Mesothelium is a type of tissue lining the lungs, stomach, heart and other vital organs. Once these tissues are exposed to risk factors, specifically asbestos, an individual becomes susceptible to a rare type of cancer we call mesothelioma cancer.
Also known as malignant mesothelioma, this illness comes in three types: pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type, accounting to more than 70 percent of all cases of mesothelioma. This usually afflicts the pleura, a lining in the lungs. Meanwhile, peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the abdominal cavity, while pericardial mesothelioma originates from the cardial lining pericardium.
In the United Kingdom alone, more than 2,300 people are found positive with mesothelioma symptoms. People who are constantly exposed to asbestos, be it at home or at work. This could either be direct exposure or through inhalation, although a person does not usually develop the disease, let alone manifest mesothelioma symptoms until many years after his exposure. In fact, according to the National Cancer Institute, it could even take takes 30-50 years to manifest mesothelioma.
Washing clothes of someone who has direct contact with asbestos, and other indirect factors, could also put a person at risk of mesothelioma.
While tobacco and mesothelioma do not have any significant relationship with each another, smoking could hasten asbestos-induced lung cancer.
Individuals who were exposed to asbestos could be susceptible to “collected damages for asbestos-related disease,” mesothelioma being one of them. This stems to the legal issues surrounding compensation via asbestos funds or class action lawsuits regarding mesothelioma, a hot topic these days.
The most common symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath caused by pleural effusion, which happens upon the formation of fluid between lungs and chest walls. Also common are chest pains and rapid weight loss. Chest x-ray and CT scan could reveal the presence of mesothelioma, although more specific confirmations via serous effusion cytology or biopsy and microscopic examination.
Although chemotherapy, radiation and cobalt therapies, as well as surgery sometimes, are proven effective in combating cancer, the same could not be said with mesothelioma given the poor mesothelioma prognosis as manifested by patients.
However, recent scientific research has produced significant breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life. This sheds light, especially the afflicted individuals, who endure the physical, emotional, and financial strain of a seemingly hopeless condition. Likewise, recently diagnosed patients often bombard their physicians about what treatment is best for this disease. Aside from the traditional cancer therapies we’ve mentioned above, lately-introduced chemotherapy drugs such as Alimta® and Cisplatin have shown promising results in some patients with mesothelioma.
Originally posted 2020-03-18 14:13:37.