The presence of cancer in the body will lead to abnormal cell growth which will invade different parts of the body as well. There are different kinds of tumors. However, not all tumors are counted for cancer. If the tumor is benign, it will not lead to the spared of cancer. There are about 100 different cancers which can affect human being. Some of the symptoms that are associated with the cancer include unexpected weight loss, prolonged cough, change in bowel movements, abnormal bleeding and a new lump. Mesothelioma is one of the rare cancers which are very deadly. The exposure to asbestos has great risk factor to lead to mesothelioma after many years.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is nothing but a membrane which will protect different organs in human body. There are two layers of cells. While one layer will surround the organ, another layer will form sac around the same. A lubricating fluid will be produced by Mesothelioma. Mesothelium is called by different names depending upon the location in human body.
The membrane which surrounds the lungs and chest wall is called pleura. The layer which covers the heart is called pericardium. The tissue which covers the male reproductive organs is called tunica vaginalis testis. When a person is affected with Mesothelioma, the cells will become abnormal and they will divide without any control. In this process, the nearby tissues and organs will also be damaged. In most of the cases, the cancer will originate at pleura or peritoneum.
More facts about Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma cancer is being reported in men than in women. The risk to the disease will increase with age. Even though it is a rear cancer, the number of cases reported is increasing at a gradual pace. Asbestos was widely used in construction, automobile, textiles and cement industries. There will be serious health issues if you inhale tiny asbestos particles which float in air.
If there is prolonged exposure to asbestos, it will increase the risk to lung cancer. It will also affect larynx and kidneys. The air passageways will be very much affected if there is exposure to smoking as well as asbestos.
The symptoms of this cancer cannot be noticed immediately. You will find symptoms as far as 30 to 50 years after being exposed to the asbestos. The most common symptoms are shortness of breath and accumulation of fluid in pleura. If there is peritoneal mesothelioma, there will be loss of weight and abdominal pain as well. The other symptoms that might be experienced include anemia, fever, abnormalities in blood clotting.
There might be swelling in the neck or face. You might have trouble in swallowing. In some cases, these symptoms are also observed due to other issues. If you find any of these symptoms, you should go through the diagnostic tools as recommended by the doctor.
Diagnosis and treatment
Diagnosis of mesothelioma is not a straight-forward process. The patient’s medical history will be reviewed. There will be a review on exposure of asbestos as well. The doctor will suggest to go for complete medical examination in which you should go through lung functionality tests, X-ray, CT scan and MRI scan as well. In order to confirm the mesothelioma, biopsy will be performed. In this process, a sample of the tissue will be removed for further testing. Different kinds of procedures are implemented based on the organ of the body which was affected through cancer.
In order to obtain the tissue sample from the chest, thoracoscopy will be performed. Peritoneoscopy is used to observe the abdomen. If mesothelioma is confirmed, staging of the disease will be done. Through the staging process, the spread of the disease will be known. If the cancer is restricted to the membrane, it is called as localized. On the other hand, if it has spread to other parts of the body, it is classified as advanced.
The treatment to mesothelioma cancer is dependent upon the part that is affected by the cancer. In addition to surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy will be done to contain the disease. In some cases, combination treatment will be provided so that the life span of the person can be increased. The condition of the patient will be taken into consideration before initiating the treatment.