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Mesothelioma : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis ,Treatment , Risk factors , Complications , Prevention

 What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that starts to develop inside the lining of certain organs. Most generally it influences the lining of the lungs (referred to as the pleura). But it could also have an effect on the liner of the abdomen or the liner of the coronary heart. This fact specializes in mesothelioma of the chest, from time to time known as malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Inside your chest are two thin layers of cells – known as the pleura or pleural membranes.  Each layer is ready as thin as the skin of a balloon. The internal layer covers your lungs and the outer layer lines the inside of your rib cage. 

The space between the two layers is known as the pleural area and it normally includes a small quantity of fluid. This fluid lubricates the 2 surfaces and lets your lungs and chest wall move and enlarge as you breathe inside and out. 

Mesothelioma is an extraordinary and deadly cancer that forms within the lining of the lungs or stomach and is caused by publicity to asbestos fibers. The survival price for malignant mesothelioma is regularly low, and the common lifestyle expectancy is around 12-21 months. A mesothelioma professional can be capable of improving a patient’s prognosis with a customized treatment plan the use of surgical operation, chemotherapy, and radiation.

What Is Mesothelioma

Explanation of medical terms and concept Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the thin layer of tissue that covers most of your internal organs (mesothelium).

Mesothelioma is a deadly form of cancer that can be treated with various methods, but for many people it is impossible to cure mesothelioma.

Doctors classify mesothelioma into different types based on where the cancer has spread. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue surrounding the lungs (pleura). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other rarer types of mesothelioma can affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneum). Mesothelioma can occur around the heart and testicles.

 

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that influences the cells that make up the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the lining or membrane that covers and protects various inner organs of the frame. The mesothelium is composed of two layers of specialized cells called mesothelial cells. One layer at once surrounds the internal organs; the opposite forms a shielding sac round thoracic and peritoneal organs. The maximum commonplace form of mesothelioma influences the pleura, which is the membrane or sac that lines the lungs and chest hollow space. Other commonplace websites consist of the peritoneum, that's the membrane lining the stomach cavity, and the pericardium, that's the membrane lining the heart (heart sac). Mesothelial tissue is also discovered in different areas of the body which include the membrane covering the testicles (tunica vaginalis). The disorder most usually takes place in older adults. Mesothelioma is often an competitive form of cancer with a bad diagnosis, with pleural mesothelioma sufferers having a median survival of approximately 12-14 months with modern remedies. Treatments are available, but aren't effective for everyone.

 

Types of  Mesothelioma

There are three different types of mesothelioma of the chest:

  • Epithelioid mesothelioma Is the most not unusual kind and accounts for around seventy five% of cases. This form of mesothelioma grows greater slowly than others.

  • Sarcomatoid mesothelioma Is less commonplace. It has a tendency to develop extra quickly and has a poorer outcome from remedy.

  • Biphasic mesothelioma Is likewise uncommon. Biphasic tumors have some parts which are epithelioid and a few components which might be sarcomatoid.

Symptoms Mesothelioma

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma range relying upon the vicinity, kind and stage of the most cancers. Unfortunately, early in the route of the ailment, many people haven't any signs and symptoms, and the tumor can be tough to see on X-ray exam.


In about 85% of patients, mesothelioma arises in the membranes surrounding the lungs (malignant pleural mesothelioma). A series of fluid across the lung, termed a pleural effusion, may be present. Symptoms may include shortness of breath or issue respiration (dyspnea), chest ache, or a persistent cough because of pleural effusion. Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) can also occur, however is mostly an overdue problem. A mass inside the chest wall or uncommon lumps of tissue below the pores and skin of the chest may also broaden in some instances.


When the membrane surrounding the belly is affected (peritoneal mesothelioma), signs may additionally encompass unexplained weight loss, belly ache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, low levels of circulating pink blood cells (anemia), and ordinary accumulation of fluid (ascites) within the area (peritoneal hollow space) between the 2 layers of the membrane (peritoneum) that lines the abdomen. Small bowel obstruction may arise, normally as a late trouble of the disease.


