Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is known to affect the membrane of various vital organs inside the human body, such as the lungs, heart and abdominal organs. The cause that is known to generate this disease is the exposure to asbestos.
In this type of cancer, the malignant cells start building up in the protective lining that covers multiple internal organs, this one being called mesothelium. All the organs that are known to have this protective layer are known to be susceptible to being affected by mesothelioma.
The most commonly met types of mesothelioma however are:
– Pleural Mesothelioma
– Peritoneal Mesothelioma
– Pericardial Mesothelioma
The first one, pleural mesothelioma, is formed on the membrane of the lungs that is called pleura that is affected by the harmful cells. Pleura is a protective tissue that covers the lungs in their thoracic cavity. This membrane helps the lungs by the producing of a serous liquid that doesn’t allow lungs to rub dry against the walls of the chest.
The malignant cells once they enter the pleura will start to spread and will affect the surrounding tissues and organs. This will lead to more complications resulting in pains and tough symptoms to deal with.
Mesothelioma that affects the pleura is divided in two types: malignant formation (diffused type) – when affecting the lining – and the benign formation (localized type) that affects only some parts of the body except for the pleura. However this first form – the malignant mesothelioma – can lead to a lung constriction that will manifest into a shortness of breath and lung failure – pneumothorax.
With the second type – the peritoneal mesothelioma – the tumor or cancer is localized on the peritoneum membrane (abdomen lining) affecting in this way organs that are inside the abdominal cavity, the stomach included. This one is less common, but it is more aggressive with a short life expectancy.
The third type – the pericardial mesothelioma – is not that often met (less than 10%) and it manifests at the level of the heart where fluid gathers in the sac that protects this vital organ. Because this disease is very rare, doctors couldn’t figure out how is this asbestos fiber entering the lining of the heart (the pericardium).
The only logical way for the pericardial mesothelioma to get formed at the heart level is through the asbestos fibres being that small that they end up being carried from lung into the heart by the means of bloodstream.
New cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year – around 2,000 diagnoses are set with this disease. This happens because at some point many people have been exposed in time to the asbestos handling thus manifesting later a disease that is called mesothelioma. Being detected in time it can be treated through one of the three methods available: chemotherapy, radiation therapy and surgery.
I have set up a website specifically for those people who do not know where to start when they find out that they, or someone close to them has contracted mesothelioma.