What is Mesothelium?
Mesothelial cells are epithelial cells forming the lining of several body cavities. Specifically, they make up the mesothelium of the pleural cavity (surrounding the lungs), peritoneum (lining the abdominal cavity), pericardium (lining the heart), and tunica vaginalis (lining the testes).
What is Mesothelioma?
What does mesothelioma mean? Here, you are going to learn the real definition of mesothelioma. A mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells which line membranes surrounding certain internal organs. These membrane linings can include those around the lungs, abdomen, and testes.
The lack of early symptoms and diagnosis often leads to widespread and aggressive spread by the time treatment is initiated. With an average survival time of only three to six months, mesothelioma has a poor prognosis and is considered one of the most aggressive cancers.
What is Asbestos?
What does asbestos look like? Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral that has been mined for its useful physical properties for many centuries. It is very good at insulating from heat and sound, as well as being resistant to fire, corrosion, and many chemicals. Asbestos is considered a known carcinogen. Airborne asbestos fibers or dust particles can create asbestosis issues. The danger of asbestos exposure can pose life-threatening respiratory diseases to the workers that work in asbestos-related workplaces.
Asbestos can be mixed with cement or other materials to form strong, versatile building materials such as insulation, roofing tiles, and wallboard. Asbestos is also used in drywall joint compound, ceiling tiles, floor tiles, fireproofing sprays, pipe insulation, automobile brake pads and shoes, clutch facings, vinyl floor tile, billboards, concrete shingles and shakes, roof coatings for cars and buildings.
Asbestos-related Lung Diseases
Asbestos-related lung diseases include:
(1) Malignant Cancers
- Lung Cancer
- Laryngeal Cancer
- Ovarian Cancer
(2) Non-Cancerous Diseases
- Diffuse Pleural Thickening
- Rounded Atelactasis
- Pleural Effusion
- Pleural Plaques
- Pleural Fibrosis
- Pulmonary Fibrosis
What is Asbestosis?
How does asbestos cause cancer? How does asbestos cause mesothelioma? Asbestosis is a condition where the lungs are damaged by inhaling asbestos fibers. It was first recognized as an occupational disease in 1930 among workers exposed to blue asbestos, or calcium silicate (a short fiber variety of asbestos). Asbestos has been mined and used for more than 4,000 years.
In modern times, its use increased greatly during the 20th century. Mining, manufacturing, and processing asbestos account for most (85 percent) of all asbestos-related diseases in the United States; other less common sources include railway brakes, vehicle brake linings, gaskets, cement sheets, and pipes.
Difference Between Asbestosis & Mesothelioma
- Mesothelioma has a long latency period ranging from 10 to 50 years for its effects to manifest, whereas asbestosis shows visible symptoms much sooner than that.
- Asbestosis causes inflammation of the lung tissue, while mesothelioma causes tumors within the chest cavity.
- Symptoms of asbestos does not show for years while signs of mesothelioma appear in less than 10 years after exposure to asbestos fibres.
- People from asbestosis die mainly from other respiratory disease, while people with mesothelioma die mostly of the effects of the disease.
- Early detection is difficult for asbestosis, but it’s comparatively easy with mesothelioma
- Mesothelioma is more fatal than asbestosis.
- Mesothelioma can spread to other distant parts of the body but asbestosis can’t spread to other parts of patient’s body.
- Mesothelioma is a form of cancer but asbestosis is an inflammatory respiratory disease that does not always lead to cancer.
- Supplemental oxygen and rest is suggested for asbestosis treatment includes whereas for mesothelioma cure, surgery and chemotherapy are the possible options.
- To prevent asbestosis, avoiding exposure to asbestos is the remedy while there are no known ways to prevent mesothelioma in most cases.
Types Of Mesothelioma
There are the following four major types of mesothelioma disease:
- Pleural mesothelioma (It affects the tissue surrounding the lungs)
- Peritoneal mesothelioma (It affects the tissue tissue in the abdominal cavity)
- Pericardial mesothelioma (It affects the tissue surrounding the heart)
- Testicular mesothelioma (It affects the tunica vaginalis testis)
How does Mesothelioma start?
