Mesothelioma cancer is a type of lung cancer caused by too much exposure to asbestos. It is most commonly found in the mesothelium or the outer lining of the lungs. Most people diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer contract this disease through breathing asbestos dust and fibers or having been too much exposed to asbestos dust because of their job. In cases when a person without any previous occupational exposure develops this cancer, it is assumed that the exposure may have come from asbestos fibers and dusts found on the clothes of a person in their home who worked in a workplace where the asbestos dusts and fibers were found.
There are different reasons that make diagnosis of mesothelioma cancer in its early stages really difficult. The first reason is the symptoms. Mesothelioma cancer symptoms can have a latency period from 20 to 50 years after the first exposure to asbestos, which only means that by the time the symptoms start showing up, the cancer is already in its advanced stage. Even when the symptoms are already present, the diagnosis remains to be a slow process. This is because there are different diseases that mirror the signs and symptoms found in patients diagnosed with mesothelioma, and because of this, this disease is often the last stop – often when the patient does not mention about the possibility of asbestos exposure.
The success of mesothelioma cancer treatment depends mainly on the stage in which the cancer was diagnosed. Because the disease is not diagnosed until it is in its advanced stages, the treatment is often unsuccessful. Studies show that when the disease is found within either stage I or stage II, mesothelioma cancer treatment, usually combined with chemotherapy and radiation therapy, is successful in extending the life of the patient for 5 years at a rate of 74% to 75%. There are also other forms of therapy that may be used side by side with the conventional treatment. These treatment forms have been shown on some occasions to decrease the size of mesothelioma cancer cells found in a patient.
For many years, asbestos was used in a wide array of industrial and household products because of its many types and uses. It is fireproof and can even be used as insulator; thereby, making it very popular for daily use during the Industrial Revolution. It was unknown whether the people at that time knew about the dangers of asbestos dusts and fibers; however, during the 1900s, the risk and dangers of using asbestos was becoming more and more obvious.
People residing in mining towns developed lung problems, and research and studies showed that 95% of asbestos workers passed away at a very young age. In an undisturbed state, asbestos seems to be safe. However, once friable or damaged, the fibers and dusts become ingested; thereby leading to health problems. Although some companies were already aware of this threat, they still continued working with products with asbestos without giving regard to their employees. This is the reason why mesothelioma cancer became common among those who worked on plants and factories using asbestos.