September 22, 2023
Chicago 12, Melborne City, USA
Health Medical

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers the internal organs in the body. This rare form of cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring mineral that was widely used in the construction and manufacturing industries until the 1980s.

Asbestos is made up of tiny fibers that can easily become airborne and be inhaled or ingested. Once inside the body, these fibers can become lodged in the mesothelium and cause inflammation, scarring, and eventually, cancer. Mesothelioma can take decades to develop, with symptoms often not appearing until 20 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos.

There are three main types of mesothelioma:

  1. Pleural mesothelioma – affects the lining of the lungs and is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 75% of cases.
  2. Peritoneal mesothelioma – affects the lining of the abdomen and accounts for about 20% of cases.
  3. Pericardial mesothelioma – affects the lining of the heart and is the rarest form of mesothelioma, accounting for less than 1% of cases.

Symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on the type and stage of the cancer, but may include:

  • Shortness of breath
  • Chest pain
  • Persistent coughing
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain or swelling
  • Nausea or vomiting

Diagnosis of mesothelioma typically involves a combination of imaging tests, such as X-rays, CT scans, or MRI scans, as well as a biopsy to confirm the presence of cancerous cells. Once diagnosed, the stage of the cancer will be determined to help guide treatment options.

Treatment for mesothelioma typically involves a combination of surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In some cases, immunotherapy or targeted therapy may also be used. The goal of treatment is to remove as much of the cancer as possible and manage symptoms to improve quality of life.

Unfortunately, mesothelioma has a poor prognosis, with an average survival time of 12 to 21 months after diagnosis. However, early detection and treatment can improve outcomes and extend survival.

Preventing exposure to asbestos is the most effective way to prevent mesothelioma. This includes avoiding working with or around asbestos-containing materials, wearing proper protective equipment, and following proper safety protocols when working in environments where asbestos may be present.

In summary, mesothelioma is a rare and aggressive form of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. Early detection and treatment can improve outcomes, but prevention of exposure to asbestos is the most effective way to prevent this devastating disease.

 

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