Good Eggs: New fertility test says it can measure how many high-quality eggs you have left

by Jessica Ashley

A new test is in town, and it might just give women information about their fertility they never expected to find: Exactly how many “good eggs” they have left.  Even if it could predict how many high-quality eggs we have and how that affects our chances of getting pregnant, is that information we want to know?

Plan Ahead, the first test of its kind to test and predict a woman’s “ovarian reserve,” will be available in fertility clinics in eleven states in the next few weeks. Marketed by Repromedix, it will be available for $350 to women who want a higher-tech insight into family planning than has previously been available.

How does this thing work anyway?
Plan Ahead’s calculations are based on tracking three hormonal tests:

* inhibin B, a protein derived from egg follicles
* anti-mullerian hormone, generated by the cells that surround eggs that have not yet matured
* follicle stimulating hormone, which prompts development of the eggs

These hormone levels are combined with the woman’s age and estrogen levels to create a formula for her fertility. Or at least conceive a score for how many eggs are viable for reproduction.

Do they really count the eggs?
The hormonal tests that Plan Ahead depends upon to derive this score aren’t new to the market, and some experts are concerned about the use and analysis of the anti-mullerian hormone since the Food and Drug Administration has not yet approved it for commercial distribution. Adding fuel to this fertility testing fire is the lack of published data by marketing company Repromedix. Although Repromedix conducted a study of 200 women’s ovarian reserves, the results have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

Some doctors say the test should be clinically established before the idea — or Plan Ahead itself — is sold to women. Although clinical data and FDA clearance isn’t being made available by Repromedix at this point, the company is making a very important point about what the test can’t do: It can’t predict whether or not a woman is fertile or how quickly she will get pregnant. It also cannot determine the rate of deterioration of the viable eggs she does have.

Simply put, it all comes down to the count. All the math and blood tests and money and technology tells a woman one thing: If she’s at risk of having a low supply of “good eggs.”

Why is this count so controversial?
At Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, the chief of reproductive endocrinology and infertility, Dr. Ralph Krazer told the Chicago Tribune that he thinks Plan Ahead’s being offered to women prematurely “[g]iven the state of the science.”

In New York, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks took his concerns a step further. As the director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at New York Weill Cornell Medical Center, he questioned Plan Ahead’s value for patients worrying that results could generate false reassurance or panic among women who are tested.

While the science here is fascinating — just think, a mathematical formula that is essentially a peek into the amazing and previously far more mysterious underworld of our ovaries — as a woman, a mother, a person who wants to parent again in the future, I think Plan Ahead carries as many (if not more) anxieties than those other pregnancy-related tests.

Do we need to stress over another plus or minus sign?
I can’t imagine a woman or couple who haven’t been overwhelmed by pounding hearts while waiting for a plus or minus sign to appear on a pregnancy test. And if you’ve been through an amnio, age-related risk assesments, ultrasound and genetic “abnormality” tests, you’re familiar with the worry they produce over issues you never considered when you chose to become a parent. While I’ve been fortunate to be more fertile than I expected that one night after several pitchers of microbrews and mood lighting, I’ve known too many women who’ve experienced the emotional roller coaster of infertility drugs and treatments, hormones and panic in an effort to become pregnant. Sure, the science is incredible and has aided, inspired, guided and gifted many people with pregnancies, but it doesn’t mean that it doesn’t come free or even cheap.

The cost here, I am concerned, is the opportunity for more anxiety to creep into a woman’s biology. While Plan Ahead is geared, the manufacturer says, toward women in their mid-to-late 30s who have already experienced difficulty conceiving and want to test their ovum and themselves to see if they should pursue in vitro treatment, I imagine many more women in that will have their blood drawn for the cause.

Oh yeah. There are plenty of questions. A lifetime of ’em for a lifetime of ovum.
A girl child is born with a lifetime supply of eggs and once she starts menstruating, the eggs are released, with a sharp decline as she moves through her 30s. This basic biology is not new to us, but the cultural move to later motherhood is relatively recent. So how does a test that measures that egg supply factor in?

Will women make different maternal choices if they know they’re lacking lots of high-quality eggs?

Will the question of how many “good eggs” a woman has follow whether she’s got a clean bill of health, is STD-free and even wants children at all?

Will women who’ve chosen to put a college, a career, travel, themselves first in their 20s suddenly feel the necessity to put that all aside if there’s a chance their eggs may not outlast their other ambitions?

As family planning takes this turn, is the science formulating the potential for anxiety more tests could produce for people who want to become parents, if not now then maybe, possibly one day on down the road?

While we’re busy counting “good eggs,” are we also accounting for the emotional responses to Plan Ahead just being available?

What’s your response to Plan Ahead?: Would you take this fertility test if it was available in your city?

Know the Facts About Infantigo

Before I get into some of the facts about Infantigo which can also called Impetigo, I want to first talk about the biggest organ on our bodies, and that is our skin. Believe it or not, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I became aware that our skin was even considered to be an organ.

And out of all the organs in our bodies, our skin could be considered as being the most important. I know you’re probably thinking about our heart, brain, liver, kidneys and stomach, but think about it. It’s our skin that hold all these things together, so in my book that makes it more important.