When the membrane surrounding the heart is affected (pericardial mesothelioma), coronary heart rhythm abnormalities or low blood strain might also arise. Chest pain and breathing difficulties can also occur with pericardial mesothelioma.


Individuals with mesothelioma may additionally enjoy standard signs and symptoms which include fever, weak spot, night time sweats, unexplained weight reduction, and a fashionable feeling of ill health (malaise).


In extremely uncommon cases, mesothelial tissue lining the testicles can provide upward thrust to mesothelioma. This tissue is a part of the peritoneal mesothelium that extends into the scrotum.

The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma can vary depending on where the cancer occurs.

Mesothelioma in the pleuraThe disease which affects the tissue around the lungs causes signs and symptoms, some of which may include:

  • Chest pain

  • Painful coughing

  • Breathing difficulties.

  • You may have lumps of tissue under your skin on your chest.

  • Unexplained weight loss

Peritoneal mesotheliomaAbdominal pain is caused by which? This occurs in tissue in the abdomen and causes signs and symptoms that may include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, and vomiting.

  • Abdominal pain

  • Abdominal swelling

  • Nausea

  • Weight loss for no clear reason

Other forms of mesothelioma

There are no specific signs or symptoms for other types of mesothelioma, since these cases are very rare.

If someone has pericardial mesothelioma, which affects tissue around the heart, they may experience signs and symptoms such as difficulty breathing and chest pain.

Mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis, which affects tissue surrounding the testicles, may be first detected as swelling or a mass on a testicle.

When to see a doctor

If you have any signs or symptoms that concern you, see your doctor. Mesothelioma signs and symptoms aren't specific to this disease, and they may be related to other conditions. If you have any persistent signs or symptoms that seem unusual or bothersome, talk to your doctor. Tell your doctor if you have been exposed to asbestos. The doctor can then make a diagnosis and provide you with treatment.

Causes Mesothelioma


Cancer begins when a series of changes happen to a cell's DNA. The DNA contains the instructions that tell a cell what to do. The mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply out of control. These abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor.

It is not clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma though researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It is likely that mesothelioma forms as a result of an interaction between many factors such as your inherited conditions, your environment, and your health. This information is about the conditions and habits of your lifestyle.

Mesothelioma is sort of usually resulting from exposure to asbestos, a group of minerals made from microscopic fibers that used to be broadly used in production.

These tiny fibers can effortlessly get in the lungs, where they get stuck, detrimental the lungs over the years. 

It typically takes some time for this to cause any obvious problems, with mesothelioma typically developing more than 20 years after exposure to asbestos.

The use of asbestos became absolutely banned in 1999, so the danger of publicity is decreasing a good deal these days. But materials containing asbestos are nevertheless located in lots of older homes.

Risk factors Mesothelioma

Anyone who has come into touch with asbestos may increase mesothelioma in most cancers, regardless of how or how regularly they have been uncovered. However, certain organizations of people may have better probabilities of having mesothelioma from asbestos exposure. This includes folks who had a high danger of place of job asbestos exposure.

Most mesotheliomas are thought to be related to asbestos exposure.Asbestos is a mineral that can be found in nature. The strong, heat-resistant fibers of asbestos are used in a wide variety of applications, such as insulation, roofing material, siding, and flooring. Products are things that are made from materials.

Asbestos may be broken up during the mining process or when removing asbestos insulation. If the dust is inhaled or swallowed, asbestos fibers will settle in the lungs or stomach where they can cause inflammation and mesothelioma. Exactly how this happens is still unknown, but it is something to watch for. Mesothelioma can take many years to develop after asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma is not the only cancer that people with asbestos exposure can develop. This means that other factors are involved in whether someone gets mesothelioma. For example, you might have a genetic predisposition to cancer or some other condition could increase your risk.

