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Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a dangerous and life-threatening disease caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. There are four types of mesothelioma varying in affected areas of the body and symptoms. The first type of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma and is the most common type, affecting 75 percent of mesothelioma patients. This type of mesothelioma develops in the mesothelial lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Symptoms include shortness of breath, dry cough, chest pain, and difficulty swallowing. However, these symptoms can take years to develop and may be confused for other illnesses. Treatments for this type of mesothelioma can vary based on the stage of the cancer. If found in the early stages, curative surgery may be an option for patients. Unfortunately, if diagnosed too late, pleural mesothelioma is impossible to cure and treatments are used to decrease pain and improve quality of life including chemotherapy and radiation. The second most common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma and affects the mesothelial lining of the abdomen also known as the peritoneum. Symptoms include abdominal pain, swelling, weight loss, and nausea. Like pleural mesothelioma, treatment can vary based on the stage at which the cancer has progressed. This type of mesothelioma is the quickest to spread to other areas of the body so heated chemotherapy has been shown to be effective. The rarest types of mesothelioma are pericardial mesothelioma and testicular mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma occurs when fluid builds up in the spaces between the layers of the pericardium or exterior lining of the heart. These symptoms include irregular heartbeat, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. It is nearly impossible to treat because the tumors reside so close to the heart so treatment options are available to improve life quality and decrease pain. Testicular mesothelioma is the rarest form of mesothelioma and affects the tunica vaginalis or the lining of the testes. It...
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The Dark History of Monsanto PCBs

Polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs have long been known as highly toxic substances. In 1979, the United States federal government issued a ban on the use and manufacture of the synthetic chemical compounds that were widely used as industrial insulators and cooling agents for most of the 20th century. At that time, PCBs were solely manufactured in America by a company called Monsanto and were found to have been worth around $22 million in yearly sales. As a result, Monsanto enjoyed an almost four decade run as a giant in the chemical industry. However, this monopoly came to an abrupt end when concerns about health risks and environmental effects found its way into public discourse. From the 1940s until the late 1970s, Monsanto PCBs were produced in a chemical plant located at the west side of Anniston, City Alabama. In that time, several Anniston creeks were used as a dumping ground for chemical waste from the production of PCBs. At first, Monsanto didn’t seem to have been aware of the negative effects caused by the toxic chemical compounds. However, internal reports and communications show that Monsanto quickly became informed of the pollution they were causing. As pointed out by an expose published by The Washington Post, Monsanto has been aware of the devastating environmental effects caused by PCBs as early as 1966, when they hired a group of scientists to examine one of the creeks contaminated by the chemicals. The results regarding Snow Creek were as follows: “All 25 fish lost equilibrium and turned on their sides in 10 seconds and all were dead in 3 1/2 minutes”. Despite this knowledge, Monsanto continued to produce PCBs until two years before the government imposed ban. Today, the City of Anniston continues to feel the devastating effects of PCB contamination. Aside from the creeks that were originally used by Monsanto as toxic...
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Dental Health During Pregnancy

Dental health plays an important role in general overall health, much more so for pregnant women. Numerous studies and researches have already determined the link between dental health and heart disease and infections. Gum infections can travel through the blood stream and affect the heart and other important organs, and for pregnant mothers this could be a very dangerous complication. Pregnant mothers can develop variety of dental problems, or if they already have them the condition can worsen. During pregnancy, a woman’s dental health changes because of the hormonal surge (specifically progesterone and estrogen) that can heighten how the gum tissues react to plaque and infections. An already existing gingivitis can worsen, and if neglected can lead to periodontitis (severe gum disease). Furthermore, pregnant women can develop what is called pregnancy tumors. These are inflamed but non-cancerous tumors that can cause discomfort and hinder eating, brushing, and other oral care procedures. Although they usually shrink away by themselves after the baby’s birth, but if they interfere with everyday activities, the dentist can decide to have them removed. Research has established a link between gingivitis and low-birthweight and pre-term babies. Excessive bacteria that can reach the uterus can prompt the production of certain chemical called prostaglandins suspected to cause premature labor. In order to avoid complicating your dental health while pregnant, you should inform your doctor and dentist about your pregnancy; provide information on the medications and dosages that you are taking so that they can alter your dental care plan according to your needs. Avoid skipping your dental appointments – hormonal changes increases the risks of dental complications, therefore keeping a good dental hygiene regimen could keep dental issues at bay. Consult your dentist if you are planning to get pregnant and keep regular dental checkups, especially during your first...
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