Our Skin Is Made Up Of Three Different Layers

  • The outside layer is the epidermis.
  • The next layer is the dermis, and this contains all our nerve endings, blood vessels, oil glands and sweat glands. It also contains elastin and collagen.
  • The third layer is the  subcutaneous which is made mostly of fat and helps our bodies stay warm. It also helps hold the skin to all the tissues underneath it and absorbs trauma or shock to our bodies.

Our skin is also the first defense against any bacterial infections, and even though many bacteria already live on the surface, only healthy skin can protect us from any infections.

The most serious complication of Impetigo is a severe kidney disease that occurs following a strep infection, but this only occurs in less than 1% of the cases and mostly occurs in children. So let’s go over some of the facts about Impetigo…

It Is A Bacterial Infection Of The Surface Of The Skin

Yes, Impetigo happens to be a highly contagious bacterial skin infection which can show up anywhere on your body, but generally attacks your exposed areas. Children tend to get Impetigo on their face, especially around their mouth and nose, and sometimes even their legs or legs.

The bacteria responsible for this infection depends on which form of Impetigo you have. If you have the Non-Bullous form, the bacteria responsible would be either Staphylococcus or Streptococcus. If you should be suffering from the Bullous form of the disease, this is caused by the Staphylococcus bacteria.

The areas that are infected can range from dime to quarter size and start out as tiny blisters that break to expose moist, red skin. After a few days, the infected area gets a golden, grainy crust that gradually spreads.

This infection Is More Common In Children Than In Adults

The reason Impetigo is so common among children is because it can be easily spread to them by other children in school or pre-school. This is why it is also called “school sores.” It has been said that this disease really loves skin that has had other skin problems like poison ivy, skin rashes from allergies or eczema.

If your child has contracted Impetigo, you should keep them home from school or day care until they are no longer contagious, which is usually 24 to 48 hours after you begin treatment with the antibiotics. Without antibiotics, Impetigo will remain contagious until the sores go away.

During this time you have to be careful with their bed linen, clothes, towels and wash clothes. The key is to keep them separate from your other laundry and wash them daily. I suggest this because Impetigo can also be spread to other members of your family if they come into contact with items that have been handled by your child while they were still contagious.

Another thing is to try your best to keep the infected area as isolated as possible. If your child touches any other part of their body with hands or fingers that have touched the infected area, that area will also become infected.

This is why it’s important to start treatment of Impetigo as quickly as possible. The faster healing begins, the less you have to worry about this infection spreading.

There Is An Extreme Form Of Impetigo

The extreme form of Impetigo is called Ecthyma. If not treated quickly and properly the infection could invade down to a deeper layer of your skin. Because of this, some people call Ecthyma, “deep impetigo.” The one thing to be aware of if the infection gets this advanced is that the sores could cause permanent scarring and pigment changes.

Scarring And Permanent Skin Damage Is Very Rare

Impetigo is not serious and is easy to treat, but the key is to treat it in the early stages. It could clear on its own in two to three weeks, and of course if you decide to use antibiotics this can shorten the course of the disease and stop it from spreading to others.

It doesn’t leave scars or damage to the skin, but as I stated above, if you don’t treat it right away, and it advances to Ecthyma, then there will be scarring after it heals.

Pooping blood

Pooping blood is the result of distended veins (which cause hemorrhoids), which are located in the rectum, and anus’ lower part. In normal cases, they do not cause any problem, but if they get swollen, it can become very painful and then the patient has to treat it. There are two types of hemorrhoids; one is called, “Internal hemorrhoid” and the other is called “External hemorrhoid”. The internal hemorrhoids are present in the inside layer of rectum. The internal hemorrhoid cannot be felt physically and do not cause any kind of pain if everything is fine, but one has to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any pain in anus or rectum, as the pain could be indicating hemorrhoids.

In the case of hemorrhoid swelling, the, the internal hemorrhoid protrudes through the anus. The outer skin, which surrounds the anus, has external hemorrhoids beneath it. It can also be not felt except in the case of abnormality, such as swelling of the hemorrhoid or when the blood clot is blocked in the vein, which is very painful, and demands to cure hemorrhoids.

The Causes

The most common cause of dark blood in poop is the swollen veins, which are caused when there is a strain, causing bloody stool. Pregnancy can also be one major reason of hemorrhoids, as during pregnancy the enlarged uterus put a pressure on the rectum. Treatment of hemorrhoids is very important if one feels pain or bleeding through anus. Another significant cause of hemorrhoids can be constipation too, as hemorrhoids are often associated with constipation that also puts strain on the bowel and stool passing. Liver problem can also lead to the hemorrhoid pain. One must see the doctor immediately to cure hemorrhoids if he/she experiences any such symptom such as problem in stool passing or swelling.

Symptoms Of Hemorrhoids

As the early symptom of hemorrhoids, one may experience bleeding from the anus, resulting in blood in your stool. This bleeding is mostly painless. The bleeding can be seen with the passage of poop, or it can just keep dripping when one uses toilet to poop. This bleeding stops itself after a limited period of time.  To cure hemorrhoids, one must take notice of earliest symptoms.

