Mesothelium is a kind of tissue lining the lungs, stomach, heart and other vital organs. Once these tissues are exposed to risk factors, specifically asbestos, an individual becomes prone to a scarce kind 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 shared kind, accounting to more than 70 percent of all situations 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 regularly exposed to asbestos, be it at home or at work. This could either be direct exposure or by 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 already 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 meaningful relationship with each another, smoking could hasten asbestos-induced lung cancer.
Individuals who were exposed to asbestos could be prone 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 shared symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath caused by pleural effusion, which happens upon the formation of fluid between lungs and chest walls. Also shared are chest pains and rapid weight loss. Chest x-ray and CT examine could show the presence of mesothelioma, although more specific confirmations via serous effusion cytology or biopsy and microscopic examination.
Although chemotherapy, radiation and cobalt therapies, in addition 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 meaningful breakthroughs with regard to treatment protocols for mesothelioma patients and more options are now obtainable for managing mesothelioma and supporting improved quality of life. This sheds light, especially the afflicted individuals, who persevere 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.