Monday, February 17, 2014

Types of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a rare type of lung cancer. The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos fibers. There is a long time gap, sometimes even up to 30 years, between exposure to asbestos and the start of the disease. It is also very difficult to diagnose this disease because the symptoms are very similar to other benign diseases like pneumonia.

Mesothelioma is a disease that affects the mesothelium or lining that forms a protective layer around the abdomen, lungs, heart and some few other parts of the body. The mesothelium cells divide rapidly during this disease. Also these cells have longer life spans and overgrow. This abnormal development of mesothelium cells is caused due to exposure to asbestos fibers. People who have worked in asbestos industries or lived around asbestos industries and their families are more prone to get this disease. After sometime, this may even affect the other parts of the body.

There are three main types of mesothelioma. It is called as pleural when it affects the lungs, peritoneal when it affects the abdomen and pericardial when it affects the heart. Around 75 % of mesothelioma cases are pleural and 20% are peritoneal or pericardial. There are also some other rare types of mesothelioma that affect the remaining 5%. All these statistics pertain only to the documented cases. There are thousands of cases that go undocumented or undiagnosed all around the world.

Pleural Mesothelioma:

Among the various types of cancer, mesothelioma accounts for only a small percentage. However, among the various types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma accounts for nearly three-fourth of the documented cases. In pleural mesothelioma, fluid gets built up between the chest and the mesothelium lining.


The symptoms of this disease include panting, shortness of breath, fever, loss of weight, coughing up blood and breathing difficulties. Patients of pleural mesothelioma face acute chest pain. Since the symptoms of this disease are similar to pneumonia, it is often confused with this disease. The diagnosis is also difficult. There is no known cure for pleural mesothelioma. There are two types of pleural mesothelioma - cancerous and non-cancerous. When it is cancerous, it is called as a malignant form and when it is non-cancerous, it is called as a benign form.

The latency period of mesothelioma is around 20 to 50 years. This makes it very difficult for many people to link the disease to asbestos exposure. They might have changed many jobs by this time and may not consider their disease as an occupational type of disease.

Pleural mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers. These fibers enter the lungs through the nose or mouth and they settle in the lungs. Then, they travel through the tissues. Since they are light and invisible, they become easily airborne and inhalable. When the asbestos fibers settle in the mesothelium lining, the mesothelium cells start showing abnormal behavior, thereby leading to mesothelioma. In this disease, tumors are formed in lungs and mesothelium and this may also spread to other parts of the body too.

Since they are difficult to detect, they might have caused maximum havoc by the time they are detected. Mostly, when mesothelioma is detected, the patients are in the final stages of cancer with only a few months or years left. Sometimes, not even that. Mesothelioma is a terrible killer disease. Proper tests and efforts must be taken by the medical fraternity to detect the disease as soon as possible.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma:

Peritoneal Mesothelioma is a very rare disease. Around 10-20 % of the documented mesothelioma cases are diagnosed with peritoneal mesothelioma. This type of mesothelioma affects the abdomen of the patient. The mesothelium cells of the abdomen behave abnormally in this disease. This disease is also caused by the oral inhalation of asbestos fibers. The fibers travel through the entire digestive tract and settle in some part of the digestive systems. The mesothelium lining in that part starts dividing rapidly and the cells also have longer life spans. This causes tumors in the abdomen and this may also spread to other parts of the body. The main symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, constipation, fever, chest pain, loss of weight and breaking difficulties. Loose motions or constipation, a swollen stomach and chunks of tissues in the abdominal area are classic signs of peritoneal mesothelioma. The disease is diagnosed in several ways using x-rays, IT scans, MRI, PET, Laparoscopy, Laparotomy, Thoracotomy and so on. The main risk factor for contracting this disease is exposure to asbestos fibers, and asbestos dust. However some of the following factors also increase the risk of contracting this disease:

    A family that has a history of cancer i.e. hereditary risk factors.
    A smoker seems to have a higher chance of contracting the disease as compared to a non-smoker, who has had the same level and amount of exposure to asbestos fibers.
    Zeolite is a mineral which has properties very similar to asbestos and also seems to be as hazardous as asbestos.
    Thorium dioxide used in x-rays is also a trigger factor for cancer.

Pericardial mesothelioma:

The most rare form of mesothelioma is the pericardial mesothelioma; it affects the mesothelium linings of the heart. The main symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are chest pain, breathing difficulties, fever, palpitations, tiredness and cough. Like all other types of mesothelioma, there is no cure for this type also. The only thing that doctors can do is to reduce the pain and discomfort of the symptoms and help the patients have a comfortable and peaceful death.

The pericardial lining of the heart is removed to reduce the symptoms. The heart is the most fragile part of the body. It is covered with an even fragile lining called pericardium. That is why this disease is called as pericardial mesothelioma as it affects the pericardium. The earliest symptoms are tiredness, chest pains, heart palpitations, breathing difficulties and persistent cough. Since these signs are common to other heart problems, it is difficult to diagnose this disease. Slowly, the heart lining starts thickening and fluids start filling the heart. It may also spread to other organs of the body.

