Monday, March 12, 2012

Mesothelioma: More About this Asbestos Cancer

Cancers and other forms of diseases are usually named

according to the part of the body or the internal organ

where abnormal growth of malignant cells takes place.

In the case of Mesothelioma, the abnormal cells grow in

the mesothelium, a surface cell layer that covers and

protects most internal organs. Normally, the

mesothelium produces small amount of fluid in order to

lubricate its layers--one of which directly covers the

organ--and allow the movement of the organs, like the

expansion and contraction of the lungs. A Mesothelioma

cancer patient's mesothelium produces too much of this

lubricating fluid, thereby damaging nearby tissues and

organs. The most common form of Mesothelioma is Pleural

Mesothelioma, which begins in the Pleural or

Peritoneum, the membrane that lines the chest cavity

and covers the lungs.

About 2,000 cases of Mesothelioma have been noted

yearly in United States. This is still a rare disease

to consider, although the reported incidents have

escalated in the past two decades. It has been observed

and proven that heavy and long exposure to asbestos is

the prime cause of Mesothelioma. Asbestos is a group of

minerals in strong, flexible and fibrous form. It is

used in industrial products such as cement, brake

linings, textiles, electrical insulation, flooring

products, chemical filters, fireproofing materials and

others. This explains why most Mesothelioma patients

are working in construction sites, shipyards and

manufacturing companies of said industrial products.

Small asbestos particles float in the air and are

either inhaled or swallowed by workers or persons

within the vicinity. Aside from Mesothelioma, these

people can acquire asbestosis, a non-cancerous chronic

lung sickness and other forms of cancer of the lungs,

cancer of the larynx and kidney.

Asbestos-related Mesothelioma comprise only 70 to 80

percent of the all the reported cases of the said

cancer. There are reported Mesothelioma cases wherein

the patients did not have any known exposure to

asbestos. Some have been exposed only for a short

period of time but still developed the cancer 20 to 50

years after the exposure, like in the case of a

Mesothelioma cancer patient who only washed clothes

that have been exposed to asbestos. Likewise, asbestos

fibers that have been stuck in the hair strands of a

factory worker can also risk the health of others whom

he lives with. It is therefore important for workers

exposed to asbestos to change their clothes and take a

shower before leaving the workplace to prevent his

family members or companions from inhaling the asbestos

particles and thus, from acquiring Mesothelioma.

The Mesothelioma cancer is slow-forming. That's why one

develops the cancer so many years after the exposure to

asbestos. Some develop the cancer fifty years after the

exposure, which makes it hard to determine whether the

person has Mesothelioma or not, especially when the

patient has no knowledge of the exposure to asbestos.

Moreover, malignant Mesothelioma shows signs similar to

those of other ailments such as pneumonia. Symptoms of

Pleural Mesothelioma also evident in other illnesses

include: shortness of breath, persistence of cough,

weight loss and chest pain. Peritoneal Mesothelioma,

which affects the abdominal cavity, is indicated by

swelling of and pain in the abdomen, weight loss, bowel

obstruction, anemia, blood clotting abnormalities and


Complete physical examination is needed to make sure

one has Mesothelioma cancer. This includes xrays of the

body part where the symptoms are felt or seen, CT scan

and MRI. To confirm Mesothelioma, a biopsy is also

performed by a surgeon or oncologist (a physician who

is specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of a

cancer). The sample tissue removed by the surgeon is

examined by the pathologist. Once confirmed, the doctor

then finds out the extent of the cancer, which is

crucial to the treatment of Mesothelioma. Although

malignant, Mesothelioma when earlier diagnosed can

still be treated. Most Mesothelioma patients undergo

surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy.

David Arnold Livingston is an advocate for Health and recommends, as a resource: []

No comments:

Post a Comment