Mesothelioma is one of the infrequent forms of cancer that is frequently caused by asbestos exposure. The disease typically affects 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.
There are cases where medical experts find the tumor in stomach walls and other abdominal organs, but this is extremely rare. Mesothelioma can also occur in the ovaries and the scrotum.
Mesothelioma typically invades the pleural wall or the esophagus during its second stage. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, typically from 15-40 years. This is to say that individuals who were exposed to asbestos back in the 1980s when asbestos handling and use were not highly regulated are beginning to fall sick now.
The commonest symptoms of the mesothelial tumor is an accumulation of the fluid between the lining that line lungs and the chest cavity. Other signs and symptoms of the mesothelial tumor are fluid build-up in the abdomen or ascites, rapid weight loss, bowel malfunction, abdominal growth as well as generalized pain in the abdomen.
Symptoms such as difficulty in swallowing food, mass on the neck and face can indicate that the tumor has spread.
Symptoms of the 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 are the most common symptoms. Severe pain and struggling when breathing is as a result of pleural effusions.
Equally, some of the commonest symptoms associated with peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and abdominal pain and swelling due to a buildup of fluid in the abdomen.
What is crucial when it comes to treating and managing mesothelioma satisfactorily is the early detection of disease. This is crucial because this directly translates to better prognosis in the end.
Diagnosis starts with a review of the patient’s medical history, including probes that enable physicians to tell if he or she has ever been exposed to asbestos and asbestos products. Nevertheless, the ultimate diagnosis of mesothelioma is heavily dependent on a pathological exam, generally referred to as a biopsy.
Having that in mind, detecting and curing this mesothelial cancer can be not only hard, but can also be costly as this may require the attention of specialized oncologist.
When conclusive diagnosis cannot be made from evaluating the fluid samples, diagnostic surgical procedure called thoracoscopy is employed.
The diagnosis may be suspected with chest X-ray and CT scan, but the final diagnosis is confirmed by a pathological examination of a biopsy.
Mesothelial tumor is a deadly disease that is very uncommon, but for the last few years, many people have suffered and died of it.