What is mesothelioma caused by? Cancer is a disease that is related to cells. To make new cells, instructions are delivered in the form of genes and these genes also control the normal behavior of cells.
Mutations in the genes can convert normal cells into cancerous cells. Due to mutations in the normal cells these act in a different way and give rise to cancer cells. Normal cells die after their growth when they are not needed by the human body but cancerous cells do not die after they grow old or when they get damaged. Instead, these cancerous cells make new cells that divide quickly and rapidly. Over time, these cancerous cells grow with such a ratio that a mass or clot is formed in the human body.
Cancer cells spread in distant parts of the body and this spread of cells is called metastasis. Cancer cells are often spread through lymph nodes or blood. Cells gain blood and water from a clear fluid that is called lymph. And lymph nodes are groups of cells that fight diseases by filtering the Lymph and removing the germs that are hazardous to the body. Like blood vessels, lymph vessels are also spread through the human body and lymph fluid flows through them. So, In this way, cancer can spread through the human body parts.
How does mesothelioma affect the body?
Asbestos fibers are microscopic and once inhaled, they lodge themselves in the lining of organs where they cause inflammation that often results in scarring or thickening.
This causes compression of the surrounding tissues and organs which can reduce their function. Mesothelioma is often detected by chest X-rays or CT scans that show an abnormal shadow in the lining of the lungs, heart, or abdomen (the latter being more commonly found because asbestos exposure tends to affect the lower back).
Lung cancer, another common form of cancer associated with asbestos, is often present along with mesothelioma. Most people get their first symptom when fluid begins to collect in the chest cavity causing shortness of breath, chest pain, and coughing up blood. When detected early on, these symptoms can be treated allowing patients to live several years before cancer’s fatal spread.
Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
What are the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma? Several symptoms can be seen by a doctor or noticed by you when mesothelioma is present. Because it often starts in the lining of your lungs, it may cause chest pains. You can also have chronic coughing up blood, shortness of breath, severe fatigue, and loss of appetite. If cancer spreads to other parts of your body like the lining around your heart or abdomen then it can cause pain in those areas as well.
Mesothelioma symptoms may not be very specific at the beginning stages. Symptoms of mesothelioma include fatigue; chest pain; shortness of breath; and coughing up blood. Mesothelioma, which is a cancer of the lining of organs, may appear anywhere in your body such as your lungs (pleural mesothelioma), heart (pericardial mesothelioma), or abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma).
Anyone with a history of asbestos exposure should consult a mesothelioma specialist immediately if he or she exhibits the following signs and symptoms:
- Chest pain
- Any respiratory disorder
- Flu, Pneumonia
- Persistent long coughing
- Pleural effusion (fluid on the lungs)
- Sudden Weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Loss of appetite
The Primary cause of mesothelioma
How is mesothelioma caused or what causes mesothelioma? The primary cause of mesothelioma is asbestos exposure, a heat-resistant mineral and was widely used in many industries such as construction, shipbuilding, and manufacturing for its fireproofing properties. The disease can take up to 20-50 years after initial asbestos exposure to develop, which means there are many people currently suffering from the effects of it. In addition to asbestos compounds, there are other non-asbestos-related causes or factors of mesothelioma.
Risk factors associated with mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure is the only confirmed cause of mesothelioma. There are some cases, however, where it is associated with genetic mutations of the cancer cells. Several risk factors increase the chances of individuals developing mesothelioma:
The disease affects mostly people over the age of 50 and there has not been any case reported in individuals younger than 20 years old.
Exposure to asbestos
Asbestos is a fireproof and insulating material that has been commonly used for industrial and commercial purposes. Most of the people who have developed mesothelioma were exposed to asbestos on the job and there are some cases where home renovation or repairs had caused exposure as well.
Family history of Cancer
Some rare forms of cancer can increase the chances of developing mesothelioma. If any family member has been stricken with the disease it can increase your chances of getting diagnosed as well.
Is Mesothelioma Hereditary?