However, pooping blood may not be the one and only reason for hemorrhoids as bleeding can occur due to tumor, infection, or inflammatory disease of bowel. The symptoms of the problem in internal or external hemorrhoids are different each other and in order to treat it correctly, one must know about the problem in detail. In case of abnormality in internal hemorrhoids, the veins swell and the swelling go to the extent that the hemorrhoid is prolapsed outside the anus. This protruded hemorrhoid can be felt like a lump.

The internal hemorrhoid sticking out of the anus can be pushed back through the anal hole. This may solve it temporarily, but it will not completely cure it in any case, and there will be a time when the protruded hemorrhoid will become so swelled that it could not be pushed back anymore as the lump will be wedged.

Therefore, it is more advisable to take notice of blood in poop at the initial stage. The one suffering from hemorrhoid pain also feels harsh and experience uncontrollable itching inside the anus and every time during the passage of poop, there feels a blockage that rouses the urge of needling for the movement of bowel. The external hemorrhoid pain has a more chronic condition, which is known also as “Thrombosed External Hemorrhoid”. This condition crops up when a blot clot is blocked inside the hemorrhoid and produces great pain and itching. To treat this the blood clot in the vein has to be removed in the first place to allow the passage of blood and ease bowel movement.

The reason behind Thrombosed External Hemorrhoids being painful is that, the blood clot, which blocks the vein, causes increased swelling of the hemorrhoid, which causes increased pain. Doctors treat blood in poop as the pain increases if the patient sits, because sitting causes pressure on the rectum and the hemorrhoid, which has clogged blood clot.

The Cure

There are of course proper medical treatments to treat this condition, but there are some home remedies too, which can be adopted to cure hemorrhoids. To soothe the inflammation of the hemorrhoid and soften the stool, the patient must sit in a tub of warm water. This treatment can be performed regularly for 15 to 20 minutes and after having done with bath tub sitting, the anus area must be dried off with towel as otherwise, further inflammation can occur. As prevention and cure of hemorrhoid, doctors also recommend the intake of plenty of water and other health and fresh beverages to prevent the hardening of bowel movement.

For treatment, doctors also recommend patients not to sit on hard places such as wooden chair or bench for longer period as sitting can worsen the problem. Patients must get rubber or air donuts to sit on as these donuts are soft, and helps to ease the hemorrhoids problem.

Medically, there are many treatments to cure hemorrhoids. Some include oral intakes and other includes surgeries to treat dark blood in poop.  Various kinds of surgeries are used to cure hemorrhoids such as stapled Hemorrhoidectomy, a laser therapy that it used to make the internal hemorrhoids hard.

Hemorrhoids are a serious and painful bowel condition and one must not delay any time to cure hemorrhoids. The pain from your bloody poop can occur in consecutive intervals and patients may ignore it by considering it a normal bowel pain, such perception towards it is wrong as the earlier we go for treatment, the better it will be.

How many calories in 10 chicken wings?

There’s a pub near to me that offer thrice-weekly wing night. I have great memories of these wing nights, when my friends and I gather for drinks, laughs and some of the best chicken wings that have ever passed through my lips. They’re perfectly seasoned and fried to perfection. Unfortunately, these wings night memories may have to be just that — memories. Because animal skin deep fried and battered can’t be good for you, right? At least they’re low in carbs — something I use to justify my indulgence even though I don’t follow a low-carb plan. Anyway, I decided to do some investigating into the caloric and fat value of chicken wings. Now it’s your turn to decide whether they have:

A) 750 cal, 45 g of fat

B) 1050 cal, 75 g of fat

C) 1590 cal, 107 g or fat

D) 850 cal, 67 g of fat

The answer is C) 1590 cal 107 g or fat. Oh. my god. That is more than an entires day worth of calories in 10 measly wings. I am shocked. Appalled. And a little sad that I have to give up my wing nights. I can’t justify that much fat and calories.

But there is a bright side. Since I found this info out, I’ve been experimenting with alternative wing recipes, using whole wheat bread crumbs, seasoning and the oven instead of the deep fryer. The recipe is not perfected yet, but I’m working on it. Watch this space.

Plan your next walk with a virtual pedometer

Last spring, I decided to take up jogging. I remember coming home from my first time out, gasping for air, telling my husband that I “must have gone at least two miles.” It seemed that he smiled at me a little knowingly, and when I checked the distance later with my car, it was just under a mile. I was humiliated and immediately set about marking a safe, three mile route that I could work up to.

Jogging never turned out to be my thing, but I still walk that route. I’ve been meaning to go back with my car and plan out a few other walking routes for a little variety, but have never gotten around to it. There have been plenty of times when I took off and rambled around my neighborhood and wondered when I returned just how far I’d gone.

Today, I discovered Map My Run(, a virtual pedometer by put out by Using Google map technology, they’ve created an easy way to map out your walk or run ahead of time. You can see exactly how far you’re going, and even use their calculator to get a quick list of workout stats. There’s an “out and back” feature that makes it easy to plot a route that brings you right back to your house. You can even figure in elevation, or view your route on a satellite map or Google Earth.

