Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Mesothelioma – A Type Of Cancer Affecting The Internal Organs

Mesothelioma – A Type Of Cancer Affecting The Internal Organs

Cancer is the name given to a sizeable group of diseases, all of which have one thing in common, that is cells that are, growing at an uncontrollable rate. There are several major types of cancers. One of the most common and known types of cancer is mesothelioma. This type of cancer is, known for affecting internal organs. Mesothelioma is, also referred to as malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that develops cancerous cells in the mesothelium. The tissue that outlines the lungs, stomach, heart and other organs is, called mesothelium. Mesothelioma is, basically a cancer of that tissue. It is an uncommon but life -threatening type of cancer. It usually originates in the lungs, but can also start in the abdomen or other internal organs. Most people who develop mesothelioma have occupations, where they have inhaled asbestos particles. It can take a long time about 30 to 50 years of exposure to between asbestos before getting the disease.

Mesothelioma first and foremost attacks the outer lining of the lungs called pleura, the internal chest wall, the lining of the abdominal cavity, the heart, the sac that covers the heart, and tunica vaginails. This cancer builds up more in those people who are exposed to asbestos. Not only the work related exposure to asbestos but also cleansing the clothes of a family member who was exposed to asbestos can put a person at danger for developing mesothelioma. Even though smoking is not a prime cause of mesothelioma, it can increase the severity of the disease.

The symptoms of mesothelioma may remain unknown even for 50 years. There are basically two types of mesothelioma. The pleural mesothelioma which damages the lung region whereas the peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the abdominal region.

Dyspnea commonly known as shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often signs of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma consist of weight loss, fatigue, weakness, significant loss in appetite, abdominal swelling and pain due to peritoneal fluid excess, obstruction in bowel movements, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever.

Diagnosing mesothelioma is often a difficult task, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other illnesses. Considering the patient’s medical history, tests can be conducted. These tests include chest x-ray, lung function tests, biopsy and laparoscopy. The doctors can decide on the way of treatment depending on the seriousness of the cancer spread.

The usual treatment for mesothelioma includes traditional therapies in combination with radiation and chemotherapy. While surgery itself hs not led to very good results, disappointing, pleurectomy/decortications is a recommended treatment, in which the lining of the chest is removed.

All mesotheliomas are now thought to be malignant or cancerous. They start as a normal tumor and spread rapidly to include most of the surrounding tissues and organs. Initially, fibrous cists and other non-cancerous growths that appeared in the serous membranes were considered to be mesotheliomas and were given the name "benign fibrous mesothelioma" and "multicystic mesothelioma."

By: Andy Tom

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