Mesothelioma is a cancer that you've never heard of. In fact, one of the rarest types of cancer with only about 2,000 new cases diagnosed each year. Since this condition is rare, may be interested in some basic information about it. For example, what is mesothelioma? What parts of the body affected? What causes it?
Mesothelioma is a disease in the mesothelium, a coating that protects the internal organs of the body, it becomes cancerous. Doctors use two terms to describe mesothelioma, localized and advanced. Mesothelioma located indicates that the cancer has not spread beyond the protective coating. Doctors use the term to describe advanced mesothelioma has spread to internal organs, lymph nodes or other body parts.
Exposure to asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a substance that was widely used in construction due to its insulating properties and fire retardant. In late 1980 and early 1990 there was a movement to ban some uses of this material due to its cancer causing nature.
The amount of asbestos used in construction is now limited, but some older homes may still have a lot of asbestos in the form of isolation. The problems usually occur with asbestos, when asbestos fibers are inhaled into the lungs.
This can happen if you decide to remodel your home and get the asbestos products without proper protective equipment. However, most people diagnosed with mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos for long periods of time in a job such as construction.
This type of cancer can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms can resemble other diseases. The main symptoms of mesothelioma include pain in the chest wall, shortness of breath, fatigue, anemia, wheezing or coughing. The patient may also experience abdominal pain, unexplained weight loss, and can spit blood.
A biopsy of affected tissue is required to confirm the diagnosis of mesothelioma. While your doctor is trying to reduce what is causing your problems, however, may carry out a series of tests. The tests used to refine your condition may include a radiograph of the chest cavity to check for thickening of the mesothelium, indicating that this layer has been damaged by exposure to asbestos. You can also order a CT scan or MRI. A check of the fluid around the lungs called cytology for cancer cells also may be necessary.
Unfortunately, the prognosis for mesothelioma is not favorable. Because the disease often presents with symptoms is not clear in patients with early stages is generally not diagnosed until the disease has become advanced.
At this point, survival rates are generally less than five years, depending on what type of treatment for your cancer responds to. Mesothelioma treatments include surgery to remove cancer cells and tumors, radiotherapy, immunotherapy and chemotherapy.
Mesothelioma is a disease that is quite rare and usually limited to workers who have been exposed to asbestos dust or fibers, while at work. For this reason, there have been limits on the amount of asbestos materials that can be placed in any home or building. Those who handle the material should exercise extreme caution and wear proper at all times to avoid getting sick from it.