What is Mesothelioma?



Mesothelioma is one of the rarest types of cancer that has unfortunately become more common in the past few decades. This type of cancer affects the mesothelium, which is a protective coating that lines the internal organs.

The illness has been more common in recent decades because one of the primary causes for this disease has been asbestos fibers becoming embedded in the lungs and leading to Mesothelioma of the lungs. Mesothelioma also commonly occurs in the pericardium (the lining on the heart) and the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity. The disease can also present in the tunica vaginalis, which is the coating that surrounds the testis.

With the industrialization of the world in the past century, thousands of workers have been exposed to chemicals and have inhaled some nasty substances. Asbestos is one of those nasty substances which can leave fibers lodged in the lungs that eventually lead to Mesothelioma. As the workers of the 1950’s and 1960s have gotten older, many of them have found themselves with this terrible condition.

It can often take a number of decades for the symptoms of Mesothelioma to present, and they are easy to misdiagnose. Because it was so rare, initially doctors commonly confused Mesothelioma with other illnesses involving the heart of the lungs.

The symptoms of Mesothelioma include shortness of breath, weight loss, fatigue, chest pain and wheezing. Some of those symptoms can be confused for emphysema or a heart condition. As the disease progresses, symptoms can include pleural effusion (a buildup of fluid between the layers of tissue that line the lungs and chest cavity) and blood clots.

Unfortunately Mesothelioma is often diagnosed very late in the disease’s progress because of that similarity to other illnesses. Life expectancy for people diagnosed with Mesothelioma is usually short – between a few months and a couple of years. There are treatments available including radiotherapy and chemotherapy, but prognosis is usually bad.

The best way to avoid this terrible disease is to avoid contact with substances like asbestos that can lead to it developing. For people who have already contracted the illness, it is advisable to contact a lawyer because much of the time a previous employer is responsible for contact with the noxious substances.

Mesothelioma cancer diagnosis

What is Mesothelioma|

What is Mesothelioma

Diagnosing the various forms of cancer is not always an accurate science.  The initial symptoms can present in a large number of ways and sometimes it takes time to associate the symptom with the illness.

With Mesothelioma, often the condition is not diagnosed until the cancer has accumulated in the organ, in this case, the lungs.  Because it is difficult to detect before the actual cancer starts accumulating, the survivability is poor.

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by the breathing in of asbestos, a material that has been used for construction in the past.  Asbestos has been phased out of production for household use once the dcotors and scientists were made aware of the problems associated with the material.

It is an especially difficult type of cancer to diagnose because the symptoms often don’t appear for many years after the initial exposure to material and the symptoms are often confused for other types of illnesses.

The prognosis of mesothelioma relies on measuring the distance of the metastasis from where it started.  So if it starts in the lungs, as most cases do, if the metastasis has spread to other organs, that determines the chance of surviving and how treatment is performed.

Doctors have written about 3 types of mesothelioma, the most common being the one affecting the longs initially, which is caused by breathing in contaminants including asbestos and other fibros materials.

Initially the lungs are inflamed and eventually tumors begin to grow within the lungs, making it very difficult for the patient to breath.

The next mesothelioma is peritonal mesothelioma, which affects the peritoneum and the final variety of this affliction is pericardial mesothelioma which affects the covering of the heart itself.

Mesothelioma has not been recorded as being a result of smoking cigarettes, but it is important to note that smoking can exacerbate the symptoms associated with mesothelioma.

Researchers have said that mesothelioma has also presented in a person infected with the Simin Virus 40 and has even developed from exposure to radiation.  However the most common form is mesothelioma of the lungs as a direct result of exposure to asbestos or other fibrous material.

Mesothelioma is a very difficult cancer to treat and prognosis is not good.  However there has been some success with irradiation therapy, surgey and chemotherapy.

Because of the difficultly in treating this kind of cancer, the best cure is prevention and awareness of the dangers of these materials.  Most countries have special laws for the handling of asbestos and other dangerous materials so in the next few decades we should see the decline in the rates of mesothelioma in the community.