in the lights at night. Bring at least one flashlight with you. You might even have the kids carry small flashlights. Just make sure they know not to shine them in people’s eyes. Consider adding reflective tape to their costumes or bags of candy or having them wear glow-stick bracelets.

  1. Make Sure Your Group Knows to Stick with You

Make sure everyone knows to stick with you – especially if you have your kids’ friends with you. You’ve probably yelled, “Don’t run!” a million times in your life by now, but don’t stop yet! Remind them that the candy will still be there even if they walk.

  1. Check Their Candy

At the end of the night do a candy check to make sure there are no unwrapped or exposed pieces of candy. Get rid of anything that’s open, and let them enjoy the rest (maybe not all at once though)!

Health Benefits of Riding a Bicycle

As a kid, your bicycle was most likely your main mode of transportation. From school and your best friend’s house to clear across town, you had the energy to ride you bike for hours a day. Then you got your driver’s license and there was no looking back, nor did you make time to ride your bicycle. If your beloved bike is just a memory of your childhood, you may want to consider hopping back on it again. Here are some healthy benefits to driving your car less and riding your bicycle more:

Good for the Body

Although bicycling is a great form of exercise, there are more healthful benefits than just getting a weekly workout. First of all, as with other forms of exercise, it can help you burn fat and create a stronger and leaner body. As a result, certain diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even some forms of cancer can be decreased due to the weight loss experienced when riding a bicycle. Secondly, unlike other types of exercise that promote weight loss, bicycling is relatively easy and is gentler on the body, which can be great for beginners or individuals with existing health issues. Finally, bicycling may also be the “fountain of youth” that everyone is looking for. Both casual and frequent cyclists may see an increase in their longevity, as some studies have shown after looking at Tour de France riders.

Better for Your Brain

While riding your bike a few times a week can do wonders for your physical well-being, don’t overlook the benefits it can have on your brain. Studies have long shown that regular exercise can benefit your brain functions and your mental health. Think about the last time you took a bike ride. How did you feel when you got home? While you may have felt a little tired from your ride (especially if you hadn’t cycled in quite a few years), you probably felt energized, happy, and clear minded.

Riding your bicycle can help you alleviate any stress you may be feeling and can even reduce the risk of anxiety or depression. Additionally, you may also experience clearer thinking, a better memory, more restful sleep at night and more energy during the day.

Although riding your bicycle can greatly benefit your brain, don’t forget to take good care of your head while riding. Michael D. Kelly, of Kelly & Soto Law, reminds bicycle riders, of all ages and skill levels, to wear a helmet to protect their heads from serious injury in the event of an accident.

Cycle Your Way to Happiness

When you participate in regular exercise and as a result, start feeling physically and mentally healthier, you’re likely to be a happier person. Not only will you notice a positive change in your health, overall, but you may also be more confident and have better self-esteem.

Bicycling is a great activity to do on your own, but it is also a fun way to spend time with friends and even meet other people. Having a healthy social life is connected to your physical and mental health, too, so don’t be quick to pass up the chance to go on a group ride with other bicyclists.

Keeping our Veterans Healthy- Tips For Families

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As a child or parent, there is a chance that you have a family member who is a veteran. Maybe your immediate family member is not a veteran, but you have contact with someone who has served our country and is now into their sixties. It could be a neighbor, family friend, or a grandparent of one of your close friends or peers. Veterans are honorable individuals, and the chance that you have come into contact with a vet within your lifetime is very likely.

 

In fact, the projected veteran population as of 2015 is over 21 million individuals. With this large number of vets making up a portion of elders within the United States, it’s important to remember what they have done for our country, and what we can do to give back to them. As any individual becomes older, it may become more difficult to do the things they once were able to do. As a result, there are other aspects of one’s life that may begin to lack and fall behind as well.

 

As a relative, child, or grandchild of a veteran, there are certain things that you should be doing to assist vets with continuing on with a healthy lifestyle, and reaching their maximum potential on a daily basis.

 

Exercise

 

One of the key function to remember when it comes to keeping elders healthy is that they are moving around regularly. Being mobile, and keeping joints moving can ensure that elderly individuals are staying in shape, and stretching and moving muscles as they were meant to be. Common with most elders, arthritis may become a problem that can pose strain and discomfort to joints and regions in the body as the elderly individual becomes older. As a result, regular exercise can help to overcome this issue.

