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What You Need to Know About Pleural Mesothelioma

What You Need to Know About Pleural Mesothelioma…Cancer Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs (pleural lining). It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral commonly used in construction and insulation.

Cancer occurs when normal cells begin to grow and divide uncontrollably, forming abnormal cells. It affects various parts of the body, damaging the immune system and leading to death. With a history dating back to 3000 B.C., cancer is considered both an ancient and modern disease due to its impact on society. Currently, cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States and fourth in the UK.

Symptoms include chest pain, shortness of breath, fatigue, and a persistent cough. Diagnosis is made through imaging tests, biopsy, and pleural fluid analysis. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy, however, there is no cure for pleural mesothelioma. Early detection and avoiding exposure to asbestos can help reduce the risk of developing the disease.

What is Mesothelioma cancer?

Mesothelioma cancer is a rare type of cancer that affects the lining membrane of specific organs in the body, such as the lungs, heart, and abdomen. It is important to understand what it is before proceeding further.

What causes Mesothelioma cancer?

Mesothelioma is a cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a small particle or fiber that was used for insulation and heating in homes, but is now used sparingly with strict safety measures. In the past, many people were exposed to asbestos in their jobs, particularly in construction and military service, but the dangers were unknown at the time. Nowadays, people who were exposed to asbestos for a long time, especially more than 20 years ago, are at risk of developing Mesothelioma. The risk increases with heavier exposure and longer duration. Although tobacco smoking does not cause Mesothelioma on its own, it can increase the risk of developing the disease in people who were exposed to asbestos.

Mesothelioma causes

How much asbestos exposure can cause cancer

There is no safe level of asbestos exposure. Any amount of asbestos exposure can increase the risk of developing cancer, such as mesothelioma, lung cancer, or ovarian cancer. The risk of developing cancer increases with the length and intensity of exposure. The latency period between exposure and onset of cancer can be 20-50 years or more. It is important to take precautions to minimize exposure to asbestos and to seek medical attention if you have been exposed to asbestos and experience symptoms such as shortness of breath, chest pain, or coughing.

Is smoking worse than asbestos?

Based on the facts, it can be said that both smoking and exposure to asbestos are extremely dangerous and can cause serious health problems. However, smoking is considered to be worse as it increases the risk of lung cancer by 50 to 84 times when combined with asbestos exposure. It is highly recommended to avoid both smoking and exposure to asbestos for a healthy and safe life.


How does asbestos cause cancer?

Over time, the continuous irritation and inflammation caused by the asbestos fibers can damage the DNA of the cells in the mesothelium, leading to mutations and eventually the development of cancer. Asbestos fibers can also trigger an immune response, leading to the formation of scar tissue, which can further contribute to the development of Mesothelioma. The risk of developing Mesothelioma increases with the length and intensity of exposure to asbestos. People who work in industries where asbestos is prevalent, such as construction, shipbuilding, and insulation manufacturing, are at a higher risk of developing this type of cancer.


Workers at Risk for Asbestos Exposure

What Causes it and who is affected?

Additionally, family members of workers who have brought asbestos fibers home on their clothing, hair, and skin can also be affected. This is known as secondary exposure.

People who live near asbestos mines or processing plants may also have an increased risk of developing the disease. This can occur due to the release of asbestos fibers into the air and groundwater.

Smoking does not cause mesothelioma, but it does increase the risk of developing the disease for those who have been exposed to asbestos. The combination of smoking and asbestos exposure can lead to a higher risk of lung cancer and mesothelioma.

It is important to note that not everyone who has been exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. However, the risk of developing the disease is significantly higher for those who have been exposed to asbestos fibers over a long period of time or at a high intensity.


How long does asbestosis take to develop?

Asbestosis is a progressive and chronic lung disease that can take anywhere from 10 to 50 years to develop after exposure to asbestos fibers. The length of time for the disease to develop depends on several factors such as the intensity and duration of asbestos exposure, the individual’s overall health, and the type of asbestos fibers inhaled. It is important to remember that even low levels of asbestos exposure over a long period of time can lead to the development of asbestosis.

What Are the symptoms and how is it diagnosed?

Diagnosis of Mesothelioma requires a combination of physical exams, imaging tests, and biopsy. Here is the process of diagnosing Mesothelioma:

  1. Physical Exam: A doctor will perform a physical examination, including a chest X-ray, to look for signs of Mesothelioma.
  2. Imaging Tests: CT scans, MRI scans, and PET scans are often used to detect Mesothelioma. These tests create images of the inside of the body and help the doctor to identify abnormal growths or fluid buildup.
  3. Biopsy: A biopsy is a procedure in which a small sample of tissue is removed and examined under a microscope. A biopsy is the only way to definitively diagnose Mesothelioma.
  4. Blood Tests: Blood tests may be performed to look for elevated levels of certain proteins or markers that are associated with Mesothelioma.
  5. Thoracentesis: This is a procedure in which a needle is inserted into the chest to remove fluid for testing. The fluid can be tested for cancer cells.

Early diagnosis of Mesothelioma is crucial for the best treatment outcomes. If you have a history of asbestos exposure and are experiencing symptoms, it is important to seek medical attention immediately.


Mesothelioma Treatment and Prognosis

It is important to note that each patient’s situation is unique and prognosis may vary depending on factors such as age, overall health, and the stage and type of Mesothelioma. Treatment options should be discussed with a medical professional to determine the best course of action for each individual. The goal of treatment is not only to extend the patient’s life but also to improve their quality of life and manage symptoms. In addition to traditional treatment options, supportive care and pain management may also play a crucial role in the patient’s overall well-being.



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