There is no evidence that mesothelioma is hereditary. However, some rare types of the disease are genetic. These conditions are called Familial Mesothelioma or Birt-Hogg-Dube Syndrome and they only account for a small number of cases each year. People with this type of cancer usually start having tumors before age 30 and men are affected more than women.
If you or someone in your family has recently been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it may be a good idea to talk with an attorney about filing a claim for compensation from the company that handled asbestos where you used to work. Mesothelioma cases can take a long time in the courts because it is an uncommon disease, but some attorneys specialize in this type of case and can help you get the compensation you need.
Diagnosis Of Mesothelioma
How do you know if you have mesothelioma? X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs can be used to help diagnose mesothelioma. Cutting-edge blood tests possess the potential to improve your chances of early diagnosis of asbestos-related illness.
Mesothelioma cancer may not be diagnosed right away due to the lack of specific symptoms. Mesothelioma cancer is often only found during autopsies because there are no early detection methods available for this disease. This is why it’s so important to know all you can about mesothelioma and share your knowledge with other people so they understand the dangers of asbestos exposure.
Symptoms of this disease are very similar to that of pneumonia or some other respiratory infections. This is one reason why diagnosis can be delayed, especially if asbestos exposure has not yet been confirmed.
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is often associated with asbestos since that is the only known cause of this rare cancer. However, some cases have been known to resemble asbestosis even though these individuals haven’t been exposed to it; this form of cancer has also been found in young children. This type of cancer is so rare, however, that it is very unlikely for any individual to have the disease without being exposed to asbestos at some point.
Most victims who are diagnosed with this type of cancer are in their 60’s or 70’s, but there have been cases reported where individuals as young as 15 have developed mesothelioma.
Lung cancer, on the other hand, has a better prognosis since there are several treatments available for it, including surgery and chemotherapy. Although these treatments can be very taxing on a person’s body they do have some effect in extending survival times. Unfortunately, mesothelioma doesn’t have any effective treatment options available to prolong or improve the quality of life for patients.
How is mesothelioma found?
Mesothelioma is found in three different ways. First, you can get it if you come into contact with asbestos. Second, your family members may be at risk through second-hand exposure to the fibers. Lastly, mesothelioma may be diagnosed without any warning and no prior asbestos exposure.
If a person has come into contact with asbestos, they will likely have pleural plaques. These are small amounts of scarring in your lungs or even in your chest cavity. Plaques are usually found during a medical evaluation for another condition entirely, not because they were looking specifically for mesothelioma.
Second-hand exposure is another way that mesothelioma is diagnosed. If you have come into contact with asbestos fibers and don’t know it, your spouse or child may develop pleural plaques. This does not mean they will get cancer, but if they do it is usually at a later date because of the exposure.
Lastly, some people are diagnosed with mesothelioma without any history of asbestos exposure whatsoever. This is known as Spontaneous Mesothelioma. It is still the minority of cases, but more people are being diagnosed with it because of advanced testing procedures.
How do you test for mesothelioma?
Is there a test for asbestos exposure? How do I know if I have mesothelioma? There are no screening tests yet, if you suspect that you have been exposed to asbestos, you should talk to your physician about doing a chest X-ray once a year.
The only way to know for sure if an individual has mesothelioma is through pathological testing. Sometimes, doctors will diagnose the disease based on certain symptoms and if it conforms to mesothelioma’s most common signs and symptoms. These may include:
- Shortness of breath
- Pleural effusion, which is the buildup of fluid in the lungs or chest cavity
- Chest pain that worsens when you inhale deeply and coughing up blood.
Tests like a CT scan can be used to confirm a diagnosis and rule out other diseases with similar symptoms. A biopsy may also help determine if an individual has mesothelioma since the type of cells affected is unique to this disease.
There are no treatments that can cure mesothelioma, but depending on how severe your condition is there are certain therapies that can help improve your quality of life. Most patients only live 6-18 months after their diagnosis.