Definitely a fun toy, as long as you don’t spend more time playing with it than you do on your walk or run!

Cooking chicken without a side of salmonella

Do you have a meat thermometer in your kitchen gadget drawer? If not, you may want to get one. A study done by Consumer Reports (1) revealed that the raw chicken we buy is filled with more dangerous bacteria than it was just three years ago. A stunning 83% of chickens tested had been contaminated with salmonella or campylobacter — pathogens that can cause diarrhea and vomiting. This number was a huge increase from the 49% that were found to be contaminated three years ago.

These bacteria can be destroyed by cooking your chicken to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Handling raw chicken carefully is more important that ever. Choose packages that are well wrapped at the grocery store, so the juices don’t leak onto your other groceries. Keep the chicken wrapped and away from other fresh foods in your refrigerator. Wash and keep separate everything that comes in contact with the raw chicken during preparation, including the cutting board, knives, and any wipes you use to clean up spills. Wash your hands frequently and disinfect your counter tops when you’re done. The article even suggests that you keep one hand clean, so that you don’t spread bacteria to your soap dispenser or faucet. Always cook your chicken to 165 degrees.

These are all guidelines we’re all supposed to be following anyway. This new information just highlights that raw poultry deserves special care during preparation to turn it into a safe, healthy, delicious meal.


How to Take your Workout to the Next Level

You’ve been working out for a while now. You haven’t achieved pro-athlete endurance yet, but you’re exercising consistently and you seem to be in pretty good shape, much better shape than when you started out. You’ve reached many of your goals and have hit a sort of plateau. So what do you do now? Step it up.

When you first started on your routine, it may have seemed impossible to go beyond the level of fitness that you’ve achieved. But if you don’t want to slip backwards in your fitness level, and you want to continue burning fat, you may have to do just that. Here are some things to do to step up your routine as below:

1) Set new goals for yourself:
This worked when you were just starting out, didn’t it? Whether your goal was to lose pounds, create muscle definition or get to level where you could run on the treadmill without passing out from the exertion, it was a clear prize to aim for, and chances are it ultimately determined your success. But goals should be dynamic, meaning they should change over time in relation to your achievements and changing needs.

2) Change the frequency, intensity or both of your workout: If you work out twice a week, you can double your calorie-burning by switching to 4 times a week. Even better, if you’re able to take on 6 workouts per week, you can burn triple the amount of calories. If you increase the intensity of each of those workouts, think about how many extra calories you will be burning. It’s a simple solution, and one that’s guaranteed to have results.

3) Get motivated: Let’s say when you first started working out, your main motivator was you wanted to lose 10 pounds. Once that 10 pounds is gone, however, you shouldn’t give up your fitness routine because you will just gain it all back. So you need to find a new motivator. You could find a workout buddy who motivates you, you could set some goals (see #1), you could tape a picture of your ideal body shape to the fridge — whatever works for you, do it. Good motivation can have a very lasting impact on keeping up your fitness routine.

4) Work out more effectively: Longer workouts aren’t always better, and now that you’ve increased the frequency of your workouts, maybe you should try making them shorter and more effective. I’m thinking a high intensity cardio workout combined with some toning in the form of weight lifting, but do what works best for you. Which leads me to:

5) Get educated: The best way to find out what the most effective workout is by doing your research. Consult a fitness expert either by reading on of their books, renting on of their DVDs or talking to them in person.

Train for a Triathlon and Get Your Best Body – The Swim

Once regarded as an event braved by elite athletes, triathlons are becoming more appealing to average in-shapers who crave new challenges. And nearly half of those in-shapers are over 40. What’s cool is that competing is easier than you think: Instead of doing an Iron-man, you can take on a doable short distant tri called a “sprint.” It’s approximately a 400 to 600 yard swim, a 10 to 20 mile bike ride and a two to four mile run. Cake!

There are three reasons why you should do it. One, you’ll get super-toned and strong. Two, your esteem and confidence will soar! And three, the whole process is a fun, inexpensive alternative to a pricey summer vacation.

For a free training program, tri-newbies online (1) is your best destination. It also offers event schedules nationwide and other valuable primers like “Bicycle Cleaning and Maintenance 101.” Or go the group training route. Most cost about $300 for a 10 to 12 week program. Find local clubs at U.S.A.Triathlon (2).

The swim causes the most anxiety for even grizzled vets; these tips by Jonathan Cane, owner of City Coach Multisport (3) in New York City will dispel some of your concerns:

  • Most swims are out and back and loop counterclockwise. To avoid making contact with other swimmers, start toward the back and outside. If you feel someone’s hands by your feet, soften your kick.
  • Nothing’s more frustrating than swimming extra yards because you’ve gone off course. Sight buoys early and often. And don’t assume the swimmer in front of you is on course.
  • Invest in a wetsuit. The added buoyancy keeps you higher and flatter in the water so you don’t have to kick as hard. That translates to a faster swim time, and also leaves your legs fresh for the ride and run.

Now you have everything you need to dive in.



