Mesothelioma is a type of cancer which generally affects the cells in one of two areas of the body in nearly 2,000 people each year. One potential area is carried out around the outside of the lining of the lungs, just inside of the ribs, known as pleural mesothelioma. The other can be placed around the abdominal organs, when we refer to as peritoneal mesothelioma. Tumors associated with the disease can be either benign (not cancerous) or malignant (cancer). The only known cause of malignant mesothelioma is previous exposure to asbestos fibers, including chrysotile, amosite or crocidolite. The symptoms of this currently incurable disease may not occur until about twenty years after exposure.
asbestos manufacturers were quite aware of the dangers of some seventy years ago, but decided to keep this information to themselves. Warning for those at risk of asbestos disease was not until the mid-1960s, but even then, the warnings were not enough for the cause. Even today, those who work around asbestos fibers are not fully warned of the situation and who are at high risk for the disease feared.
Pleural is the most common type of mesothelioma, for almost 75% of all reported cases involved with lung cancer. Asbestos fibers in the pleura can cause cancer, as well as promote its growth. The malignant tumor does not depend on any other processes for its development.
Although there is no cure in progress, pleural mesothelioma can be treated in several ways, including: chemotherapy (and other drug-type therapy), radiation, photodynamic therapy and intra-operative surgery. experimental treatments such as gene therapy and immunotherapy are also growing in popularity, helping to increase lung function and decrease pain.
peritoneal mesothelioma are less common but are still directly linked to asbestos exposure. No one knows for sure how the asbestos fibers creates a thin membrane surrounding the tumor of many organs in the abdomen. Many believe that the fibers are simply swallowed up and present themselves in the intestines, eventually moving through the intestinal wall into the peritoneum (thin membrane). Treatments for peritoneal mesothelioma include chemotherapy (and other drug therapies), radiation and surgery.
Other areas of the body have also been known to host such a disease-a type of peritoneal mesothelioma was found in the testes, while a pleural mesothelioma was found in the heart.
Benign (generally not life threatening) mesotheliomas are not believed to be caused by exposure to asbestos. Nearly 70% of all cases occur in females and can usually be removed with surgery. Unfortunately, benign cystic mesothelioma has a high probability of return after removed.
If you or someone you love has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, look for the best information available to date and get the best medical care. There are literally hundreds of resources available to you through support groups, and is a doctor in your community.