Tests for the Diagnosis of Mesthelioma
Thoracentesis is a procedure to treat and drain excess fluid from the area surrounding the lungs (pleural cavity) using a needle and syringe. A diagnosis can also be made by measuring oxygen levels in the pleural space and inserting a chest tube. The procedure is used when simple aspiration fails or is contraindicated.
Abrams needle biopsy
Abrams needle biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure, where a physician can use imaging techniques such as ultrasound (US), computed tomography (CT), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). The needle is used to remove tissue samples from parts of the body without an incision. Radiologists who specialize in interventional radiology are specially trained for this technique and will use x-ray or live fluoroscopic (real-time) imaging (ultrasound, CT or MRI), to guide the needle through the area of concern until tissue samples are taken.
A pleural biopsy is a procedure that takes tissue samples of your lungs and the fluid around them (called pleural fluid) to help diagnose diseases involving these organs. The pleura are two thin layers of tissue that cover your lungs and line your chest cavity. Pleural biopsies are usually done by inserting a needle through your back between your ribs.
The tissue samples are sent to a pathologist who can then examine them for signs of disease or other abnormalities. While the biopsy is being done, you will need to lie very still on a table that’s tilted upward toward your head.
In this type of biopsy, the doctor uses x-rays and ultrasound scans to guide a thin, hollow needle through the back and into the fluid-filled space around your lungs (called the pleural cavity). The doctor may also use other imaging tests such as CT scans or MRIs to make sure that they are in the right area before inserting the needle.
CT guided core biopsy
CT-guided core biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to remove tissue for diagnostic purposes. CT is an acronym for computed tomography, which is the use of special x-ray equipment to study internal organs or other parts of the body with great accuracy. The word “guided” means that the doctor uses the images obtained from the CT scanner to direct a biopsy needle to obtain a tiny tissue sample. For this procedure, you will be given either local anesthetic or sedation medication with or without intravenous (IV) medications in your arm or hand.
An open biopsy is usually performed when the results of a fine needle aspiration (FNA) are unclear or if FNA comes back with an inconclusive result. It can also be used to remove more cells for research that they would have acquired from just doing another FNA.
During this surgery, they will take out larger pieces of tissue if they feel that it will help them get a better understanding of the area. They do this to make sure that everything possible is done to answer all their questions and provide peace of mind for you as well as your doctor.
The thoracoscopic biopsy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove tissue samples from the lungs. The patient is usually under general anesthesia so they are asleep and pain-free during surgery. Through several small incisions in the chest, the surgeon inserts long thin instruments into the chest called thoracoscopes. Each of these scopes contains a tiny camera that lets the surgeon see inside the chest on a monitor. The thoracoscopes are connected to long, thin surgical instruments passed through additional ports for access into the chest cavity.
The surgeon then uses these instruments to pass a wire with a hollow needle at its tip into an abnormal area of tissue or mass in the lung. The wire is then attached to a syringe that is used to suction out the tissue samples. Tissue samples are immediately sent to the laboratory for testing.
General anesthesia can be given by an anesthesiologist before the procedure. If the biopsy was of one lung, they will most likely monitor you on a breathing machine (Ventilator). If the biopsy was of both lungs, they will most likely monitor you on a breathing machine (ventilator) for 24 hours.
Most people return home within 18-24 hours after surgery. Patients with specific preoperative conditions, such as diabetes and heart failure, may need to stay in the hospital longer.
SMRP Blood Test
Test for soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRP) measures the amount of ferritin in your blood serum. When protein cells in the mesothelium break down, mesothelin-related peptides are formed. These products can be found inside the blood. People suffering from mesothelioma have high levels of soluble mesothelin-related peptides.
This test is not enough for the exact diagnosis of mesothelioma, a biopsy is needed to confirm it.
Prognosis for Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer. In the past, most people with this diagnosis died within one year. In 2009, there were about 3,000 new cases in the United States. The number of cases worldwide is unknown because mesothelioma often goes undiagnosed in less developed countries.
There are no specific treatments for mesothelioma. The disease has a poor prognosis, and patients usually die within 1-2 years after diagnosis. However, there are several treatment options available for mesothelioma.
