What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a type of rare cancer where cancerous cells are found in the mesothelium. It is a cancer of mesothelial cells. These cells cover the outer surface of the internal body organs, forming the lining that is sometimes called the mesothelium. Between these surface the cells produce fluid, which allows easy movement of the heart and lungs within the chest cavity. The layer that covers the lungs is called the pluera and the layer that covers the heart is called the pericardium.
It can develop in the tissues covering the Lungs and Abdomen.
In mesothelioma, the cells of the mesothelium become cancerous and grow out of control.
What Causes Mesothelioma?
Asbestos exposure is the primary cause of the mesothelioma. After these fibers are breathed in they travel through the end of small air passages and reach the pleura where they cause physical damage to mesothelial cells, which may result in cancer.
They can also cause injury to lung cells that can results in lung cancer.
Exposure to asbestos, mostly occupational, can also be environmental or family by household contamination or even through the work clothes of asbestos.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The early symptoms of mesothelioma are not specific to the disease. People often ignore them as minor ailments. Most people with mesothelioma have symptoms for many months before they are diagnosed.
Over half of patients with pleural mesothelioma have pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest. Many report of shortness of breath. Some even have trouble in swallowing, cough and fever.
The most common symptoms includes are as follows:
- Pleuritic pain
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Bowel obstruction
- Blood clotting abnormalities
- Weight loss
If you have symptoms similar to those of mesothelioma you need to contact your doctor immediately for the possible diagnose and treatment method, which can help reduce the risk of developing mesothelioma and its side effects.
Mesothelioma Treatment options
The possible treatment for mesothelioma includes the following listed below:
Surgery – This involves an operation, an operation is done to remove the tumour. Surgery is often done if the cancer is only in one part of the body and has not spread across. The type of operation will depend on the area of body, which is affected by the cancer and also on the size and the position of the tumour.
Radiotherapy – The radiotherapy use a very high energy x-rays to destroy the cancer cells and cause a very little harm to normal cells. The radiotherapy is aimed at the affected part of the body and is very carefully planned. This therapy causes side effects and most common one involves is tiredness.
Chemotherapy – This involves the use of anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. There are over 50 different Chemotherapy drugs. Some are given as tablets or capsules but mostly given by drip into a vein. It can cause side effects, again depends upon the combination of drugs used.