Some factors that may increase the risk of mesothelioma include:

  • Personal history of asbestos exposure.If you were exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of developing mesothelioma is increased.

  • Living with someone who works with asbestos can be dangerous.Asbestos fibers can be carried home on the skin and clothing of people who have been exposed to it. These fibers can cause mesothelioma if they are inhaled over a period of time. People who work with high levels of asbestos have a reduced risk of exposure if they take proper precautions, such as showering.It is customary to change clothes before leaving work.

  • Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that can run in families.If you have a parent or sibling who has mesothelioma, you may be at an increased risk of this disease.

  • Radiation therapy to the chest.If you had radiation therapy for cancer in your chest, you may have an increased risk of mesothelioma.

Complications

As mesothelioma spreads in the chest, it puts pressure on the structures in that area. This can lead to complications, such as:

  • Difficulty breathing

  • Chest pain

  • Swallowing problems.

  • Pressure on the nerves and spinal cord can cause pain.

  • Pleural effusion is an accumulation of fluid in the chest. This can make breathing difficult because it compresses the nearby lung.

Prevention

Exposure to asbestos may lower your risk of developing mesothelioma.

Find out whether you work with asbestos

Most people who have mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos fibers while at work. These workers may include:

  • Asbestos miners

  • Electricians

  • Plumbers

  • Pipefitters

  • Insulators

  • Shipyard workers

  • Demolition workers

  • Brake mechanics

  • Selected military personnel

  • Home remodelers

Make sure to ask your employer if you are at risk of asbestos exposure at work.

Follow the safety regulations your employer has in place.

Follow all safety precautions at your job site. You may need to wear protective equipment, take a lunch break, and change into clothes that you can wear when you leave work. Talk to your doctor about other precautions you can take to protect yourself from asbestos exposure.

Be safe around asbestos in your home

Some older homes and buildings may contain asbestos. Often it's more dangerous to remove the asbestos than to leave it intact. Breaking up the asbestos can cause fibers to become airborne, where they could be inhaled. Consult experts who are trained to identify asbestos in a home. These experts may help you safely remove the asbestos Before you do anything to remove the asbestos from your home, make sure that it is safe. Don't try to do it yourself; call a professional to do it for you.

What is the current treatment for mesothelioma?

Current treatment for malignant mesothelioma includes chemotherapy to achieve remission followed by radiation therapy to kill any remaining cancer cells Surgery is sometimes used as the initial treatment of choice in patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma This surgery is usually combined with chemotherapy and/or radiation therapy for malignant peritoneal mesothelioma.

Can you be cured of mesothelioma?

Not every mesothelioma patient is a candidate for surgery but in some cases surgery has been able to cure mesothelioma Unfortunately not all patients qualify for surgery because their condition is too advanced or the cancer has spread beyond the lungs Surgery to remove part of the lung is only performed when doctors are confident they can completely control the cancer The long-term survival rates for patients who have had surgery vary depending on several factors including the type and stage of cancer as well as the age and overall health of the patient.

Is mesothelioma always fatal?

The good news is that while mesothelioma cancer is often fatal it is not always More than half of all people affected by mesothelioma will live for 5 years or longer after their diagnosis And an increasing amount of research has found that some treatments can increase the amount of time a person survives with the disease.

How long do you live after being diagnosed with mesothelioma?

The survival rate for mesothelioma patients depends on the stage of the disease at diagnosis how well it responds to treatment and the overall health of the patient Because this condition is so rare statistics are not available regarding long-term survival rates However some sources estimate that 60 percent of patients diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma live for five years or more after their initial diagnosis.

Has anyone survived mesothelioma?

Yes Although mesothelioma is a deadly cancer many people have overcome the disease and are living full lives after treatment. It is important to remember that survival rates depend on many factors including the person's age, their overall health and their type of cancer. Most importantly there are treatments for mesothelioma that can save lives.

Does Chemo work for mesothelioma?

Chemotherapy also called chemo is a treatment that uses drugs to destroy cancer cells Doctors use chemotherapy to treat many types of cancer including testicular breast ovarian and lung cancers The effectiveness of chemotherapy depends on the type and stage of the cancer being treated While it can be very effective in some cases chemotherapy has numerous side effects Some of these side effects are relatively mild such as nausea and fatigue Others are more extreme and can result in major organ failure or death.

Diagnosis Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is frequently incorrect for other varieties of cancers and ailments. Getting a correct mesothelioma analysis from an expert can improve access to existence-saving treatment.


Doctors normally take more than one step to diagnose mesothelioma, starting with a physical examination and finishing with a biopsy. A biopsy is the collection of tissue from the mesothelioma tumor and is the most effective manner to verify a prognosis.


If you have symptoms that may be associated with mesothelioma, your doctor will perform a physical exam to check for any lumps or other unusual findings.

Your doctor may order images such as a chest X-ray and a CT scan of your chest or abdomen in order to look for abnormalities.

Based on what you've told me, I may need to do further testing to determine the cause of your symptoms.

Biopsy

Only a biopsy procedure can determine if you have mesothelioma. Depending on where the tumor is located, your doctor may choose a biopsy procedure that is most appropriate for you.

Options include:

  • Inserting a needle through the skin.The doctor might use a thin needle to remove fluid or a piece of tissue from your chest or abdomen.

  • During surgery, you should collect a tissue sample.During an operation, a small incision will be made. A tube with a video camera will be inserted to see inside your body. Tools can then be passed through the tube to collect a tissue sample.

The tissue sample is examined under a microscope to see if the abnormal tissue is mesothelioma and which cells are involved. If you have mesothelioma, your treatment plan will depend on the type of mesothelioma you have.

Determining the extent of the cancer

If mesothelioma is confirmed, your doctor may recommend additional tests to better understand whether the cancer has spread to your lymph nodes or other parts of your body.

Tests may include:

  • CT scans of the chest and abdomen

  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

  • Positron emission tomography (PET)

Your doctor will choose which tests are appropriate for you. Not everyone needs every test.

Your doctor uses the results of these tests to determine your cancer's stage. The stages of pleural mesothelioma are represented by Roman numerals, starting with I. A lower number means the cancer is more likely to be located in the area around the lungs and a higher number means the cancer has spread throughout the body. Cancer has spread to other parts of the body.

The cancer staging system is constantly evolving and becoming more complex as doctors improve cancer diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor uses your cancer stage to choose the most appropriate treatments for you.

Mesothelioma cannot progress through formal stages.

Treatment Mesothelioma

The pleasant remedy for mesothelioma relies upon several elements, such as how far the cancer has developed and your standard health.

As mesothelioma is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage, treatment is normally focused on controlling the signs and symptoms and prolonging existence for as long as feasible.

The treatment you undergo for mesothelioma depends on a variety of factors, including your health and the stage and location of your cancer.

Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease and most people don't have a cure. It's usually diagnosed at an advanced stage, when it cannot be removed through surgery. Your doctor may try to control the cancer by making it less active. You'll be more comfortable.

Talk to your doctor about your treatment goals. Some people want to try all possible treatments in order to improve their chances of survival. Others want treatments that are tolerable, so they can live as comfortably as possible while undergoing treatment. It is possible.

Surgery

When mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage, surgeons work to remove the cancer. In some cases this may cure the disease.

Sometimes it is not possible to completely remove all of the cancer. If this is the case, surgery may help reduce the signs and symptoms caused by mesothelioma spreading in your body.

Surgical options may include:

  • Surgery to decrease fluid buildup.If pleural mesothelioma causes fluid to build up in your chest, it can make it difficult to breathe. Surgery may involve inserting a tube or catheter into your chest to drain the fluid. You may also be given medicine to prevent fluid from returning (pleurodesis).

  • Surgery to remove the lung tissue.Surgeons may remove the tissue lining the ribs and lungs. This procedure might relieve symptoms of mesothelioma.

  • Surgery to remove a lung and surrounding tissue.If you have pleural mesothelioma, it may be possible to remove the affected lung and surrounding tissue. This would relieve signs and symptoms. After surgery, you may also receive radiation therapy to the chest. This procedure allows doctors to give you higher doses without having to worry about protecting your lungs.Radiation from the lungs can damage them.

  • Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma.Mesothelioma may be treated with surgery to remove as much of the cancer as possible. Chemotherapy may be given before or after surgery.

Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a process that uses chemicals to kill cancer cells. Systemic chemotherapy can travel throughout the body and may reduce or stop the growth of a mesothelioma that cannot be removed using surgery. Chemotherapy may also be used before surgery (neoadjuvant chemotherapy) to make an operation more successful. After surgery (chemotherapy) to reduce the chance that cancer will return, you should take adjuvant chemotherapy to help keep the disease at bay.

Chemotherapy drugs may be heated and administered directly into the abdominal cavity (intraperitoneal chemotherapy) in the case of peritoneal mesothelioma.

Radiation therapy

Radiation therapy uses high-energy beams from sources such as X-rays and protons to target specific spots on your body.Radiation may be used after surgery to kill any cancer cells that remain. It may also help reduce signs and symptoms of advanced cancer in cases where surgery isn't an option. There is a choice.

Other treatments

Mesothelioma might be treated in other ways, depending on the situation. Other treatments might include:

  • Immunotherapy. Immunotherapy uses your immune system to fight cancer. If the immune system doesn't attack the cancer cells because they produce proteins that block the immune system, then immunotherapy may work by interfering with that process. This treatment might be an option if your cancer is not responding to other treatments. I don't think the other treatments are working.

  • Targeted therapy.Treatment for mesothelioma might involve using drugs that attack specific vulnerabilities in cancer cells. These drugs are not commonly used to treat mesothelioma, but your doctor might prescribe them based on the results of tumor DNA testing.

Clinical trials

Clinical trials are studies of new ways to treat mesothelioma. People with this cancer may choose to participate in a clinical trial in order to try new treatments. However, there is no guarantee that any treatment will work. Talk to your doctor about which clinical trials might be right for you.Clinical trials are available to you. By participating, you can help doctors learn more about how to treat mesothelioma in the future.

There are currently a number of new approaches being investigated for treating mesothelioma, including new targeted therapy drugs and new methods for immunotherapy.

If you have mesothelioma of a different type, there are treatments available.

Mesothelioma of the pericardium and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis are very rare. Early-stage cancer may be removed through surgery. However, doctors have not yet determined the best way to treat later-stage cancers. Your doctor may recommend other treatments to improve your quality of life.

Alternative medicine

There is no proven alternative medicine treatment that helps treat mesothelioma. But some complementary and alternative treatments may help to control symptoms of the disease. Talk to your doctor about what options are available to you.

Mesothelioma can cause pressure within the chest which can make you feel as if you cannot breathe.Breathing difficulties can be very upsetting. Your doctor may recommend using supplemental oxygen or taking medications to ease symptoms, but often these measures are not enough. In some cases, it is helpful to combine treatments with surgery. Your doctor may recommend treatments with complementary and alternative approaches, which may help you feel better.

Some people have found success using alternative treatments to help cope with breathlessness, such as:

  • Acupuncture.Acupuncture is a technique that uses thin, sharp needles to be inserted into your skin at specific points.

  • Breath training.A nurse or physical therapist can teach you breathing techniques to use when you feel short of breath. Sometimes you may feel short of breath and begin to panic. Using these techniques may help you feel more in control of your breathing.

  • Relaxation exercises.Tensing and relaxing different muscle groups may help you feel more relaxed and breathe easier. Your doctor may refer you to a therapist who can teach you relaxation techniques so that you can do them on your own.

  • Sitting near a fan.If you experience breathlessness, blowing your nose might help.

