Mesothelioma is an aggressive form of a cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs, abdomen or the heart. It develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs. Mesothelioma mostly affects the lungs and chest walls, but less common in the lining of the abdomen heart, testis.
Records from the Centers for Disease Control 2017, about 2,400 – 2,800 individuals are being diagnosed with the sickness called mesothelioma in the US yearly. This is mostly people who worked with or who are been exposed to asbestos have a higher risk of developing this disease.
This mesothelioma is classified according to the location where it develops in the body, we have the Pleural Mesothelioma (LUNGS), which is the most common type caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers, peritoneal mesothelioma (ABDOMEN), caused by inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers can become trapped in the lining of the abdomen, pericardial mesothelioma (HEART), caused when asbestos fibers get lodged in the pericardium, lining around the heart cavity.
Diagnosing mesothelioma/signs and symptoms
Pleural mesthelioma- The signs and symptoms of this disease my not manifest until 20 – 50 years or more than that after being exposed to asbestos. Short breathing, cough, pain in the chest. Others includes; chest wall pain, fatigue or anemia, blood in the sputum, wheezing, hoarseness etc. development of pneumothora and tumor may arise at the severe case level.
Peritoneal mesothelioma- the most common is the abdominal swelling, pain. It also leads to weight loss, fever, night sweating, vomiting, constipation etc
Pericardial mesothelioma- This is is not well characterized, but observed cases have included cardiac symptoms, specifically constrictive pericarditis, heart failure, pulmonary embolism, and cardiac tamponade. They have also included nonspecific symptoms, including substernal chest pain, orthopnea (shortness of breath when lying flat), and cough. These symptoms are caused by the tumor encasing or infiltrating the heart
Reduction to exposure to asbestos
Treatment of Mesothelioma
- Heated intraoperative intrapertoneal chemotherapy
- Multimodality therapy
Factors that affect the survival rate of mesothelioma
- The cancer site
- The stage of the cancer
- Tumor histology
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