What does Code Blue Mean in a Hospital

If you are working in a hospital or are a patient or a visitor you will see there is an immediate response to the words “CODE BLUE. ” To the observer it is apparent that there is a rush of hospital staff to the room or location of the emergency.

In a Code Blue adrenaline is sometimes part of the fuel for the chaos. When someone has recognized an acute clinical change in a patient. One that may be life threatening if care or support is not immediate. She or he has made a clinical judgement and assumes the responsibility for calling a code. Along with the staff and equipment is usually a cart that contains all the most probable medications that are ready for rapid access and administration as indicated.

To the person without a medical background you may see the patient as being short of breath or in apparent pain. On the other hand, maybe even unresponsive. To the medical staff, an assessment will show they may also have a faint pulse, clammy skin to touch, and a falling blood pressure reading or faint or irregular pulse. This person may or may not be bleeding and the pulse oximeter may show they are not getting enough oxygen with a poor respiratory status.

The pace of a code often is somewhat disjointed until the full assessment is determined. In spite of its hectic pace, each person involved takes on a particular role in the code. The main objective is to quickly stabilize a patient. An EKG is done and a monitor is placed on the patient to monitor the cardiac function of a patient. To have access to administer drugs that are indicated and to give IV fluids if needed. A nurse or doctor will insert an appropriate IV line, an access with a large lumen or a central line so that if the patient needs blood it will be available. At this time they can also draw blood to have it analyzed at the lab immediately for quick results. This will help evaluate the patient. Then to treat them appropriately.

Oxygen can be given to the patient during this time usually through a mask or a nasal cannula. According to what is appropriate to this patient’s situation. Measurements of the patient’s oxygen level can be done with a finger clip piece of equipment and as well with arterial blood work drawn. In some situations, it is appropriate to insert a catheter into the bladder to monitor urine output, renal function and to ascertain through a urinalysis that a patient does not have a urinary tract infection. If a patient is alert, verbal communications can confirm mental status with appropriate or inappropriate responses. Unresponsive patients can be evaluated with neurological checks.

During these activities. One doctor or nurse, depending on how staff arrives on the scene, will take the lead and direct staff to stay focused on the priorities. Another person will keep track of all that takes place by writing everything down on a form that helps keep a record of the code itself. An assessment of the patients chart helps to understand underlying conditions prior to the event. On the code record form is the staff involved, including the time of every intervention, medication given and the patient’s vital signs. A doctor is the chief coordinator of a code. The record is to learn more by assessing the code, its outcome and to recognize where improvements are needed.

Staff who are not involved in the code itself will be involved with the other support help needed. Contacting family, obtaining lab results, passing on information or supplies needed to code members. The staff may need to coordinate a transfer to Intensive care if the patient is to be transported for acute care monitoring. In some events even when the best of care is given during a code. The patient may pass away. The only comfort to the family and staff is that every effort had been made to save a life.

In conclusion, you might like to know that many lives are saved during this medically choreographed event. It is less then smooth, as each person becomes part of this event, and because each patient’s event is unique. The staff that is part of a code team becomes more proficient with experience; each code has the same ultimate objective. To stabilize a patient, and to save a life.

Some patients’ become aware after it is all over and asks the staff ” what are you doing here?”

Grateful relief and laughter of the exhausted code team usually follows that question.

Malignant Mesothelioma: Who is at Risk

Asbestos is a natural substance mined from the earth. It is a mineral which has strong resistance for heat. Because of such quality, asbestos is often used in many industrial applications. According to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) there are six types of fibrous minerals known as asbestos. They include amosite, chrysotile, crocidolite tremolite,actinolite and anthophyllite. According to ATSDR all of these forms of asbestos are hazardous substances and could cause cancer. In the past asbestos was used in many types of products mostly in building materials, friction products as well as heat resistant fabrics. Asbestos can cause various kinds of health problem for individuals exposed to them. Consequently the United States Environmental Protection agency (EPA) banned in the United States.

What is Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma, often referred to as Malignant Mesothelioma is a type of disease which can lead to a growth of cancerous tumor. There are two kinds of Mesothelioma. The first type is called Pleural Mesothelioma and the second type is known as Peritoneal Mesothelioma. The former generally starts in the chest region, on the outside lining of the lungs. The latter is the most common type of mesothelioma. According to published reports, Pleural mesothelioma accounts for about seventy percent of all reported mesothelioma cases here in the United States. The other one, Peritoneal mesothelioma is not as common. It originates in the lining membranes of the abdominal cavity of the human body.

Is Mesothelioma the same thing as Lung Cancer?

Although both medical terms are often inter-used, they are not exactly the same thing, they have some similarities. Both mesothelioma and Lung Cancer are forms of cancer which affect the lungs. Mesothelioma originates in the lining of the lungs, while lung cancers begin inside the lungs itself.

How is Malignant Mesothelioma Contracted?

