What is Mesothelioma? Where to get treatment? – There are many types of disease. Cancer is one of the dangerous and deadly diseases. No cure has been invented against it till date but there is always a hope. There are many types of cancer. Malignant mesothelioma (me-zo-thee-le-O-muh) is one of them. It is a rare cancer that occurs in the thin layer of tissue that covers the majority of your internal organs (mesothelium). It is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. The chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the cavity around the heart are surrounded by a layer of specialized mesothelial cells. Most other internal organs are also covered by these cells. The tissue formed by these cells is called mesothelium. A special protective lubricating fluid that allows organs to move around is produced by the mesothelium. This protective fluid helps the lungs to move without resistance inside the chest cavity while breathing. A malignant (cancerous) tumor of the mesothelium is called a malignant mesothelioma. As most mesothelial tumors are cancerous, malignant mesothelioma is often simply called mesothelioma. Tumors of the mesothelium can also be benign (noncancerous) but benign mesotheliomas are much more rare. Your close relative — perhaps even you yourself — has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, a form of cancer newly affecting 2,000 to 3,000 individuals in the United States each year. So it is easily understand the threat of it and the depth of risk.
It can be of three distinct types: Pleural, Peritoneal and Pericardial. The difference is that pleural mesothelioma cells grow inside the membranes surrounding lung tissue, peritoneal mesothelioma cells develop in abdominal linings and pericardial mesothelioma develops in the cells enveloping the heart. About three-fourths of diagnosed mesothelioma cases are pleural; most of the remainders are peritoneal, as pericardial mesothelioma is relatively rare.
It is so tough to diagnose because of its early symptoms. They are ill-defined and are shared with a numbers of other much less serious conditions. Its long development time of the disease often causes a patient’s risk profile to be misinterpreted. Also the symptoms may vary depending on the location of the tumor within the body. But for pleural mesothelioma, the usual symptom is an increase of fluid that is accumulated between the membranes covering the chest wall and the lungs. Other symptoms are mild to severe pain in the chest, dry cough and dyspnea i.e. shortness of breath, and blood in the sputum. In peritoneal mesothelioma, the patient feels pain in the abdomen. An abnormal accumulation of fluid in the abdomen may form, resulting in the development of a mass in the abdomen. The patient may feel abnormal bowel function and loss of weight. Pericardial symptoms are similar to the other two forms, but the pain and fluid buildup are in the heart region. Severe and advanced cases of mesothelioma are indicated by formation of blood clots in blood vessels, especially in the veins, by internal bleeding, by significant drop in blood sugar level, and by jaundice.
It is very difficult to diagnose this disease because the symptoms are closely same of less serious diseases. It will often require X-ray and other body scans (CT or MRI) in addition to a biopsy to conclusively diagnose mesothelioma. But the symptoms (given before) should alert the doctors. This is particularly true among those with a known asbestos-exposure history. Those with asbestos exposure history should communicate this to their physician even before symptoms appear so that they may be able to alert patients to warning signs of the disease. If detected early enough, patients may be eligible for aggressive treatment options, including surgical resection of mesothelioma cancer and affected tissue. Oncologists and thoracic specialists will be able to assist the patient in determining the extent of the disease and the best treatment options for that particular patient.
This disease is an aggressive type of cancer but it can be managed by chemotherapy, radio-therapy and by surgery. In this time there is no known cure for asbestos cancer but several mesothelioma treatment regimens have proven to be successful in helping the patient avoid pain and discomfort caused by the disease. There are many therapies that can reduce the aggressive attack of it and may extend the life for long. Cancer Treatments centers have initiated hundreds of clinical trials in recent years to help mesothelioma patients find a therapy that works for them while still working towards a cure for future patients. Progressive therapies are now being developed through the International Mesothelioma Program.