asbestos causes mesothelioma cancer
” Mesothelioma Treatment Option – cancer mesothelioma asbestos
Mesothelioma is a cancer which affects the tissue which surrounds and protects various organs in the body. This tissue is called the Mesothelium, and Mesothelioma causes it to become abnormal, divide without control, and invade and damage nearby organs.
The most common form is pleural mesothelioma which affects the sac that lines the chest cavity and protects the lungs (the pleura). Other forms are peritoneum mesothelioma (which affects the abdominal cavity) and pericardium mesothelioma (affecting the lining around the heart). The tumours can be either benign (non-cancerous) or malignant (cancerous) although they are most often malignant.
Mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos, a fibrous carcinogenic.
These fibres lodge themselves in the lining of the lung affecting the mesothelial cells. Sometimes they cause scarring of the lungs (which is called asbestosis) but this is not cancerous. They can, however, trigger tumour growth between 20 to 50 years after they are inhaled (the average is 35 to 40 years). Asbestos fibres which are swallowed can reach the lining of the abdominal cavity where they play a part in causing peritoneal mesothelioma.
It is generally the case that the longer or more intense the exposure to asbestos the more likely Mesothelioma is to occur. However, there are cases of people getting Mesothelioma years after having worked with it for just a few months. The families of asbestos workers are also at risk as they would possibly have been exposed to asbestos fibres on the clothing of their loved ones.
The dangers of asbestos have not always been as well known as they are today. Before the 1970s asbestos was a primary insulating material with little or no control in its use or handling. The resulting increase in cases of Mesothelioma is a direct cause of these past practices.
Mesothelioma is often well advanced before symptoms are recognized. Consequently, the prognosis for the disease is usually poor with the common survival time for all stages of Malignant Mesothelioma being about one year. Mesothelioma symptoms resemble pneumonia, which coughs, breathing difficulties and abdominal pain being common.
Mesothelioma can be treated by chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery, or a combination of the three.
Mesothelioma Surgery Treatment
Extra pleural pneumonectomy is where the entire lung and a portion of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and some or the entire sac which surrounds the heart is removed.
Wide local excision targets and removes the cancer and a limited amount of the healthy tissue surrounding the cancerous region.
Pleurectomy and decortication removes part of the covering of the lungs, as well as the lining of the chest and portions of the outside covering of the lungs.
Mesothelioma Chemotherapy Treatment
Pleurodesis uses a blend of chemicals and/or drugs to create an intentional scar between the layers of the pleura. Post surgery, the space created by the scar must be drained, using either a catheter or chest tube, and is then filled with a chemical which inhibits the accumulation of fluid in the pleura cavity.
Mesothelioma Radiation Treatment
Radiation therapy is used to treat Mesothelioma patients with the goal of controlling the spread of cancer in combination with surgery and chemotherapy. Radiation emanates from high energy X-rays, photons, neutrons, cobalt, or other radiation sources. Chemotherapy and Radiation treatments are useful ways to combat other types of cancers but, used alone, have not been very helpful for treating Mesothelioma.
Research continues as the medical field looks for a cure. Different combinations of drugs and surgery, studies of newly developed drugs, gene therapy, and more are being studied, with clinical trials in the United States and abroad.
Prognosis for mesothelioma is difficult to estimate consistently when looking at different research studies because there are often large differences in the time before diagnosis and the rate of disease progression. Many factors affect a person’s prognosis, including the type of disease, a person’s age and general health, when the disease was found, and a person’s response to treatment.
Patients may want to think about taking part in a clinical trial.
For some patients, taking part in a mesothelioma clinical trial may be the best treatment choice. Mesothelioma clinical trials are part of the cancer research process. Clinical trials are done to find out if new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard treatment.
Many of today’s standard treatments for mesothelioma cancer are based on previous, earlier clinical trials. Patients who take part in a clinical trial may receive the standard treatment or be among the first to receive a new mesothelioma treatment.
Patients who take part in clinical trials also help improve the way cancer will be treated in the future. Even when clinical trials do not lead to effective new treatments, they often answer important questions and help move research forward.”