This disease is often contracted through breathing in asbestos dust or particles mostly resulting from use of asbestos material for construction purposes. In the past some products such as cement, plumbing pipes, roofing shingles and insulation materials or even brake shoes and pads in automobile brake system were made of asbestos materials. Small exposures to asbestos particles and dust could potentially lead to mesothelioma. The problem is that the disease does not result instantly after asbestos contamination. Sometimes it takes decades for mesothelioma to develop in persons exposed to asbestors. Many of the asbestos and lung cancer litigations being filed by asbestos litigation attorneys were cases which happened in the late fifties, sixties or seventies.

Who Gets Malignant Mesothelioma

In US men are generally diagnosed with mesothelioma disease. This is the result of high presence of men in construction work. Cases of malignant mesothelioma have been growing in the United States every year. About 2,000 patients are diagnosed with this disease in the United States every year.

What are the Symptoms

Symptoms of mesothelioma seem similar to other diseases at first and the patient may be misdiagnosed, or in some cases, not diagnosed at all until autopsy.

It has many symptoms and such symptoms could differ from one person to another. Some of the more common symptoms include dry and persistent cough. Individuals suffering from mesothelioma could also experience shortness of breath, pain in the chest or abdominal area that increases over time, fatigue, inability to eat without nausea, weight loss, night sweats and possibly bowel problems and fever. If the disease is advanced and had spread to other areas of the body, symptoms may be more pronounced.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options

Doctors can use chest x-rays to examine individuals with symptoms of mesothelioma. Also CT Scans and tissue sampling may be employed for diagnosis of this disease. The treatment differs from person to person. One of the factors affecting the kind of treatment to be administered is the age of the patient, along with the stage of the disease. In some mesothelioma patients, doctors may do surgery through which the affected chest or abdominal tissues may be surgically removed. Radiation and Chemotherapathy treatments may also be used to destroy the growing cancer cells. At times liquids may build up on the chest or abdominal cavities of the patient, requiring doctors to use tubes and needle to drain away such fluids.

There are several renowned specialists around the country who specialize in treating this disease. There are clinical trials of new treatments currently underway in the United States. There is support and resources, information about treatment, news and legal information available at the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation. Information may also be found at the Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization. Additionally, there is nationwide pressure on Capitol Hill for more funding for the treatment and for research to find a cure.

Where to Obtain More Information

Many governmental Health Agencies can provide additional information about asbestos related Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer. The US Office of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) can provide more information on this subject. They could be reached through the following Address: Also the US Centre for Disease Control (CDC) could be reached at You may also contact Office of Public Affairs, Occupational Safety and Health Administration US Department of Labour, Room N-3649, Washington DC, 200210

Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a malignant tumor derived from the mesothelial cells of the pleural surface of the lung and the cells lining the lung cavity of the chest. Its incidence in males is three times that of females. The total reported cases per year in the United States is about 2700 per year and the death rate is about 14 per million each year. 80% of cases of patients with mesothelioma have documented exposure to asbestos. The association of mesothelioma with asbestos exposure and its fibers, i.e. crocidolite, amosite, and tremolite, has been well documented throughout the world. The majors associated with asbestos exposure are cement manufacturing, railroad repair, insulation, auto brake linings, paper milling, roofing, building construction and ceramics.

How asbestos causes mesothelioma to develop is not known, however, researchers have found some chromosome alterations and loss of chromosome 22. Simian virus 40 has been suggested to play a role in the tumor’s development. It is believed that the accumulation of asbestos causes repeated injury to the mesothelial cells and chronic inflammation. The cells undergo reactive changes and tumor growth develops. Mesothelioma appears long after the exposure to asbestos. It may be as short as 20 years after exposure, but the average latency period after exposure is 44.6 years.

Symptoms of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

It is important to remember that signs and symptoms of mesothelioma might not occur until decades after the asbestos exposure.

Early Pleura Affected Signs:

  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Chest pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Coughing up blood

Later Stage Abdomen Tumor Signs:

  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bowel difficulties
  • Stomach mass and pain

Other signs can be fever, jaundice, blood clots, organ bleeds, and fluid buildup in organs and lungs. The tumor growth may encase the entire lung and invade the lung, and the chest wall. It may also extend into the esophagus, the veterbra of the spine and into the nerves under the arms. It may also involve major veins. Some patients may present with findings of tumor spread outside the lung cavity and have swelling of the head and neck or spread of the tumor to the spinal cord. Few patients may have no symptoms.

If any of these signs and symptoms are present, see a healthcare provider immediately for screening. The earlier that mesothelioma is found, the better the chances for survival and higher quality of life.

Prognosis of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

The following studies may be ordered by the physician: chest radiograph, CT scan of the chest, MRI of the chest and a PET scan. The diagnosis of mesothelioma is based upon the result of cytology studies of the pleural fluid and biopsy of the tumor with examination by a pathologist who determines which type of mesothelioma is present i.e. sarcomatous or spindle cell, desmoplastic, deciduoid, epithelial with squamous differentiation and small cell types. The tumors are usually positive for the following markers: calretinin, WT1 and cytokeratin 5/6. Treatment is by surgical excision, and combined chemotherapy and radiotherapy. Prognosis is dependent on the stage of the disease. The prognosis for males is worse than females. Tumors of the spindle cell and desmoplastic subtypes have shorter survival rates.

