What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a serious malignant tumor that affects the trunk of the human body. There is a strong link between mesothelioma and contact with asbestos particles during breathing or swallowing.
There are three common forms of mesothelioma:-
1. Pleural mesothelioma is the most familiar form of mesothelioma. It starts in the chest cavity (after inhaling particles) before spreading to other areas.
2. Peritoneal mesothelioma begins in the abdomen (after ingestion of particles) and accounts for about 10-20% of mesothelioma patients.
3. Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of Mesothelioma Cancer. It begins in the cavity that surrounds the heart.
Mesothelioma is difficult to diagnose early because the symptoms are often confused with those of other less serious diseases. To make matters worse, it often takes several years for symptoms to appear after contact with asbestos. People with a long history of exposure to asbestos are more likely to develop malignant mesothelioma. Even simple exposure to this carcinogen can cause malignant mesothelioma. However, the response time for mesothelioma can be up to thirty years, and many people who were previously exposed to asbestos are now showing symptoms. This means that the average age of mesothelioma patients is 50 to 70 years old. Men are often more affected because of the common presence of asbestos in industrial settings. There are (3) three main types of malignant mesothelioma. Epithelial, sarcomatous and mixed. Epithelial mesothelioma is the most common. Symptoms can include, but are not limited to, shortness of breath, persistent cough, and pneumonia. In addition, the symptoms are often mistaken for less serious illnesses and many patients have no signs.
People with pleural mesothelioma may collect some fluid between the lining of the lung and the chest cavity. This can be detected by a chest x-ray and a CT scan.
The diagnosis of mesothelioma is based on a biopsy. This test will analyze a tissue sample for a malignant pleural tumor and / or mesothelioma.
Causes of mesothelioma
- Asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma. Asbestos is a type of insulating material that was commonly used in the past in the following industries:
- Steel Workers
- Brake Mechanics
- Ship Engineer
- Maintenance Workers
- Filters for Pipes
- Construction Industry
- Shipbuilding Industry
- Automobile Manufacturing
- Other Manufacturing Industries
Mesothelioma appears most often in people who have worked in the above industries and who have been exposed to asbestos in their workplace. The use of asbestos became widespread after the 1940s. However, it can take 10 to 40 years after the first exposure for the first symptoms of mesothelioma to be noticed, making diagnosis very difficult. Studies show that the peak of mesothelioma cases is around 2010. There are three common types of asbestos: white, brown, and blue. Brown and blue asbestos are often associated with mesothelioma. Most countries restricted these types of asbestos in the 1990s. A history of occupational exposure to asbestos has been reported in about 70 to 80 percent of all cases.
Asbestos is a very dangerous substance and can seriously harm your health. It is made up of very fine fibers that can reach the pleura (the outer wall of the lung) and damage the cells that make up the pleura. These fibers can also be transferred to clothing, making it dangerous not only for people exposed to asbestos, but also for family members.
Smoking does not appear to enhance the risk of developing mesothelioma. However, the combination of exposure to smoking and asbestos dramatically increases a person’s risk of developing respiratory cancer in the lungs. For more information about Symptoms of Mesothelioma and Mesothelioma diagnosis click here.