Mesothelioma Cancer is a rare, aggressive kind of cancer that affects the lining of lungs, heart, or abdomen. It’s the type of cancer that generally develops on a thin layer of tissue of internal organs. Unfortunately, Mesothelioma cancer is an incurable and has a very slow prognosis. It is most commonly diagnosed in older individuals as it takes almost 20 to 50 years to develop. Mesothelioma is a deadly disease.
Causes Of Mesothelioma Cancer
Usually, it is seen in men working as an electrician, construction, business, Plumber, shipyards, labor working in brick factory, etc. The main cause of Mesothelioma cancer is heavy exposure to dangerous airborne asbestos fibers. When asbestos fiber is breathed, it reaches to pleura in the lungs and cause inflammation. They may also damage DNA and cause changes to cells. Some more causes of Mesothelioma cancer includes zeolites which are somewhat chemically related to asbestos. Not only this, but high doses of radiation can also lead to this type of cancer. Studies also prove that SV40 kind of virus that is simian virus 40 might also increase the Mesothelioma type of cancer in the internal organs.
Signs and Symptoms Of Mesothelioma Cancer
Mesothelioma symptom does not appear on the initial stage of asbestos exposure. The accumulation of fluid in pleura that cause trouble in breathing and chest pain. As the tumor spread it makes the patient more weak and discomfort in swallowing. It does cause blood clotting abnormalities, fever and pain. Especially in women, symptoms of anemia are diagnosed at initial stage.
- Pleural effusion
- Low blood sugar level
- Blood in sputum
- Mass in lower abdomen
These are some more signs and symptoms seen in this type of cancer patient.
Types of Mesothelioma
All types of Mesothelioma cancer patients have low survival rates. There are four types of Mesothelioma cancer based on the location where it develops in the body:
1. Pleural Mesothelioma (Lungs)
It is the most commonly diagnosed cancers. It is caused by the heavy exposure of asbestos. The pleura is the sac of tissue that surrounds the lungs. It is lined by the membrane called mesothelium. When this lining gets damaged, it causes breathing problems. Once multiple tumor forms, their number get increases in a very short period of time and fill the space in the lungs. Chest or lower back pain, coughing up blood, difficulty in swallowing, blood clots are some common symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma.
2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma (Abdomen)
In this type of cancer, asbestos fiber gets trapped in the inner lining of the abdomen. Due to its location in the body, Peritoneal Mesothelioma is also called Abdominal Mesothelioma. There are two common theories regarding Peritoneal Mesothelioma. One is Indigestion and another one is lymphatic transport. The main symptom of Peritoneal Mesothelioma is Vomiting, pain in abdomen, nausea etc.
3. Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart)
Pericardial Mesothelioma is a rare kind of cancer that is found in pericardium (thin layer of tissue that surrounds the heart). This cancer forms between two layers of mesothilium tissue, creating a small cavity that allows heart to expand. Fluids start collecting between the layers and gets thicken. Tumors spread incredibly and prevent beating of the heart. Symptoms are usually, problem in breathing, heart murmurs, cough, etc.
Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma Cancer
It involves a variety of tests for the diagnosis. The Imaging test includes X-Ray, CT scans, PET scans, MRIs. Mesothelioma can be tested through blood test also. Biopsies confirm the Mesothelioma cancer in the body. In this doctor examine the piece of tissue and detect the presence of cancerous cell if any.
Upon diagnosis, the doctor will categorize Mesothelioma in four stages.
- Stage I: It is located in one area and has not spread to other body parts.
- Stage II: A large tumor is detected which has progressed to nearby lymph nodes. But is not gone any further.
- Stage III: Tumor has spread beyond the area and lymph nodes too.
- Stage IV: The tumor has typically spread everywhere and is increasing. It has spread throughout the lymphatic system invading the organs.
Treatment Of Mesothelioma Cancer
Unfortunately, there is no cure for Mesothelioma cancer, but there are many treatments that can increase the life span of patients.
For patient in early stage, tumors can be removed by surgery. But in the long run it has proved to be disappointing. With the help of Palliative surgery patient can be relieved from painful side effects of Mesothelioma. It involves Pleurodisis, Thoracentasis, Paracentesis.
Radiation therapy is the oldest way to treat Mesothelioma cancer. Radiation gives a consolidative treatment. Giving radiation after radical surgery improves the life expectancy of the patient. High dose radiation kills the cancerous cells at the molecular level that are found in patients.
Chemotherapy can alleviate symptoms of Mesothelioma but it’s not that effective. It has side effects too. The main aim of chemotherapy is to rapidly kill cancerous cells. It also shrinks the tumor and improves quality of life.
Mesothelioma Law Firm
Mesothelioma patients can seek for the financial help. Because Mesothelioma is caused by the exposure of asbestos, a worker can ask for compensation, VA benefits or can file a legal claim too. The basic financial options include clinic trials, Medicare, medical insurance etc.
Prevention Of Mesothelioma Cancer
As the main cause of Mesothelioma cancer is asbestos, so it can only be prevented if the person avoids the overexposure to that harmful environment.
a) Perform monitoring and keep proper records.
b) Communicate hazards of exposure to asbestos.
c) Offer respiratory protection if exposure exceeds.
d) Provide medical support to the workers.
“Prevention is better than cure”, we all have heard this. It is not easy to survive with such a kind of disease, but where there is a will there is a hope. Prevent yourself from such a hazardous disease and live long. Researchers are constantly exploring new ways to teat such kind of diseases with new drugs and techniques. The Top cancer centers are performing clinical trials. Immunotherapy, gene therapy, P53 restorative drugs, PDT are all kinds of emerging tests.
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