Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, and heart. Mesothelioma is caused by asbestos particles that are either inhaled or ingested. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma but there are effective treatment options available.
Pleural mesothelioma is a form of the cancer that develops in the lining of the lungs (pleura), and is the most common form. Approximately 75% of all mesothelioma cases are pleural diagnoses. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the lining of the abdomen (peritoneum). It is second most common form of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining of the heart (pericardium) and is the rarest form. Pericardial mesothelioma is commonly misdiagnosed for other cardiac diseases.
The primary and only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos particles. The American Lung Association estimates that 70% of exposure to asbestos particles happens in occupational settings. Asbestos was used in older homes, automobiles, and office buildings up until the 1980’s. There are still some materials that contain asbestos that are used today.
Generally, mesothelioma affects older adults because of its long latency period. This cancer can take 20-50 years to develop to the point where it is detectable. Mesothelioma patients are primarily men because they were exposed to asbestos while working in hazardous construction and manufacturing jobs. Jobs in the construction, manufacturing and mining fields hold the highest percentage of asbestos exposure.
Treatments for mesothelioma are dependent on the type that a patient is diagnosed with. Patients with early stage pleural mesothelioma may be eligible for surgeries like an extrapleural pneumonectomy or a pleurectomy. These surgeries involve removing the lining of the lungs, thus removing the tumors as well. The extrapleural pneumonectomy involves removing the affected lung so the cancer is stopped from spreading to the rest of the body. Patients with peritoneal mesothelioma are commonly treated with similar tactics. The lining of the abdomen is removed and chemotherapy is applied directly to the tumors on their abdomen.
Although mesothelioma is a fatal cancer, there are survivors who are living over 10 years after their initial diagnosis. The key to combating mesothelioma is early detection and a top mesothelioma specialist that will provide top and unique treatment to their patients.
Mesothelioma Guide provides information on the newest surgeries, best drugs, and best mesothelioma specialists. We offer a free guide that is tailored to a patient’s individual diagnosis. There are three books included for patients and their families to learn more about mesothelioma.
Our goal at Mesothelioma Guide is to bring more awareness to mesothelioma and those that it affects. We believe that by supporting current mesothelioma patients and educating those who have been exposed to mesothelioma, we can bring attention to one of the rarest forms of cancer.
For more information about mesothelioma, treatment options, and how to find a mesothelioma specialist near you, please visit www.mesotheliomaguide.com.
Written and Submitted By: Erin Higgins ([email protected])
Published with permission from Mesothelioma Guide