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What is Mesothelioma: Causes and Treatment

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What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a cancer that arises from the cells lining the chest or abdominal cavities. Mesothelioma typically results from exposure to asbestos.

The outlook for patient with Mesothelioma depends on how early the disease is detected and how aggressively it is treated.

Physicians often first detect Mesothelioma late in the course of the disease, usually with a poor prognosis.

In very rare cases , Mesothelioma can originate from begnin ,non malignant cells.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Symptoms of mesothelioma appear when tumors spread, grow and press against the chest wall and the abdominal cavity. Chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms.

Below are some common Mesothelioma Symptoms to look out for:

Symptoms of mesothelioma appear when tumors spread, grow and press against the chest wall and the abdominal cavity. Chest pain and shortness of breath are the most common symptoms.

  • Dry coughing
  • Shortness of breath
  • Respiratory complications
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen
  • Fever or night sweats
  • Pleural effusion (fluid around the lungs)
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness in the muscles

What causes mesothelioma?

The common cause of mesothelioma is Asbestos exposure. Another cause is when we inhale or swallow microscopic fibres, it’s makes our bodies struggle to get prevent them.

Over the decades, the trapped fibres trigger biological changes that can cause inflammation, scarring and genetic damage that sometimes leads to cancer. The lengthy gap between asbestos exposure and diagnosis is called the latency period.

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Asbestos fibres most often become trapped in the lining of the lungs, called the pleura. They also can collect in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum) or heart (pericardium). Once fibres cause biological damage, the stage is set for the decades-long latency period for the development of malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma Treatment

There is no cure for Mesothelioma but it is possible for treatment to improve patient prognosis .

Treatment option will be based on the type of Mesothelioma patient,characteristics and stage it has gotten to.

There are alternative therapies and palliaties care options that can help improve symptoms and quality of life.

Once an individual has been diagnosed by a qualified mesothelioma doctor and the disease has been appropriately staged, the next step is to discuss mesothelioma treatment options and to develop a treatment plan. Although no cure for mesothelioma exists, several standard therapies are available. In some cases, these treatments can improve the patient’s prognosis, extending their lives significantly.

For late-stage mesothelioma patients, these treatments may be used palliatively to reduce pain and discomfort caused by the symptoms of mesothelioma.

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Surgery 

For patients with an early-stage mesothelioma diagnosis, surgery can be used remove all or most of the tumor(s). Depending on the tumor location, surgery may include removing the mesothelial lining, one or more lymph nodes, or part or all of a lung or other organ.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy drugs work by attacking fast-growing cells, such as cancer cells. Often used in conjunction with surgery, chemotherapy can kill any remaining mesothelioma cells that the surgeon was unable to remove physically.

Radiation Therapy

Through the use of targeted radiation, mesothelioma tumors can often be shrunk, making them easier to be removed through surgery. Depending on the tumor location, the radiation can be delivered using an external or an internal source.

Many treatment plans use an approach known as multimodal therapy, which employs two or more of these treatment methods in combination.

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Types of Mesothelioma

There are two ways to categorize the type of mesothelioma a person has. The first is by where the tumors are found in the body (lungs, abdomen, or heart), and the second is by the type of cell structure the cancer has (epithelioid, sarcomatoid, or biphasic).

Mesothelioma is most commonly classified by the location in the body where it develops. Specifically, the cancer forms in the lining of certain organs or spaces within the body, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma typically develops in one of three specific areas.

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Pleural Mesothelioma

Lungs

The most common type, pleural mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibers.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma

Abdomen

Inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers can become trapped in lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum).

Pericardial Mesothelioma

Heart

In rare cases, asbestos fibres can get lodged in the pericardium, the lining around the heart cavity.

Mesothelioma can also be characterized by the type of cell that makes up the tumours. The cell type is determined through a process known as histology, which is a microscopic inspection of the tissue acquired through a biopsy.

Epithelioid Mesothelioma

The most common cell type, epithelioid mesothelioma has elongated tumour cells that are all of a similar shape and size.

Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma

Less common than other cell types, sarcomatoid mesothelioma is very aggressive and resistant to various forms of treatment.

Biphasic Mesothelioma

Biphasic mesothelioma consists of a mixture of epithelioid and sarcomatoid cells and shows characteristics of both

Other Cell Types

Other cell type variations exist, such as demoplastic (a variation of sarcomatoid) and deciduoid (an epithelioid variation).

Know More About Types Of Mesothelioma

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