MesotheliomaMesothelioma is a rare type of the cancer that affects the linings of the internal organs. It usually occurs in the tissues of the lungs, abdomen and heart. According to the affected organ mesothelioma can be divided into four types. Pleural mesothelioma occurs in pleura which is a tissue between the lungs and chest wall. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. The type which affects the surrounding tissue of the heart is pericardial mesothelioma. Another type of mesothelioma affects the tissue which surrounds the testicles. The symptoms of mesothelioma may include severe and painful coughing, pain in the chest, breathing difficulties, pain and swelling of the abdomen, diarrhea, constipation and sudden loss of weight. The most common cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.
DiagnosisBesides a physical exam, X-rays imaging and CT scanning, your doctor will perform a biopsy in order to diagnose mesothelioma. It is a diagnostic procedure when a sample of the affected tissue is taken for testing. Biopsy can be performed in a number of ways. The common biopsy procedure involves taking a tissue sample with a needle. Other ways to perform a biopsy include thoracoscopy, thoracotomy, laparoscopy and laparotomy. Thoracoscopy and thoracotomy are used for diagnosing cancer in the lungs. In thorascopy, the doctor will make small cuts and slide a tube with a camera attached on it, which will provide a view of the lungs and a tissue sample will be taken as well. Thoractomy is a type of surgery when the surgeon opens the lungs to take a sample and examine the lungs. Laparoscopy is a similar procedure to thorascopy, only it is used to obtain tissue sample from the abdomen. Laparactomy is also a surgical procedure which involves opening the abdomen, taking a sample and examining it.
SurgeryIf the cancer was diagnosed in time, if it did not spread or if it is operable, the best solution is to surgically remove the cancer. In case of pleural mesothelioma, the surgeon can remove the affected tissue together with the surrounding tissue. If the cancer has spread, a lung may have to be removed. If a patient has severe breathing difficulties due to the excess fluid in the lungs, the surgeon will have to insert a catheter to drain the fluid. As far as other types of mesothelioma are concerned, the surgeon will remove the cancerous tissue and some of the surrounding tissue.
CopingMesothelioma is a severe type of cancer which spreads rapidly. It is important for the patient to receive all the necessary treatment options and proper care. You may try out alternative approaches to relieve the symptoms and to help yourself deal with the disease. Some of the alternative methods include acupuncture, breathing exercises and relaxation therapy.