Mesothelioma is an uncommon cancer, which develops in the membrane lining of several parts of the body, such as the lungs, abdomen and heart. as a result of asbestos inhalation or indigestion. This type of cancer usually affects the elderly population because it is necessary to pass about from 30 to 40 years since the asbestos inhalation or indigestion happened in order for mesothelioma to be developed. It is also observed that men are more susceptible to this type of cancer than women and that mesothelioma is among the most painful and aggressive cancers.
Symptoms of mesothelioma
Mesothelioma can be of three different types and which signs will show up depends on the type. When mesothelioma develops in the lining of the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma and the most common signs are problematic breathing, shortness of breath, ache in the chest and fluid retention around the lungs, as well as blood in the sputum, unexplained weight loss and fatigue. When mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma and its most common symptoms include persistent pain in abdomen, swelling and distension of the stomach, constipation and diarrhea, as well as tissue lumps felt when touched in the abdomen and unexplained weight loss. Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the tissues around the heart and typically induces symptoms related to the heart.
Treatment for mesothelioma
Whenever a cancer is treated, the doctor will choose the method of treatment according the several factors, like the type and phase of the cancer and the age and health of the person affected by this life threatening disease. In the majority of cases, mesothelioma is treated by surgery, but radiotherapy and chemotherapy are also employed, although there are cases when all three treatment options are used.
In a surgery for mesothelioma, a surgeon removes the part of the lining which is affected, and what else will be remove depends on how much the cancer has spread since sometimes it is necessary to remove some surrounding tissue or part of the lung or diaphragm. Pleural mesothelioma usually causes water retention in the chest, so the surgeon needs to drain it by the means of a catheter and with the aid of some medicines. Internal or external radiotherapy utilizes rays that are of high-energy in order to destroy the malignant tumor, while in chemotherapy the patients are given certain anticancer drugs to destroy the cancerous cells in the body. Combination therapy for mesothelioma is only recommended for the young patients since their body is stronger and can endure the harsh side effects of the three treatment options when employed simultaneously.