Mesothelioma is one of the rarest tumors that is usually associated with asbestos exposure The cancer usually attacks the mesothelium tissues.
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.
In some cases, mesothelioma has been found in stomach walls and other abdominal organs, but this is much rarer. Mesothelioma can also occur in the ovaries and the scrotum.
Mesothelioma classically invades the chest wall linings or the throat linings, especially during the second stage. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, typically from 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 commonest symptoms of the mesothelial tumor is an accumulation of the fluid between the lining that line lungs and the chest cavity. 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.
Some of the common symptoms of 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. In majority of the cases, severe pain, and trouble in breathing are associated with pleural effusions.
Conversely, symptoms related to the peritoneal mesothelioma are weight loss, pain in the abdomen as well as abdominal mass due to the accumulation of the fluids.
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 begins with scrutinizing the patient’s medical history, as well as asking questions to know 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.
With that said, diagnosing and treating mesothelioma can be challenging and expensive as well because this may require skilled pathologist or oncologist.
If it proves difficult confirming the disease using the fluid samples obtained; the medical specialist will resort to a surgical procedure referred to as thoracoscopy that is quite invasive.
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.