Treatment of Mesothelioma

There are several different available options for treating mesothelioma. There are some surgical options, including radiation, immunotherapy, and chemotherapy. This is all of the suggested medical options; however there are those that will assist the treatment options with alternative treatments. Talking with a medical professional can give a wider range of options with those that are specifically for the stage of cancer that the mesothelioma has progressed to.

•Surgery – This involves removing the lining to the chest wall and lungs.

•Radiation – This is often given with chemotherapy to eradiate cancer cells in the chest wall and lung area. Mesothelioma has been shown to be resistant to sole radiation treatments.

•Immunotherapy – Plagued with side effects that many find intolerable, immunotherapy tries to increase the body’s immune response to the cancer cells.

•Chemotherapy – Best option choice in studies, this has side effects like nausea and vomiting. However, studies have shown an improved quality of life and increase in lung function after chemotherapy treatments with mesothelioma patients.

Some will try treating with non-medically approved forms of alternative therapy such as acupuncture and herbal remedies. Clinical professionals will look at these alternative therapies as interruptions to medically necessary procedures. Best bet? Cover all the options and do medically proven treatments with the alternative.

Mesothelioma Attorney: What is Mesothelioma

MESOTHELIOMA is a rare cancer, where malignant cells grow in the mesothelium, the membrane that forms the lining of several body cavities, including the thoracal cavity, the abdominal cavity, and the heart sac (pericardium). In more than 90% of mesothelioma cases, the cancer develops as a result of a person’s exposure to asbestos. The cancer cells divide and become abnormal, eventually spreading to other organs.


Asbestos is a naturally occurring fiber, which was once thought to be a “miracle mineral.” Asbestos, which has been mined for hundreds of years, includes six minerals: chrysotile, amosite, crocidolite, tremolite, anthophyllite and actinolite. The word “asbestos” comes from a Greek adjective that means “inextinguishable.”

In the nineteenth century, asbestos became extremely popular in manufacturing and building. The material was flame retardant and absorbed heat. It was used for electric wiring insulation, and was very often mixed with cement or woven into fabric or mats.

Asbestos is now known to be highly toxic. In 1906, the first death related to asbestos was recorded. In the early 20th century, scientific research noticed a trend of a large number of deaths and serious lung problems in various asbestos mining towns.


Serious diseases related to asbestos include asbestosis, restrictive lung disease, lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancers and mesothelioma. Other diseases include asbestos warts, pleural plaques, and diffuse pleural thickening.

Mesothelioma was once thought to be very rare, but is increasingly becoming more prevalent as people exposed to asbestos get older. There is a latency period of 15-50 years for developing mesothelioma after exposure to asbestos.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has estimated that by the year 2020, there will be hundred of thousands more cases of mesothelioma diagnosed.


More than 20 million workers have had asbestos exposure in their place of work in the past 50 years. These plaintiffs include refinery and power plant workers, those working at construction sites where fireproofing sprays and drywall products existed or presently exist.

Anybody exposed to Asbestos could become a potential plaintiff, including textile workers (asbestos was woven into gloves and clothing), automobile production workers and mechanics, electricians, shipyard workers, and demolition workers. Essentially all trades of construction workers are at some risk to asbestos exposure. Airborne asbestos is invisible to the naked eye, although sometimes appear in a cloud of dust. Usually when workers could see this cloud, they were at dangerous levels of exposure. Once inhaled, the fibers remain in the body forever.


Borel v. Fibreboard Paper Products Corporation was the first case in the United States that recognized the manufacturer’s duty to warn of asbestos dangers. On September 10, 1973, Judge John Minor Wisdom issued the court’s opinion for Borel v. Fibreboard for the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. This opinion held asbestos product manufacturers strictly liable for diseases caused by insulation materials.

Between 1973 and 1974, more than 16 thousand asbestos-related cases were filed in the United States. Asbestos very quickly became the largest area of litigation related to product liability.


Since it can take as long as forty years after the original exposure to asbestos for mesothelioma to develop, it is important to know if you are at risk for this cancer and to be tested. Anyone who has been or thinks they have been exposed to asbestos should speak with their medical practitioner about their exposure and be tested for mesothelioma. If the medical practitioner believes there is a problem, an oncologist should be seen as soon as possible for a definitive diagnosis. As with other cancers, mesothelioma is not necessarily a death sentence. There are many treatments available. An oncologist will best be able to explain those treatments to those who have mesothelioma.

If you or somebody you know has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it is time to contact an experienced, aggressive attorney who has prior experience obtaining verdicts and settlements on behalf of mesothelioma victims. Contact your local bar association for a referral. Mesothelioma attorneys often take their cases on a contingency basis. This simply means the attorney will not have to be paid upfront; the legal fees are taken out of the settlement. If the mesothelioma attorney does not win the case, the client does not pay anything. Those who have mesothelioma may be able to file a lawsuit against the company responsible for the asbestos exposure. Millions of dollars have already been paid to many mesothelioma patients for doctor’s bills, lost wages as well a punitive damages. These court cases may take several years to conclude and for those with mesothelioma to get any type of settlement. Should the mesothelioma patient pass away before (and after) a settlement is reached, in some cases, their survivors may be entitled to the compensation for the court case.