In the later stages of pericardial mesothelioma, the patient finds it very difficult to consume any food or liquids. The lungs stop functioning gradually and the obstruction in intestines becomes more prominent. The heart condition worsens and the patient may be affected by a stroke or heart attack. Death becomes the solution and salvation that the mesothelioma patients crave for. The persons most likely to get this disease are those who face constant exposure to the risk factors like

    Shipyard workers
    Asbestos industries' laborers and miners.
    Zeolite industries' laborers and miners.
    Construction site workers.
    Fire poof materials manufacturers
    Cement mixers

Not only the above groups of people are having a high chance of contracting the disease but also their families run a risk of contracting this disease. The workers when they return home carry the asbestos dust and asbestos fibers in their clothing and their families may be exposed to the disease. The workers should take the following precautionary measures:

    They should wear protective clothing to work.
    They should change their dresses and wash up before they leave for home.
    An expert should be hired to detect if there is any asbestos in the residence and nearby environment.

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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Mesothelioma FAQs

Apart from sufferers and households, mesothelioma's information is searched by all and want the answer of some questions. Below are some of the most asked questions and their answers about mesothelioma:

What is mesothelium?
Mesothelium is a membrane that completely protects every of interior organs of body. This membrane is created up of two layers of cells, one particular layer surrounds the organ although the other forms a sack close to it. The mesothelium produces lubricating fluid which is released between these layers, permitting the relocating organs such as the heart and lungs to glide effortlessly towards adjacent surfaces.

What is the mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of most cancers that attacks the mesothelium membrane, and is triggered by before exposure to asbestos particles. When mesothelioma strikes, cells of the mesothelium turn out to be abnormal and divide without having management, and malignant cells produce in the mesothelium which can metastasize from their first internet site to invade and injury nearby tissues and organs inside of the body. Usually, mesothelioma will start in the pleura or peritoneum.. the belly cavity or lungs.

How widespread is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a reasonably unusual form of cancer, even although reported incidence figures present a constant increase above the earlier 20 years or so. Each and every calendar year around 2,000 new situations of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States on your own. Mesothelioma has an effect on guys far more so than females and the threat increases with age, but mesothelioma can take place in possibly sexual intercourse and at any age.

What are the causes of mesothelioma?

At least 90% of mesotheliomas can be joined to exposure to asbestos, although usually the exposure will have taken spot a lot of many years before the cancer gets evident. It is recognized that even extremely lower ranges of exposure to asbestos can direct to the improvement of mesothelioma, so it is attainable that some patients may not have had any known make contact with with asbestos but may possibly even now have breathed in asbestos fibres without having noticing it. Publicity to certain chemicals and radiation has also been linked to mesothelioma, and a small amount of mesotheliomas have been joined to a sort of radiation known as thorium dioxide(thorotast). This was used in some x-rays up until the 1950's. There is no evidence linking mesotheliomas with cigarette using tobacco

How is mesothelioma diagnosed?
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma are frequently hard to diagnose being really equivalent to the symptoms shown in other situations including asbestosis. The prognosis of mesothelioma will require a assessment of the patient's health care background, like past history of asbestos exposure. A complete bodily examination will be carried out and x-rays of the upper body and abdomen received. A CT scan or MRI may also show helpful in the prognosis of mesothelioma.

Can mesothelioma be taken care of?
Treatment for mesothelioma varies dependent on the area of the cancer, to what extent the mesothelioma has created, and the patient's age and basic issue. The alternatives for mesothelioma therapy include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.

Is there a remedy for mesothelioma?
The only treatment method offering any hope of a remedy for mesothelioma is an procedure to remove the tumour surgically. Unfortunately simply because mesothelioma is so difficult to diagnose, it is often too significantly advanced for surgical treatment to be carried out safely and securely.

Are there new remedies available for mesothelioma?

The Nationwide Cancer Institute is currently sponsoring medical trials in an energy to uncover new remedies for mesothelioma along with improvement of the way existing mesothelioma treatment options are executed. Prior to any new mesothelioma treatment method can be suggested for standard use, in depth medical trials should be carried out to demonstrate that the mesothelioma treatment is secure for individuals and will confirm successful in opposition to the ailment. Participation in these scientific trials can be an important therapy choice for a lot of clients struggling from the results of mesothelioma.

What is the life expectancy for individuals identified with mesothelioma?

The existence expectancy for sufferers diagnosed with mesothelioma will vary depending on the sort of most cancers, in which the tumor is, how much it has unfold and the age and common health of the affected person. Reports display average survival intervals of among eight and 14 months but it is not unheard of for individuals to live for a handful of a long time subsequent analysis of the problem.

So what is asbestosis?

Asbestosis is a non-cancerous persistent and probably deadly inflammatory condition impacting the lungs, and is brought on by exposure to asbestos. Asbestosis can result in permanent lung harm, improved risk of hazardous lung infections, and heart failure.

So people are the most usually requested concerns by people searching for mesothelioma information, and it is hoped the previously mentioned answers have enlightened you.
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