Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted January 5, 2011

Published in Health

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Guest Blog Post: Mesothilioma and Skin Cancer by Matthew Phillips

Read More: mesothilioma, skin cancer

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We've all done it. We've ignored important warning signs, those blinking neon lights in life that tell us to pay attention. And it's unhealthy. In life, there may be unexpected road blocks, but it suits no one for us to shut our eyes and just plow through. In fact, ignoring the signs can be fatal.

Being healthy mentally is closely tied to being healthy physically, and to keep both body and mind thriving we must pay attention to the warning signs of two dangerous road blocks: mesothelioma and skin neoplasm.

Skin neoplasm, commonly known as skin cancer, negatively affects skin cells. The three types, melanoma and basal and squamous carcinoma, all come with their own warning signs. Be cautious of unusual patches, lesions, and bumps on sun-exposed ares of your skin. If something appears that was not always obvious, see a physician. You can't afford to ignore it.

Skin neoplasm is often caused by over exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays and can also be caused by tobacco. To avoid the dangers of skin neoplasm, be conscious of the amount of sunlight you endure. Wear protective clothing outdoors and don't shy away from the sunscreen.

Much harder to catch than skin cancer, mesothelioma is a rare cancer that often attacks the lungs, but can be present in other parts of the body as well. It's caused by the inhalation or consumption of a natural mineral called asbestos, which can be found in the dry wall and insulation of older homes, as well as in some car parts and navy vessels.

Catching mesothelioma can be a tricky feat, generally because the warning signs are subtle. Mesothelioma symptoms include shortness of breath and a heaviness in the chest area, but these signs are often latent for 20-50 years. By then, the cancer has metastasized and is rather difficult to treat. It is important not to ignore the possibility of mesothelioma, especially if you or your loved ones may have been exposed to asbestos.

Keeping your eyes open for these cancers and others can mean the difference between a healthy, happy life and one lived in sickness, regret, and denial. Don't ignore the warning signs. Take care of yourself.

(Note: Matthew Phillips is a college student and aspiring writer who has a passion for people's health. He can be contacted at: