What is Mesothelioma?

what is mesotheliomaMesothelioma (or malignant mesothelioma ) is a rare form of cancer that develops from transformed cells originating from the mesothelium, the protective lining which covers many of the body’s internal organs. It is normally caused when the victim is exposed to asbestos.

The pleura (the outer lining of the lungs and the internal thoracic wall) is the most common site where mesothelioma develops. But they could also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), and in the pericardium (the sac surrounding the heart ), or the vaginal tunic (a sac that surrounds the testicles ). Let us see what is mesothelioma.

Etiology

Most victims who develop mesothelioma have worked in activities where asbestos is inhaled or exposed to asbestos dust and its fibers in other ways, so it is considered a professional disease. It has also been suggested that washing the clothes of a family member working with asbestos increases the risk of developing mesothelioma.

Unlike lung cancer, there isn’t any link between mesothelioma and smoking, but smoking increases the risk of other asbestos-induced cancers

What are the Clinical Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include breathing difficulty from the pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and chest wall ) or chest wall pain and unexplained constitutional signs such as weight loss .

Diagnosis

The diagnosis can be suspected by X-ray and thoracic CT, but its pathology must be confirmed; Either with a serous effusion cytology or with a biopsy (extraction of a sample of suspicious tissue) and analyzed under a microscope. A thoracoscopy (insertion of a tube into a chamber in the chest) can be used to acquire biopsy material and allows the introduction of substances for example talc to clear the pleural space (a procedure called pleurodesis ), which prevents more fluid from accumulating And pressure on the lung.

What are the Treatment Available

Despite treatment with chemotherapy, radiation therapy or surgery, the disease has a poor prognosis.

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