Mesothelioma is an aggressive, malignant cancer that develops from the mesothelium (the inner lining of the pleura – the lining of the lungs). This type of cancer tumor growth disrupts lung function, causes general intoxication of the body.
The tumor is able to metastasize (it can spread to other areas of the body via bloodstream or lymph system) which significantly worsens the patient’s condition.
Who Is At Risk Of Developing Mesothelioma
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare but serious type of cancer, the leading cause is exposure to asbestos (a natural mineral from the class of silicates). Most people who have mesothelioma have worked in places where they may have inhaled asbestos particles.
This type of cancer can take a long time to develop after exposure to asbestos. Recognizing the symptoms or signs of is mesothelioma is very vital for earlier detection and improving prognosis Most people with mesothelioma have symptoms for at least a few months before they are diagnosed.
Here Are 10 Signs or Symptoms Of Mesothelioma
- Difficulty breathing
- Pain in the side of the chest or lower back
- Pain in chest or abdomen
- Unexplained weight loss.
- Dry cough or wheezing or Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
- Fever or excessive night sweats
- Muscle weakness
- Coughing up blood
- Fluid buildup in lungs
Sometimes, it is difficult to recognize the difference between malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer. For the diagnosis, your doctor will examine the chest, listening to the lungs with a phonendoscope or using imaging tests and a biopsy.
Biopsy is a research method in which a small piece of a tumor is taken (with a special needle, thoracoscopy or with an open operation on a lung) and its cell composition is examined for the detection of tumor cells.
Often, malignant mesothelioma is detected when it is already advanced. This makes its treatment difficult.
The treatment includes surgery, radiation and / or chemotherapy.
- Surgical treatment (removal of the pleura (outer lining of the lungs) or the pleura with the lung).
- Chemotherapy – the use of anticancer drugs aimed at stopping the multiplication of tumor cells.
- Radiation therapy – irradiation of the tumor to reduce its size and inhibit further growth.
- The combination of the above methods.
Life expectancy after detection of the disease is about 1,5 years. Surgical treatment is effective only with a limited form of the disease and its detection in the early stages.
Limit your exposure with asbestos and other harmful chemicals (eg silicates, beryllium, liquid paraffin), ionizing radiation.