Seeing that mesothelioma can take years to develop, if there is a chance of exposure, action must be taken to protect yourself and your family, both medically and financially. Get a definitive diagnosis as quickly as possible and then contact a mesothelioma attorney. Unlike many other cancers, mesothelioma is caused by negligent companies who exposed their employees and clients to asbestos.

Note: Every case is different and deserves personal attention. Liability in asbestos cases includes negligence, strict liability, breach of warranty, and failure to warn. Contact an aggressive asbestos attorney or mesothelioma attorney for more information and a case consultation.

Lithium Toxicity: Causes & Symptoms

Lithium is a medication prescribed for bipolar mania and resistant depression. It is a drug with very simple chemical structure but with complex mechanism of action. In addition The medication can easily become toxic and lithium toxicity can be lethal.

What are Causes?

Usually the toxicity is seen in patients with long term therapy. It is usually not toxic if you take a large single dose. Lithium toxicity is commonly caused by long term accumulation of lithium inside the body.

The toxicity is usually precipitated by dehydration, concurrent use of diuretic drugs such as HCT (Hydrochloro thiazide), usage of over the counter pain killers such as NSAIDS (Motrin, Naprosyn, and Advil), rapid increase in the dose and renal impairment.

So patients are usually advised to stop lithium therapy and see their doctor, if they stop eating or drinking due to any reason. In addition it is also important to tell that you are on lithium, whenever you take treatment from a general practitioner.

In addition patients are advised to check their blood lithium levels every six months, once they are stabilized.

What are the Symptoms?

Lithium toxicity is a very serious complication of lithium therapy. If not identified, it can become lethal. So early identification of toxicity is very important, in addition the toxicity features should be separated from lithium side effects.

>Early signs

  • * Marked tremor: – Usually it can cause a fine tremor as a side effect. But marked coarse tremor is a toxic effect.
  • * Loss of appetite, nausea and vomiting: – When these three symptoms are associated, it is due to toxicity.
  • * Diarrhea
  • * Lethargy can be nonspecific symptom of lithium toxicity.

>Late signs

  • * Restlessness
  • * Muscle twitching
  • * Abnormal muscle movements: -These are usually dancing like abnormal movements that cannot be controlled by the patient.
  • * Muscle incoordination: – Characterized by marked tremors when moving the limbs.
  • * Difficulty in speaking
  • * Epileptic fits

If you see any of the signs described above then you must admit the patient to a hospital emergency department right away.

How it is Managed?

Once the diagnosis is confirmed, lithium is stopped. Then an urgent serum Lithium blood level is done. After that, intravenous normal saline infusions are started to clear out it from the blood (if the kidneys are normal). If the lithium level is too high, or renal failure is present, dialysis (hemodialysis) is the treatment of choice. In addition supportive therapy is done until the patient recovers from the lithium toxicity.

Additional Information: Disease-related Concerns in Individuals Taking Lithium

Lithium is a potentially lethal medication at toxic doses, and can cause numerous adverse effects at therapeutic levels. There are specific concerns regarding the side effects of lithium in individuals with various medical conditions including heart disease, impaired kidney function, thyroid disease, and dehydration from any cause.

* Cardiovascular disease: Lithium should be used with caution in people who have mild to moderate heart disease. Known cardiac side effects that could have dangerous consequences in people with cardiovascular disease include bradycardia (slow heart rate), cardiac arrhythmia, reversible flattened or inverted T waves on an electrocardiogram or “EKG”, and hypotension (low blood pressure).

* Renal impairment: Lithium should be used with extreme caution in patients with mild to moderate impairment of kidney function. Lithium levels should be monitored frequently in all individuals on this drug. Those people with reduced kidney function should have their dose adjusted based on their estimated creatinine clearance (Clcr) as follows:

  • Clcr 10-50 mL/minute: Administer 50% to 75% of the normal lithium dose.
  • Clcr <10 mL/minute: Administer 25% to 50% of the normal dose of lithium.

* Thyroid disease: Individuals with thyroid disease should use the drug with caution. Thyroid side effects can occur in both men and women on lithium and may result in one of three thyroid abnormalities: hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism or euthyroid goiter (enlargement of the thyroid with normal levels of thyroid stimulating hormone [TSH], and the thyroid hormones T4 and T3).

* Dehydration: Prolonged or severe fluid losses can significantly increase the toxicity of lithium. Thus, the drug should be used with caution in patients with medical conditions that cause significant fluid losses such as long periods of sweating, diarrhea, or a lengthy fever. In some situations the dose in these patients may need to be reduced, or even discontinued, temporarily.

As discussed above, there are numerous disease-related concerns regarding its side effects. Individuals starting lithium who have pre-existing medical conditions, or those who develop medical conditions while taking this medication, should work closely with their physician to avoid these potentially dangerous adverse effects.


Lithium is a medication that can easily become toxic. The toxicity can kill you, so early identification of lithium toxicity symptoms and prompt treatment is very important.