Coping and support

A diagnosis of mesothelioma can be very devastating to you and your family. To regain some control, try to:

  • Be aware of mesothelioma so that you can make informed decisions about your care.Make a list of questions you would like to ask your doctor about your disease. You can find helpful information at the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the Mesothelioma Applied Research Foundation.

  • Stay connected to supportive people.Friends and family can help you with simple tasks, such as getting you to appointments or medical treatment. If you find it difficult to ask for help, be honest with yourself and accept assistance when you need it.

  • Seek out other people with cancer. Talk to your health care team about cancer support groups in your community. These groups offer a chance to ask questions and receive support from others who have cancer. You can also find online support messages. Boards such as the American Cancer Society's Cancer Survivors Network can offer similar benefits while protecting your anonymity.

  • Plan ahead.If you have any questions about your medical care, talk to your health care team. You may want to create an advance directive that gives your family guidance in case you can no longer speak for yourself.

Preparing for your appointment

If you have any respiratory or abdominal symptoms, see your family doctor first. If your doctor suspects you may have mesothelioma, you may be referred to a doctor who specializes in lung diseases (pulmonologist) or abdominal problems (gastroenterologist).

Appointments are short and often involve a lot of ground to cover, so it is a good idea to be well-prepared. Here is some information about getting ready for your appointment and what to expect from your doctor.

What you can do

  • Be sure to check any pre-appointment restrictions before coming in.When you make the appointment, be sure to ask if there are any restrictions you need to follow, such as limiting your diet.

  • Make a list of any symptoms you are experiencing.Make sure to bring any materials that may seem unrelated to the appointment, such as extra clothes or toys.

  • Write down key personal information,This activity is best suited for kids who are not experiencing any major stresses or recent life changes.

  • Make a list of all medications,The vitamins or supplements you're taking or have recently taken can affect the test results.

  • Be sure to bring someone with you when you go.One way to remember what was discussed during an appointment is to have someone accompany you. This person may remember some of the information that you missed or forgot.

  • Write down questions to ask your doctor.

  • Gather any medical records,Please tell me about any X-rays or other health information that relates to your condition.

You only have a limited amount of time with your doctor, so it is important to prepare a list of questions. Make the questions you want to ask the most important, and then rank them from most important to least important. For mesothelioma, some basic questions you might want to ask your doctor include:

  • What could be causing my symptoms or condition?

  • What are some other things that could be causing my symptoms or condition?

  • What kinds of tests do I need?

  • Can I see my X-rays or scans? This means I can see the pictures that were taken of my body by the machine that makes the pictures.

  • What is the likelihood of my condition being temporary or chronic?

  • What is the best way to handle this situation?

  • What other approaches are there to solving the problem you've described?

  • What are some of the other health conditions I have? How can I best manage them together?

  • Are there any guidelines that I need to follow?

  • Should I see a doctor? What will that cost and will my health insurance cover it?

  • Can I take any printed materials with me? What websites do you recommend?

  • What will determine whether I should have a follow-up visit?

Do not hesitate to ask questions about your health that come to mind.

What to expect from your doctor

Your doctor may ask you a number of questions. Being prepared to answer them may give you more time to discuss other points that are important to you. Your doctor may ask:

  • When did you first start experiencing the symptoms?

  • Has your illness been constant or sporadic?

  • How severe are your symptoms?

  • What might help improve your symptoms?

  • What if anything makes your symptoms worse?

  • Do you feel pain when you take a deep breath?

  • Do your symptoms interfere with your ability to do your regular job?

  • Have you ever worked with a material that is known to cause cancer?

In the meantime, here are some things you can do.

If you are experiencing signs and symptoms that worsen, try to take it easy. For example, if you are having shortness of breath, try to avoid strenuous activity until you can see your doctor. If breathing becomes difficult or uncomfortable, go to the hospital right away.

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Mesothelioma : Causes, Types, Symptoms, Diagnosis ,Treatment , Risk factors  , Complications , Prevention

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