Mesothelioma Cancer

Mesothelioma cancer is an uncommon disease that causes malignant cancer cells to form within the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen. It occurs in both benign and malignant forms. The malignant form is the result of exposure to asbestos and may take more than 30 years to develop.


The tissue that lines lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs is called mesothelium. Mesothelioma is a tissue that causes cancer.

Treatment includes surgery, radiation, chemotherapy or all three together.

Types of Mesothelioma cancer

Pleural Mesothelioma affects the outer lining of the lungs and chest cavity.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma: Pericardium is the stomach lining (abdominal) cavity.
How Is Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosed?

Mesothelioma is often diagnosed after a patient goes to a doctor because of symptoms. If there is a reason to suspect that you may have Mesothelioma, your doctor will conduct one or more tests to find out if the disease is present. Symptoms might suggest that a person may have Mesothelioma but tests are needed to confirm the diagnosis.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Early symptoms of Mesothelioma are not specific to the disease and people often ignore them or mistake them for common or minor ailments. Most people with Mesothelioma have symptoms for few months before they are diagnosed although in some people this is longer.

Symptoms of pleural Mesothelioma (Mesothelioma of the chest) can include:

* Pain in the lower back or at the side of the chest
* Shortness of breath
* Cough
* Fever
* Sweating
* Fatigue
* Weight loss
* Trouble swallowing
* Hoarseness
* Swelling of the face and arms
* Muscle weakness

Symptoms of peritoneal Mesothelioma can include:

* Abdominal (belly) pain
* Swelling or fluid in the abdomen
* Weight loss
* Nausea and vomiting

If the symptoms are positive, Mesothelioma might be present and more tests will be conducted. These might include imaging tests, blood tests, and other procedures.

Treatment Options

Treatment method that you choose will depend on how advanced your disease exists in your body. It also depends on your general physical health and personal preferences. At this point of time, pleural Mesothelioma cannot be cured although some therapies such as the chemotherapy drug may decrease pain and provide a better quality of life.

Some doctors use a combination of Mesothelioma therapies such as surgery plus chemotherapy or only surgery, or chemotherapy and radiation therapy. This is called “multimodality therapy.” The current available treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. Photodynamic therapy and immunotherapy are in the experimental stages of development.

The increased incidence of Mesothelioma has been closely linked to the rise of the asbestos industry and the use of asbestos in fireproofing and insulation. 50 to 80% of patients diagnosed with MPM are aware of exposure to asbestos at some point in their lives. Men are typically affected more due to the common presence of asbestos in industrial settings. The increasing incidence suggests that neither the benefits of legislation to reduce asbestos exposure in the workplace have not yet taken effect, nor asbestos exposure during the 1960's was more widespread.

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