The prognosis for mesothelioma is poor. Mesotheliomas are mostly fatal tumors with a very poor prognosis. The median survival time for malignant pleural mesothelioma is 6 months with up to a one-year survival rate of 25%. About 10% of patients with mesothelioma survive for more than one year. The median survival rate of malignant peritoneal mesothelioma is approximately 12 months with about 25% for one-year survival rate and 10% of patients surviving two years or longer.
Several factors influence prognosis:
- Age at diagnosis – Patients who are younger have a better chance of longer survival.
- General health – Patients who are in good overall physical and mental health have a higher likelihood of responding well to treatment.
- Primary site – Nodular mesothelioma is more aggressive, but also holds greater chances for disease control when found early.
- Size and location – The larger the tumor and the more it spreads, the worse the prognosis. The disease is known to spread beyond the initial site quickly in Stage 1 patients. The cancer can spread to lymph nodes (the immune system’s filters) as well as solid organs such as lungs, liver and kidneys.
- Additional growths – The presence of additional cancers in the body is a very significant factor in predicting survival.
STAGES Of Mesothelioma
A diagnosis of mesothelioma is often a very difficult one to receive. There are two primary stages of the disease:
- Stage 1: Cancer has developed and spread beyond the initial site and into nearby lymph nodes, tissues, and organs.
- Stage 2: Cancer cells have reached other parts of your body, including distant lymph nodes and tissues.
The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more successful treatment options are likely to be. Even with the most advanced radiation or surgical therapies available, however, some patients choose not to have treatment after receiving a diagnosis of Stage 1 or Stage 2 cancer. Many people do very well by monitoring their health closely and taking advantage of the latest developments in supportive care.
When Stage 1 mesothelioma is diagnosed, most patients can expect to survive two or three more years before the disease advances; however, some patients will live much longer.
The majority of Stage 2 patients can expect to live six months to one year with mesothelioma, but many will live longer. Some examples of these long-term survivors include:
- A patient who initially had Stage 1 cancer but experienced a recurrence after several years.
- An older man with significant health problems whose disease was diagnosed in Stage 2A. He lived 11 ½ years following diagnosis.
- A woman who refused treatment, elected to try nutritional therapy instead. She was diagnosed in Stage 2B and lived for more than two years.
Survival Rates of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma survival statistics are difficult to establish because different types of mesothelioma treatments can have a definitive impact on patient life expectancy. There is a consensus among doctors, however, that early detection is crucial for a positive outcome. The earlier the cancer is diagnosed and treated, the more likely it will be for doctors to successfully remove it completely.
In the United States, asbestos exposure accounts for about 20% to 25% of all cases of mesothelioma. In other countries, asbestos exposure accounts for a much smaller percentage of all cases.
The five-year survival rate for pleural mesothelioma has been reported as high as 52%. The five-year survival rate for peritoneal mesothelioma has been reported as high as 48%.
For all stages combined, the one-year relative survival is 37%, and the five-year relative survival is 31%.
A 2010 study in Italy found that over 25 years (1984-2009), there was no improvement in the relative survival rate for pleural mesothelioma.
The one and five-year relative survival rates were:
- One Year: 37% (95% CI: 34%-40%)
- Five Years: 31% (95% CI: 26%-35%)
Treatment of Mesothelioma
Treatment of mesothelioma is not curative but palliative. Most patients are treated with chemotherapy or radiation therapy to control the symptoms of the disease. Generally, patients with pleural mesothelioma are treated with chemotherapy while those with peritoneal mesothelioma receive radiation therapy. Surgical procedures like extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP) or pleurectomy/decortication (P/D) may be performed to relieve pain and correct other symptoms.
When mesothelioma is diagnosed, the doctor will perform a physical examination, including a thorough review of the patient’s medical history and any available laboratory findings. An X-ray or CT scan can help confirm the diagnosis; however, these imaging studies do not provide details useful in making treatment decisions.
