What exactly is mesothelioma ?
Mesothelioma is one of the deadliest diseases ever to have been discovered by mankind. The word mesothelioma literally means cancer of the mesothelium (oma is a medical term for cancer). The mesothelium is the sac that protects vital organs of our body and this disease affects the cells of the lining and makes them malevolent. The main cause of mesothelioma is the prolonged exposure to asbestos, although other factors such as smoking may result in additional complications. Usually this disease is found to affect people and workers who work in industries that use asbestos as an imperative input for carrying on different processes. It is being used in factories, automobile, shipyard and construction.
For the three different types of mesothelioma : pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial, the most familiar types of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, while pericardial mesothelioma and peritoneal mesothelioma are less frequent.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma. The pleura are nothing but the thin membrane located between the chest cavity and the lungs. They prevent the lungs from chafing with the chest walls by providing a surface that is lubricated. So, therefore pleural mesothelioma is also referred to as lung cancer. Pleural mesothelioma type affects the chest and lungs of its victim. From the chest and lungs, it spreads to different organs in the body, including the brain. Pleural mesothelioma is often not easy to detect. Survival rates are usually about a year and a half from the onset of their symptoms. A very small percentage may survive three to five years.
Another common types of this cancer is peritoneal mesothelioma. This peritoneal membrane helps in the enclosure of the organs in the abdomen. Even though peritoneal mesotheliomas are less common than pleural mesotheliomas, they are more invasive and may cut down the life expectancy of the patient. Mesotheliomas have been previously found in the abdominal and stomach areas.
Pleural Mesothelioma strikes the lining of the lungs and causes shortness of breath, persistent cough, and a pain that lingers in the chest. Pleural mesothelioma symptoms include: pain in a specific area of the chest that doesn't seem to go away, shortness of breath or breathing problems due to fluid buildup in the chest, weight loss, fever, aneamia, fatigue, coughing up blood, jaundice, low blood sugar, blood clots and tumor masses.
Treatment for mesothelioma depends on the sites of the cancer, the phase of the disease, and the patient's age and normal health. Surgery is a common treatment for mesothelioma. For cancer of the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), a lung may be removed in an operation called a pneumonectomy. Sometimes part of the diaphragm, the muscle below the lungs that helps with breathing, is also removed. Radiotherapy may be used as part of treatment to try to cure mesothelioma.
[from various source]