Mesothelioma is a lethal type or form of cancer that usually grows in the lining that surrounds the top surface of the human organs. It is usually caused by being exposed to asbestos or zeolites.
This form of cancer is usually located in the lung linings (pleural mesothelioma), the infection can also affect the surface of the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), testicles, and possibly the heart.
Yearly, about 2600 people are affected by this disease in the United Kingdom (UK) alone. This condition is predominantly found in people around the age of 60 – 80, and it tends to affect men more than it affects women.
Although extensive research is still ongoing to combat mesothelioma, so far no cure has been discovered. Although certain medications, therapy, and treatments can help control the symptoms and toll it takes on the body. if discovered and treated early enough, it could help to prolong the patient’s life.
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How to look out for Mesothelioma
Trying to actively look for signs of mesothelioma can be so difficult and almost a vain task. Because its symptoms are visible until the illness has reached an advanced stage.
- Only 50% of patients diagnosed with Mesothelioma live at least a year, after being diagnosed.
- Only 10 out of 100 people with Mesothelioma survive for at least five years after being diagnosed.
The number of deaths caused by Mesothelioma in the United Kingdom (UK) is around 2,500 yearly. The is an expected drop in the number of people affected and death soon because asbestos has been banned in the United Kingdom (UK).
Cancer in any of its forms can be very deadly. But if you develop mesothelioma, you are experiencing one of the most lethal and dangerous types of cancer¹. Mesothelioma often stays unnoticed for several years, and it is usually discovered and diagnosed when the disease has reached a more advanced stage. With a five-year survival rate of only 5 to 10 percent, you need to know the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma². You can scan the Internet for more information about what mesothelioma is like.
Finding the signs of mesothelioma is the very first action when it comes to performing a diagnosis. Although it is not always possible to cure this aggressive cancer, you can seek treatments to slow its progress. But you have to search the internet and learn more about mesothelioma and its symptoms to detect it as soon as possible.
Find out the signs and symptoms you can look out for below.
How does mesothelioma occur?
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops slowly in the mesothelium or even the membrane that lines several of the body’s inner cavities. This cancer can form in the abdomen, chest, heart, and other areas throughout the body. Most cases begin in the chest cavity.
When mesothelioma grows and progresses, it does so aggressively and rapidly. Cancer cells that form in the mesothelium can spread to nearby tissues and cause damage. They can metastasize, quickly spreading to various sections of the human body and organs.
A mesothelioma is a form of cancer that usually exists in the body of people who have been in contact with or frequently in the presence of asbestos. Anyone who has worked with asbestos or in environments where asbestos is present may be at risk of developing mesothelioma. Asbestos is a mineral category with fine, microscopic fibers, and those fibers are dangerous when ingested or inhaled. Up to 75% of mesothelioma cases are related to asbestos exposure.
Note: asbestos is just one of the causes of mesothelioma. There are other possible less common causes such as:
- The is a chance of contracting Mesothelioma by being exposed to Zeolites, Which are minerals that have close ties with asbestos.
- Another potential cause of Mesothelioma is being in contact with high doses of radiation, especially focused on the chest or abdomen level.
- El virus SV40.
- A genetic predisposition to mesothelioma.
You can discuss the possible risk of mesothelioma with your doctor.
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma
It can be challenging to be aware of the early symptoms of mesothelioma in the body. More often than not, mesothelioma is not detected until it is advanced.
The signs can also vary due to the location where the cancer is present. We have two main forms of mesothelioma, and their symptoms are quite different.
Pleural mesothelioma can be seen (usually exist) in the tissues surrounding the lungs and is associated with symptoms such as:
- Chest pain.
- Difficulty breathing.
- Cough, especially painful.
- Unexplained weight loss.
- The appearance of unusual lumps in the region around the chest.
Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the tissue of the abdomen and can cause symptoms such as:
- Pain in the abdominal area.
- Swelling in the abdomen.
- Vomiting and constant sickness.
- Loss of body weight.
We have other minor forms of mesothelioma, which can cause very different symptoms. However, the most common signs and symptoms of these rarer forms are unknown and unclear; Since they are so rare, little is known.
It is vital to keep in mind that the symptoms associated with mesothelioma may look like that of other diseases. Abdominal pain, cough, nausea, and shortness of breath can accompany many different types of ailments and illnesses. So, if you see or feel any changes in your health, the safest course of action is to see a doctor.
How mesothelioma is diagnosed
There are several diagnostic tests that doctors can perform to officially diagnose mesothelioma. These tests can help doctors rule out other health conditions and provide more detail about what’s going on inside your body.
Diagnostic examinations can help doctors find cancer and determine if it has spread to other sections of the body. For mesothelioma, testing may include any combination of the following diagnostic methods⁸:
- A physical exam with your doctor.
- Blood test.
- Analysis of any fluid present in the lungs or abdomen.
- Pulmonary function examinations, like evaluating the amount of air the lungs can hold and air the in and outflow of air in the lungs.
- A CT or CAT scan provides internal images.
- A PET exam is usually used together with a CT scan.
- A biopsy, or the take of a small piece of tissue.
- A laparoscopy ( or thoracoscopy) is carried out to inspect the inside of the abdomen or chest with a tiny, long camera, which is placed inside the patient by incision (a tiny cut) under the use of anesthesia or any other sedative.
Once you’ve had these tests, your doctor will be able to determine the following⁹:
- The type of cancer (if present).
- The location of cancer.
- The phase of cancer.
- Your body health condition.
Mesothelioma Cell Types
They are 3 different cell types of Mesothelioma cells found in the tumors: Biphasic, Sarcatoid, and Epithelioid. Some of the cells have a higher response rate to treatments than others, while others are more resistant to treatments or therapy of any kind.
This cell possesses the characteristics of both sarcomatoid and epithelioid. And it responds less to treatments. The ratio of both cell types influences prognosis and life expectancy. It accounts for between 30% to 40% of all Mesothelioma cases.
This sort of cell responds the least to therapy. Patients with these cell types have worse diagnoses and have shorter lives. This kind of mesothelioma accounts for 10% of all cases.
This sort of cell is the least receptive to therapy. Patients with these cell types have worse diagnoses and lower life spans. This mesothelioma kind accounts for 10% of all cases.
Talk to your doctor about the risk of mesothelioma
Could you be at risk for mesothelioma? The only way to know for sure is to examine your lifestyle, health history, and employment history. You should talk to your doctor to assess your level of potential risk and determine if you have any risk factors for mesothelioma present in your history.
There are a few ways you can work to reduce your risk. Although these actions cannot prevent mesothelioma completely, they can make you less likely to develop this form of cancer.
First of all, try to reduce your asbestos exposure. You should find out if you work with asbestos in your current career or profession. People who work as miners, electricians, plumbers, shipyard personnel, demolition professionals, and even home remodelers are commonly exposed to asbestos. Ask your employer or manager if there is a risk of exposure to asbestos in your work environment. Try to find out if you are going to work in places where asbestos may be present.
In addition, you must follow the safety regulations of your workplace. Whether you work in a job that results in frequent asbestos exposure or you’re not sure when or if you might find asbestos, following safety precautions can protect you. Wearing protective gear, changing work clothes during breaks or at the end of the day, and other small measures like these can help.
Finally, take into account the asbestos that may be in your home. If your home or living space may contain asbestos, you can consult experts who can detect asbestos, test the air, and remove asbestos. This can help you live healthier and lower your risk of mesothelioma.
You can also discuss your level of risk with your doctor. If you’re concerned about mesothelioma, talk to your doctor about your risks, your lifestyle, and the steps you can take to stay healthy.