Whole-brain radiation; chemotherapy; gemcitabine; pemetrexed; cetuximab; beta-interferon; immunotherapy; surgery; photodynamic therapy (PDT)
This is the most common treatment. It involves giving high doses of radiation to kill cancer cells in the brain and help relieve symptoms like headaches, which are often caused by pressure on the brain. Most people receive these treatments daily for about 6 weeks. Unfortunately, this treatment does not cure cancer. It can provide temporary relief of symptoms and improve patients’ quality of life for several months or sometimes longer.
Chemotherapy & Chemotherapeutic Drugs
Because mesothelioma is unresponsive cancer that spreads very quickly to other parts of the body, overall survival is poor with conventional treatments, and new and better treatments are needed. There have been promising results involving the use of chemotherapy drugs such as pemetrexed and gemcitabine.
There are no specific treatments for mesothelioma. The disease has a poor prognosis, and patients usually die within 1-2 years after diagnosis.
As of now, there is no absolute cure for cancer but researchers have found a vaccine that shows the potential to prevent cancer cells from growing and spreading.
- Cisplatin is often the first chemotherapy drug used to treat mesothelioma. Some drugs in this category include cisplatin and carboplatin, which are usually given together.
- Carboplatin works in a similar way to cisplatin, but it is less toxic to normal cells. This makes it a better option for patients with impaired kidney function.
- Certain drugs, such as ifosfamide, etoposide, and oxaliplatin are injected into the body. They travel through the bloodstream to kill cancer cells throughout the body. These treatments may be used in combination with chemotherapy drugs, such as cisplatin and carboplatin.
- Pemetrexed is usually the first chemotherapy drug used to treat malignant pleural mesothelioma, but it can also be combined with other chemotherapy drugs to increase its effectiveness. This treatment option appears to work best for tumors of the lung and less so for tumors of the chest lining.
- Gemcitabine is a chemotherapy drug that stops cancer cells from growing (anti-cancer).
- Docetaxel is added to pemetrexed treatment in people with mesothelioma. Docetaxel helps to kill any remaining cancer cells after the initial treatment with pemetrexed.
- Cetuximab is a monoclonal antibody that can be combined with standard chemotherapy and radiation therapy to improve survival in people with malignant pleural mesothelioma.
- Pemetrexed is a drug that has been approved by the FDA to treat lung cancer. There are some studies showing pemetrexed may also benefit people with mesothelioma. This treatment option appears to work best for tumors of the lung and less so for tumors of the chest lining.
Another approach is immunotherapy, which involves stimulating the immune system to attack cancer cells. A vaccine clinical trial for mesothelioma has shown “promising results”. The vaccine stimulates a person’s immune system to fight the tumor. It is most common in older patients, who are often not strong enough for the standard treatments.
Surgery for mesothelioma
It may be an option for some people with pleural mesothelioma, where tumors are found only in the lining of the lung. Lung surgery removes as much tumor as possible and is usually followed by chemotherapy to keep any remaining cancer from growing. Unfortunately, removing part of a lung can be very risky, so lung surgery is usually reserved for only the most serious cases.
Lung surgery may be an option for some people with malignant pleural mesothelioma, where tumors are found only in the lining of the lung. Lung surgery removes as much tumor as possible and is usually followed by chemotherapy to keep any remaining cancer from growing. Unfortunately, removing part of a lung can be very risky, so lung surgery is usually reserved for only the most serious cases.
Radiation therapy is done to destroy cancer cells or keep them from growing any further, but this treatment option is only used in a few cases because it doesn’t work well on mesothelioma.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy X-rays to kill cancer cells and shrink tumors. It may be an option if you have early-stage mesothelioma, but it is rarely used after the disease has spread. If you are thinking about radiation therapy, talk to your doctor about the possible side effects.
Photodynamic Therapy (PDT)
Photodynamic therapy (PDT) is a new approach that we are testing. PDT involves injecting a drug called porfimer sodium into the body and then using intense light to activate the drug in the tumor. The activated medication kills cancer cells but does little harm to healthy tissue. The benefit of PDT over conventional treatment options is still unclear.
Studies have shown that people with very severe cases of mesothelioma respond better to treatment if they take anabolic steroids, such as oxymetholone or nandrolone decanoate. The goal of using anabolic steroids is to cut down on protein loss and increase appetite, making it easier for people with the disease to eat and maintain their weight.