 

There are plenty of things that you can do to help elders stay active. Set up schedule with your elder to take regular walks around the park or neighborhood in which he or she lives. Even if you start with a lower commitment schedule, such as walking once or twice a week, the benefits associated with walking around just a small amount will show great advantages when it comes to your elders health. Eventually, you can increase the amount of scheduled walks, and develop a schedule to where you get up early each morning with your elder and take walks within the community.

 

Dieting

 

Dieting is often one of the first things that can decline as individuals get older. It’s easy to begin grabbing food out somewhere, rather than cooking in. Especially for elders who might live by themselves – and might want to avoid cooking an entire meal just for themselves.

 

It’s important to encourage elders to cook in, not only to save money, but also to keep themselves healthier. Cooking with a mix of fresh vegetables and fruits can help to balance your diet, and provide essential nutrients to the body.

 

Furthermore, cooking in can help avoid fatty, processed foods that are often served while buying food in locations outside of the home. You should plan family meals with your elders, and again, stick to a plan or regular routine of when you will plan to cook with them.

 

Mental Exercise

 

Mental exercise is one of the most commonly overlooked areas when it comes to keeping our elders safe. For veterans in particular, mental exercises are extremely important for their well being, because they help to jog the brain and allow them to remember things from their past. It allows them the ability to process positive, and negative things that may have been in their past, and practice overcoming the negative memories they may have while serving in a war. As a family member or friend, you should practice jogging their memory and asking questions about things that have happened in the past. Be an advocate for positive conversation, and become prepared to comfort veterans as they discuss things they may have heard or saw while at war.

 

Veterans Health Is Vital

 

As a result, keeping your elderly veteran healthy and active is extremely important for their well being, and lifetime longevity. There are many ways in which we can help veterans feel more appreciated, and balance their lifestyle to accompany a more suitable environment. Develop walking or exercise routines with your veteran on a weekly basis, and plan out meals where family members or friends can gather to include your elderly veteran. Furthermore, remember to keep an open playing field, and hold regular conversations with your vets that can help to jog their memory of things they may be holding in. Just remember, you could be the backbone and support for their health and safety!

Understanding Malignant Mesothelioma

If you have ever been exposed to asbestos in your lifetime, you’re at a greater risk of being diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma at some point in your life. Malignant mesothelioma is an aggressive form of cancer that most often forms in the lungs, chest wall, or abdomen and may also affect the heart or testicles. While malignant mesothelioma is rare, affecting about 3,000 people per year, the diagnosis is often an advanced stage due to the latency period that can be anywhere from 10 to 50 years.

Asbestos Exposure

 

Asbestos is a natural silicate mineral that was popularly used in a variety of products (particularly between the 1930’s and ‘50s), from housing materials to automotive parts, for its heat-resistant and fire-proof properties. It wasn’t until the 1970’s, when the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) began to ban the use of asbestos in certain products, that people started to take notice that asbestos may actually be harmful to the environment and to individuals who work with or live around it.

 

Any home or industrial building that was built prior to 1980 may have been constructed or insulated with asbestos related materials and while the risk of exposure may be low, particularly when such materials are in good condition and have not been manipulated, no exposure to asbestos is considered “safe”.

 

Individuals who worked in an occupational field that had contact with asbestos related materials are at a greater risk of developing malignant mesothelioma. Such occupations may include, but are not limited to: electricians, mechanics, HVAC workers, Navy shipyard workers, firefighters, and construction workers. Additionally, family members of individuals who worked with or around asbestos may also be at a high risk due to the exposure carried on the skin or clothing.

Signs & Symptoms

 

The signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma may vary depending on where the cancer occurs and how advanced the cancer may be. According to the Mayo Clinic, the signs and symptoms of pleural mesothelioma (which affects the lungs) includes, but is not limited to: chest pain under the rib cage, painful coughing, shortness of breath, and unusual lumps under the chest. Peritoneal mesothelioma (which affects the abdomen) may be identified through abdominal pain and swelling, lumps in the abdomen, and unexplained weight loss. If mesothelioma affects the heart or testicles, individuals may experience pain and swelling in the affected area.

 

Since the signs and symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are similar to other types of illness or disease, it’s important to visit a doctor as soon as possible and be sure to report if you know or suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos.

Treatment Options

 

Like other types of cancer, your doctor will discuss treatment options once the malignant mesothelioma is found and staged. Treatment plans vary based upon the location and size of the tumor and whether or not it has spread to lymph nodes, organs, and other parts of your body. The most common treatment options include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, or a combination of any of the treatments. Since malignant mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive cancer, there is no “tried and true” treatment and some individuals, under the guidance of their doctors, may be able to try alternative treatments or be eligible for clinical trials.