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Mesothelioma is one of the infrequent forms of cancer that is frequently caused by asbestos exposure. Mesothelioma is cancer that occurs in the mesothelium.
Mesothelioma affects the cells lining the mesothelial walls of the abdomen and the chest. Mesothelial tumor usually damaging the cells and the tissues covering the lungs called the pleural wall, and the pericardial as well as those lining the abdomen referred to as the peritoneal tissues.
Sometimes, medical specialists have isolated the tumor from the stomach tissues, but this is an infrequent case. It can also arise in the scrotum and the ovaries.
Mesothelioma mainly attacks the pleural wall or the esophagus during its second stage. This tumor also have a long incubation time, generally 15-40 years. This means that people who were exposed to asbestos in the early 1980s when asbestos handling regulations were not strict, are now beginning to show signs.
The primary symptom associated with the mesothelial tumor is the build-up of fluid in between the chest cavity and the lung tissues. Other symptoms include pain in the abdomen, ascites-abnormal fluid build-up in the and mass formation in the abdomen, problems with bowel functions as well as rapid weight loss or otherwise called cachexia.
Manifestations such as trouble when swallowing food, painful swelling on the neck and face can be indications that the malignancy has spread.
Symptoms of the pleural mesothelioma are: persistent pain in the chest, severe difficulty when breathing, accumulation of the fluid in pleural lining, persistent cough, weight loss, and fever are the most common symptoms. In majority of the cases, severe pain, and trouble in breathing are associated with pleural effusions.
On the other hand, symptoms associated with the peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss, abdominal pain, and abdominal mass because of the ascetic fluid that accumulated over time.
Early detection and subsequent treatment are fundamental when it comes to this kind of cancer, and almost all other types of cancer. This critical because it ensures the greater potential of complete recovery by use of standard therapies.
Diagnosis starts with a review of the patient’s medical history, including probes that enable physicians to tell if he or she has ever been exposed to asbestos and asbestos products. However, the ultimate diagnosis of this kind of tumor is based on pathological exam, more fondly referred to as biopsy report.
Having that in mind, detecting and curing this mesothelial cancer can be not only hard, but can also be costly as this may require the attention of specialized oncologist.
When conclusive diagnosis cannot be made from evaluating the fluid samples, diagnostic surgical procedure called thoracoscopy is employed.
the CT scans can help in diagnosis, but the most exhaustive diagnosis is confirmed with pathological exam of a biopsy.
Mesothelial cancer is fatal disease that is relatively rare, but in the last few years, the number of fatalities has gradually increased.