Malignant mesothelioma attacks the membranes and lining of large cavities in our body. The serous cavities houses important and major bodily organs like lungs, heart and abdomen. The serous membranes surround the cavities and protect these organs from abrasion and friction specially during the functioning of the organs like heart beating and breathing. The specialised cells are referred to as mesothelial cells which form the mesothelium which is the tissue layer of serous membranes. The cancer which occurs in this tissue is referred to as mesothelioma.
The different forms of malignant mesolthelioma are pericardial mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pleural mesothelioma. Perinoteal mesothelioma occurs in the membrance which surrounds the abdomen. It affects male organs as the lining of the scrotum extends to the perinoteum.
In case of pericardial mesothelioma, the lining which surrounds the heart is affected. In case of pleural mesothlioma which is the most widespread form of malignant mesothelioma, the lung cavity is affected. Nowadays, mesothelioma is considered as cancerous or malignant. They actually begin as a small tumour and then rapidly spread to the various organs and tissues. Originally, non cancerous growths and fibrous cysts started appearing in the serous membranes which were thought to be mesothelioma. This specific condition is non cancerous and does not spread speedily.
The basic cause of mesothelioma is exposure to fibrous minerals like asbestos. There is enough evidence to prove that the fibers of asbestos is the main cause for this disease. There are experiments which have been conducted and there is indisputable evidence to prove the same. However, it is also not true that all those who are exposed to asbestos will develop mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is definitely a rare and deadly disease. Many a times, it is detected only when it comes advanced. The patient survives for not more than two years, once the disease is identified. The malignancy percentage decides the survival time of the patient.
Like mentioned earlier, this form of mesothelioma is very rare and is a result of exposure to asbestos at the workplace. About 75% of the cases of mesothelioma is the pleural mesothelioma type. Many a times, pleural mesothelioma is confused with lung cancer as the pleura is situated close to the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma is an aggressive and invasive form of mesothelioma wherein the life expectancy is much less once the patient has been diagnosed of this condition. The main cause for this condition is asbestos exposure, but the dangers associated with it are ignored by the employers.
However, there has been increasing awareness about this health condition over the years and many manufacturing units are becoming more health and safety conscious and correct precautionary measures are being taken to prevent this condition.