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Mesothelioma and Lung Cancer News - Return to Menu

Learn the Signs and Symptoms of Lung Cancer

Medical News Keywords
LUNG CANCER, RADIATION THERAPY, ASTRO

11/21/2005 - This year, nearly 175,000 Americans will learn they have lung cancer. Smoking is the greatest known risk factor for lung cancer, although being exposed to second-hand smoke, radon, asbestos and other chemicals can also increase your chances of developing the disease.

Newswise — This year, nearly 175,000 Americans will learn they have lung cancer. Smoking is the greatest known risk factor for lung cancer, although being exposed to second-hand smoke, radon, asbestos and other chemicals can also increase your chances of developing the disease. Quitting smoking not only decreases your chance of getting lung cancer but it also helps make treatments for those with the disease more effective. In addition, stopping smoking reduces the risk of infections, such as pneumonia, and improves breathing.

There are currently no screening tests for lung cancer that have been proven to be as reliable as mammography is for breast cancer, so it’s important for people at risk to watch for signs of the disease. Symptoms include persistent cough or coughing blood, recurring pneumonia, unexplained weight loss, and fatigue. Studies of computed tomography (CT) in high-risk patients are underway. A chest X-ray will often reveal a lung tumor and its location. Other tests, such as CT or PET scans, can provide more detailed information. To be certain that you have lung cancer, tissue from your lung will be removed and analyzed. This is called a biopsy.

“As with any form of cancer, the key to treating and potentially curing lung cancer is to catch it early. There are effective treatments for this disease and it’s important for people with lung cancer to consult with several cancer specialists, including a radiation oncologist, to decide on the best treatment for their type of cancer and lifestyle,” said Thomas Eichler, M.D. Chair of the Communications Committee for the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology and a radiation oncologist at CJW Medical Center in Richmond, Va.

If you have lung cancer, your treatment will depend on the type of cancer, its location and your overall health. The main treatments are:

• Surgery: A surgeon operates to remove the tumor.

• Chemotherapy: Medical oncologists use drugs to kill cancer cells. These drugs are typically given through the veins.

• Radiation therapy: Radiation oncologists have two main weapons against lung cancer — external beam radiation therapy and internal radiation, called brachytherapy.

During external beam treatments, radiation oncologists target high-energy X-rays at the tumor to destroy cancer cells or to relieve symptoms such as pain. These treatments do not hurt and take only a few minutes a day over several weeks. With brachytherapy, a thin tube is placed down the nose and into the airways of the lung. The tube is then connected to a machine that delivers high doses of radiation to the cancer.

Side effects will be different for each patient depending on the type of cancer and the treatments received. Talk to your doctor to find out what you can expect.

For more information on treatments for lung cancer, visit http://www.rtanswers.org or call ASTRO at 1-800-962-7876 for a free brochure.

ASTRO is the largest radiation oncology society in the world, with more than 8,000 members who specialize in treating patients with radiation therapies. As a leading organization in radiation oncology, biology and physics, the Society is dedicated to the advancement of the practice of radiation oncology by promoting excellence in patient care, providing opportunities for educational and professional development, promoting research and disseminating research results and representing radiation oncology in a rapidly evolving socioeconomic healthcare environment.


State sues Tallmadge asbestos company

Attorney general says Spiker Environmental mishandled substance, hid assets

By Bob Downing, Beacon Journal staff writer

Dec. 23, 2005 - Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro has filed a lawsuit accusing a Tallmadge company and its officials of improperly and illegally removing asbestos in Northeast Ohio.

The 10-count suit against Spiker Environmental Inc. also alleges that the six company officials fraudulently transferred, concealed and spent the company's money so that the company is unable to pay the penalties being sought by the state.

The suit, filed Wednesday in Summit County Common Pleas Court, was assigned to Judge Patricia Cosgrove. Named as defendants were Samuel A . Keller of Cuyahoga Falls, David J. Keller of Canton and Shirley Mendendall of Sharon Township.

Also named were James Black, Gary Shoemaker and Frank Towns. The only address listed for the three was 1247 Eastwood Ave., the address of now-closed Spiker Environmental.

All six defendants are directors, shareholders and employees of the company, said Michelle Gatchell, a spokeswoman for Petro's office.

The company and the six defendants were cited for improper or illegal asbestos removal at a Louisville church, houses and apartments in Canton, an auto supply shop in Canton and a school in Leetonia in Columbiana County.

The defendants failed to notify the EPA of their asbestos-removal plans and failed to prevent the discharge of asbestos dust, the suit says. They also failed to properly remove or handle the asbestos in some cases, the suit says. The complaints date to 1999 and 2002, according to the suit.

The defendants attempted ``to conceal or deplete the assets of Spiker Environmental from the state of Ohio intentionally in order to thwart the collection of judgment,'' the suit says.

They did that, the suit says, through "underfunding, commingling funds and/or transferring funds to and from Spiker Environmental.''

Petro's office is seeking a court order forcing the defendants to comply with Ohio rules on asbestos removal.

The company and the six defendants each face fines of $25,000 a day for each violation. Efforts to reach the defendants for comment were unsuccessful.


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