Malignant mesothelioma is a condition that can affect any organ of the body. It basically ruptures the mesothelioma or protective lining of the organs first and then makes its way into the organ. In the case of the lungs, it is the pleura that get affected. The heart as well the abdomen is other organs that fall prey to this disease.
So what is the cause?
It is mainly caused in people who have had exposure to asbestos dust particles and fibres due to their occupation or work in the building industry. During their job, they have had to inhale these asbestos fumes, dust and fillings and that has over the years led to the emergence of a malignant form of mesothelioma. Besides them, their family members too have got affected due to their contact with asbestos in the form of the chemical getting stuck on the clothes which they washed.
Some other cases of malignant mesothelioma have been reported of people who had no exposure to the asbestos but due to their exposure to other radiation, silicates, they got affected.
What sort of symptoms do they exhibit?
The common symptoms are severe cough, pain in the chest and suffocation. That is due to the accumulation of fluid in the lungs. They may also exhibit signs of weakness, hoarseness and blood when they cough. Sometimes, the tumours present in the lungs can spread elsewhere in the body and cause further damage to other organs.
These signs generally occur only after about twenty years and that is why it becomes difficult to spot them early and take effective treatment measures. It is this delay that becomes fatal to the patient.
So what about the treatment?
The treatment options vary from surgery, chemotherapy and the use of radiation. All three are used depending on the severity of the condition of the patient and are effective in removing the cancerous cells so that there is no spread of the cancer happening.
These treatments however cannot guarantee total cure and can only provide pain from relief. The medicines along with chemotherapy restrict the spread of the cancer to some extent. Ultimately it is the general health condition of the individual, his age and the extent of the damage that would help him to combat the disease.
It goes without saying that if an individual exhibits the symptoms mentioned above, he should immediately consult his physician and go about taking treatment without any delay especially if he has been working in building sites where the exposure to asbestos is very common. That way problems of malignant mesothelioma can be tackled well and an early start to the treatment can only improve the chances of the person surviving this scourge of a disease.