Mesothelioma – Understanding Malignant Mesothelioma
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is the name given to a type of mineral fiber a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals- that is naturally occurring found in rock and soil. Due to the strength and a highly heat-resistant fibrous silicate mineral, it has long been used in woven into fabrics, buildings for insulation and as a fire-resistant construction material. In addition, asbestos is also widely used in many manufactured goods and pre-fabricated products mostly in building materials (roofing shingles, ceiling and floor tiles, automobile clutch and brake, heat-resistant fabrics, gaskets, packaging, and coatings.
How might I be exposed to asbestos?
Because Asbestos fibers are naturally occurring in our environment, we are all exposed to low levels of asbestos and inhale them while breathing every day air. Low level of asbestos exposure is of no health issues. These levels range from 10,000 to 15,000 asbestos fibers a day and generally are highest in cities and industrial areas. People working in industries or living near these industries with continuous exposure to high levels on the other hand, can be deadly. During manufacture of the asbestos, Asbestos fibers may be released into the air, or in some way it is released into the air. Drinking water may contain asbestos from natural sources.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is an occupational disease not an ordinary disease caused by asbestos chemicals inhaled in your body, thus the general population does not normally encounter. Being diagnosed with Mesothelioma is clear evidence showing that the disease exists. Mesothelioma get you horribly sick and you have to have evidence out from your medical doctor that you have Mesothelioma Cancer. Being distinguishing between an occupational disease and a disease of ordinary life is not complicated in this case, asbestos inhalation is the only cause known till now for being diagnose with Mesothelioma.
What are the types of Mesothelioma?
There are four types of mesothelioma:
1-What is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma the most common form of mesothelioma develops in the protective lining of the lung the mesothelium, known as the pleura. This type makes up roughly 75 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
The most common pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:
• Shortness of breath
• Persistent dry cough
• Persistent chest pain
• Difficulty swallowing
• Night sweats / fever
Treatment for pleural mesothelioma largely depends on the stage of the cancer but averagely life expectancy of the patient is between 12 and 21 months and on how advanced the disease is and the kind the treatments they receive.
When mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage, various surgical procedures may be an option for patients, potential for a radical treatment combined with neoadjuvant or adjuvant chemotherapy and/or adjuvant radiotherapy may be performed.
Most treatments in later stages are palliative from dyspnea and pain, meaning they aim to relieve symptoms and improve quality of life.
2-What is Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Abdominal Mesothelioma?
Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the mesothelium lining of the abdomen, on the surface of the omentum and visceral organs known as the peritoneum.
This type makes up roughly 20percent of all mesothelioma cases. Common symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include:
• Pain in the abdomen
• Abdominal swelling
• Weight loss and loss of appetite
• Nausea / vomiting
• Constipation or diarrhea
• Elevated white blood count
As the disease develops around the abdominal lining due to fluid accumulation occurs and thickening of the peritoneal membrane – Patients may have the above symptoms. Because peritoneal mesothelioma metastasizes throughout the body more quickly than other types, treatment may be difficult. Treatment is mostly palliative and not curative although Heated chemotherapy has shown some hope in treating this type of mesothelioma to life expectancy.
3-What is Pericardial Mesothelioma?
Pericardial mesothelioma affects the exterior lining surrounding the heart; fluid builds up in the spaces of the pericardium, known as the pericardium. Pericardial mesothelioma is extremely rare and accounts for about 1 percent of all mesothelioma diagnoses. It is currently unknown how the asbestos fibers get into the pericardium, but studies shown that there is a possible relation to asbestos exposure but that is only in cases with coexistent asbestos related pleural disease.
Pericardial mesothelioma symptoms include:
• Irregular Heartbeat
• Chest Pain
• Shortness and difficulty Breathing
• Night Sweats / Fever
• Swelling of face or arms
• Pericardial effusion
As with other types of mesothelioma, treatment is mostly palliative and not curative that relieves symptoms.
A pericardiectomy is removing pericardial tumors of some or all of the pericardium in certain cases only.
4-What is Testicular Mesothelioma?
Testicular mesothelioma develops in the membrane lining that covers the testicle the tunica vaginalis, also called mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis testis.
This is the rarest type of mesothelioma, for less than 1 percent of all mesothelioma cases.
Because of the rarity of this type it puzzled the researchers; most testicular cancer patients have no history of asbestos exposure as many patients are diagnosed accidentally while receiving surgery or treatment for another condition.
There is no recognized set of symptoms but the two main signs of this cancer may appear which is painless testicular lumps and swelling of the scrotum.
Testicular mesothelioma patients may undergo surgery to removal of a portion of one testicle, or even an entire affected testicle. Treatment may be followed by adjuvant therapy, which involves chemotherapy or radiation therapy after the surgery to kill any remaining cancer cells.
How common is each type of mesothelioma?
• Pleural Mesothelioma 75% of all cases
• Pericardial Mesothelioma 1% of all cases
• Peritoneal Mesothelioma 10-20% of all cases
• Testicular Mesothelioma < 1% of all cases
Medical research shows treating peritoneal mesothelioma have much prognosis than the other three types, but every case is different and an unpredictable than the other.
Specialists determine development with imaging scans, such as X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and others, biopsies, Along with blood tests and other examinations that help detect tumors in the body and the extent of tumor growth and spread beyond the point of origin.
The spread of cancer is known as metastasis. Once doctors confirm the existence of this deadly ailment which is usually associated with an asbestos history in a patient, they immediately turn to what is medically referred ‘mesothelioma prognosis’.
This is basically their best predication of fighting a slowly progressive patient’s battle ahead and also the possible outcome. While the disease is difficult to beat and seeks the most medical attention with the several aspects of it which one cannot control, there are certain things that can be done by a patient to help make the problem less worse.
Has the use of Asbestos been banned?
In the U.S. most people believe that Asbestos had been banned after warnings were issued in the 1970s but in fact the United States had not banned asbestos completely in all of its forms and it is considered to be one of very few major industrialized nations that continues to use asbestos and is legally permitted in Production, import, distribution and processing.