Anabolic steroids may be effective in slowing or stopping tumor growth in some cases, but they haven’t been shown to help patients live longer than other treatment options. They might also have harmful side effects, such as liver damage and an increased risk of heart disease.
People taking anabolic steroids should be closely monitored by their doctor.
Mesothelioma Case Reports/Studies
One case study was conducted on a patient with metastatic malignant mesothelioma. The experimental treatment was dexamethasone, which is used to help reduce the swelling and fluid buildup in the tissue around the lungs. The results showed that dexamethasone injection may be beneficial for advanced mesothelioma patients, but it cannot be used as a routine standard of care.
Another study looked at the reported quality of life in patients with different stages of pleural mesothelioma. It found that people who were diagnosed with tumors early fared much better than those with tumors located on the diaphragm or chest wall. The authors even suggested that treatment be adapted accordingly for the later stages because survival benefit was not seen in these patients.
A third study looked at the efficacy of intrapleural recombinant human platelet-derived growth factors for mesothelioma. It found that it improves shortness of breath and reduces pleural effusion, but does not lengthen overall survival or improve quality of life.
A fourth study analyzed the effects of different doses of pemetrexed on mesothelioma. It found that maintenance of pemetrexed (75mg/m2) was beneficial for some patients.
Quick Answer: How Does Asbestos Cause Mesothelioma?
The asbestos particles enter the body through inhalation and can damage cells in many different organs of the body (lungs, stomach). The symptoms of asbestos poisoning include chest pain, fever, night sweats, respiratory issues (i.e., difficulty breathing), and stomach pains.
The inhalation of asbestos fibers is considered to be one of the main routes by which people are exposed to asbestos. The fibers enter the body through this route and can lodge themselves in many places throughout the body. There are two types of fibers: long and short (Rinsky). The long fibers are more dangerous because they can remain in the body for longer periods. Once inside, these fibers can damage cells and also affect or infect other organs (lungs, stomach, etc.).
The effects of asbestos exposure do not immediately appear. Instead, symptoms will gradually emerge as a result of cellular damage.
Quick Answer: Is Asbestos to Blame for Adenocarcinoma?
Adenocarcinoma is cancer that starts in glandular cells. The majority of lung, prostate, colon, pancreatic, and breast cancers are adenocarcinomas, according to the National Cancer Institute. Inhalation of asbestos fibers can induce Adenocarcinoma.
Real Answer: Why Can’t I Recover from Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is one of the most complicated cancers in the world because it is not like any other cancer we know about. Most cancers will respond to whatever treatment is used because they start growing and multiplying at a much higher rate. That means it’s easier for treatments to kill them off before they can damage the body too much. Mesothelioma is different because there are not many dividing cells in the tumor, therefore, not many cancer cells to be killed by treatments. Mesotheliomas are often large, solid tumors made up of a few layers of different cells that don’t divide or grow very much.
The way that doctors treat mesothelioma is not by attacking cancer directly with chemo or radiation, but by just giving enough to help people live longer with it. This is called palliative care and the treatments can include chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery to remove tumors, and pain medications.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. It almost always happens when you inhale or ingest fibers of asbestos. That’s because asbestos causes changes in the cells on the lining of your organs and these changes turn into cancer.
In order to have mesothelioma, you have to have been exposed to asbestos at some point in your life. However, it may take a long time for cancer cells to form after that exposure. Mesothelioma has a long latency period which is why some people who had exposures in the 1940s are just now getting sick. There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but there are treatments that can help people live longer with it.
There are several types of mesothelioma which include: Pleural Mesothelioma This affects the lining on your lungs Peritoneal Mesothelioma This affects your abdomen or your gut Pericardial Mesothelioma This affects the lining around your heart
The only known cause for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. There are often no symptoms in the early stages of mesothelioma so it can advance before you know it is there. Once it reaches that point, the symptoms can vary. It’s usually a painful and difficult disease to live with, but doctors are doing research and developing better treatments every day.