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Mesothelioma: Symptoms and General Overview

Updated/Revised Date: 2022-04-11
Author: Disabled World | Contact: Disabled World (Disabled-World.com)
Additional References: Mesothelioma Publications

Synopsis: Information regarding pleural and peritoneum mesothelioma, a type of cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. In the U.S. asbestos is the major cause of malignant mesothelioma and has been considered indisputably associated with the development of mesothelioma. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. If you have previously been exposed to asbestos, you should go see your doctor right away and explain your concerns. Even if it turns out that you do not have this type of cancer, it is better to be safe than sorry.

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Main Document

Mesothelioma (malignant mesothelioma) is a rare form of cancer that develops from cells of the mesothelium, the tissue that lines your lungs, stomach, heart, and other organs is called mesothelium. Mesothelioma is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. A doctor uses imaging tests and a biopsy to tell the difference between malignant mesothelioma and lung cancer. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma include shortness of breath due to pleural effusion (fluid between the lung and the chest wall), chest wall pain and constitutional signs such as unexplained weight loss.

In the United States, asbestos is the major cause of malignant mesothelioma and has been considered indisputably associated with the development of mesothelioma. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some individuals without any known exposure to asbestos. In rare cases, mesothelioma has also been associated with irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide (Thorotrast), and inhalation of other fibrous silicates, such as erionite. Some studies suggest that simian virus 40 (SV40) may act as a cofactor in the development of mesothelioma. This has been confirmed in animal studies, but studies in humans are inconclusive.

Mesothelium is Divided into Two Parts

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

The symptoms of mesothelioma vary based on the region of your body affected by the cancer, these include:

The symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are:

Both types of mesothelioma can be very painful and lead to several undesirable symptoms. Pleural mesothelioma can cause breathlessness, coughing, and chest pain. It can also lead to pleural effusion, where lubricating fluid in the lungs becomes trapped between the inner and outer layers of the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma can lead to abdominal pain, bowel problems, and it's swelling in the abdomen.

Almost every case of mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. In the past, asbestos was a very popular construction material. However, as people became more knowledgeable, they learned about the dangers associated with this material. In particular, they discovered that the very fine fibers that make up asbestos are easily released when the material is handled.

If you have previously been exposed to asbestos, you should go see your doctor right away and explain your concerns. Even if it turns out that you do not have this type of cancer, it is better to be safe than sorry.

Other Diseases Related to the Exposure of Asbestos Fibers

Not all of these are deadly, but they all result in health damage and even damage to the quality of the patient's life. Most of these diseases can be predicted and treated during the time of asbestos exposure. Normally, your exposure to the dust and fibers of asbestos does not cause disease immediately. However, you need to protect yourself from being exposed just to make sure that you will not develop a medical condition related with the mineral.

The dust and fibers of asbestos are hazardous since these are tiny. In fact, a microscope is needed just to determine the type of asbestos fiber. Once they enter the body, there are two possible places where asbestos fibers go. When the fibers are breathed accidentally, they go to your lungs. If they are swallowed, they go to your stomach. Hence, the most common types of asbestos-related diseases occur in the human chest and lungs.

When the fibers of asbestos are viewed through a microscope, they appear sharp. If they get inside your body, they will destroy your tissues. It has been said that all levels of asbestos exposure are harmful to the body. This is because just one fiber can bring severe harm. The risk is greatest when you are constantly exposed to it. Medical experts say that the only way for you to hinder the development of asbestos-related health problems is to keep yourself from being exposed to its fibers.

Cancer diseases, which are linked with asbestos exposure, generally take two to four decades to develop. The whole duration is known as the "latency period." Compared to other asbestos-related diseases, pleural thickening occurs more often. There are some individuals who refer to their disease as "asbestosis." However, asbestosis is the specific term for one condition. For you to know what is affecting you precisely, you need the diagnosis of a specialist. The following are among the diseases that are brought about due to severe exposure to the fibers and dust of asbestos:

Lung Cancer and Other Types of Cancer Diseases

Epidemiological studies suggest that asbestos is one of the primary reasons for lung cancer related deaths. On the other hand, there are times when a specialist finds it hard to determine the cause of lung cancer. This is especially true when the patient smokes a lot. It has been discovered that exposure to asbestos, paired with smoking, increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Other types of asbestos-related cancer are larynx cancer; stomach cancer; and cancer of the rectum, colon, and ovaries.

Asbestosis

This is a type of pneumoconiosis. Asbestosis is the general reference for the damage occurring to the interior of your lung as a result of asbestos dust inhalation. Your lung consists of several alveoli, where carbon dioxide and oxygen are transported to and from your blood. When asbestos dust gets inside your lung, the walls of your alveoli are damaged.

Pleural plaques

These refer to the local scarring or thickening of the membrane lining your lungs. Although this type of illness is not that severe, it can be painful and discomforting. It can act as a precursor to another type of asbestos-related disease.

Pleural thickening

This happens when the pleural lining of your lung hardens due to the asbestos fibers found in your lungs. When the case is severe, it can lead to breathing difficulties.

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Cite This Page (APA): Disabled World. (2022, April 11). Mesothelioma: Symptoms and General Overview. Disabled World. Retrieved February 8, 2023 from www.disabled-world.com/health/cancer/mesothelioma/

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