Mesothelioma is a rare and severe type of cancer that is caused by exposure to asbestos fibers. When inhaled, these fibers settle on the mesothelial lining of the significant body organ. After which, they alter the DNA function of the cells around the area, causing a malignant cell that results in a tumor. Approximately three thousand people are diagnosed with mesothelioma annually, and half of the cases are pleural mesothelioma. The incidences are high in men, especially those with a military background. There are several types of mesothelioma. They are named according to the part of the body where they develop.
When the asbestos fibers are inhaled and settle in the lungs’ linings, they cause pleural mesothelioma. Once exposed, the life expectancy of a victim is about twelve to twenty-four months. However, there are several treatments available that may increase the life quality of patients.
Differentiating Pleural Mesothelioma from other respiratory diseases can be challenging since most of the symptoms are similar. However, there are apparent symptoms that would make this type of cancer stand out.
- A build-up of fluid in the lungs
- Chest tightness or pain
- Sudden weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Dry cough
When you start experiencing persistent fluid-like symptoms, you should seek medical attention immediately to begin early treatment. You also need to seek a medical opinion from several physicians to avoid any case of misdiagnosis. Treatment options include surgery, chemotherapy and radiation.
When the asbestos fibers are ingested, they settle in the epithelial lining of the abdomen. Once fixed, they cause malignancy around that area. Peritoneal mesothelioma accounts for about twenty percent of the total cases of mesothelioma.
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Tenderness in the abdominal region
A biopsy is the most accurate procedure to confirm this condition. There are many instances where peritoneal mesothelioma has been misdiagnosed as a less severe abdominal condition. Even though victims’ life expectancy is twelve months, cytoreductive surgery can increase it to about five years.
Testicular mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer and doctors have not yet established how asbestos exposure can cause tumor formation in the tunica vaginalis, a pouch that covers the testes.
- A firm white tissue on the tunica vaginalis
- Fluid build-up in the scrotum
- Diagnostic procedures such as immunohistochemical stainingcan help in the confirmation of testicular mesothelioma or other testicular complications. Cancer may also be noticed during or after a patient has undergone surgery.
It forms in the sack-like lining of the heart. Among the types of mesothelioma, it has the shortest life expectancy of about six to twelve months. Pericardial mesothelioma sporadic condition that many patients are diagnosed with when they are already dead.
- Heart murmurs
- Chest pains
- Difficulty in breathing
Most of these cases are found during an autopsy after death. However, through imaging tests, the doctor can examine fluid build-up or the formation of a lump.
There are many trust funds set aside to compensate the victims of mesothelioma. With an excellent legal representation, the victims may get a reasonable settlement.