What is Mesothelioma?
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT MESOTHELIOMA SURVIVAL RATE
There are three types of mesothelioma:
- Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form. It affects the pleura or the lining around the lungs.
- Peritoneal mesothelioma is the second most common form. It attacks the lining of the abdomen, called the peritoneum.
- Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form. It affects the protective layer of the heart.
Symptoms of Mesothelioma
- shortness of breath
- coughing, often painful
- unexpected and unexplained weight loss
- pain under the ribcage
- detectable lumps under the skin in the chest area
- lower back pain
- discomfort in the side of the chest
- difficulty swallowing
- unexplained weight loss
- abdominal pain
- swelling in the abdomen
- lumps in the abdomen
- nausea and vomiting
- low blood pressure
- shortness of breath
- fluid retention, or edema, often in the legs
- heart palpitations
- extreme fatigue following light exertion
- chest pain
Causes of Mesothelioma
Risk factors for Mesothelioma
- Personal history of asbestos exposure. If you’ve been directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, your risk of mesothelioma is greatly increased.
- Living with someone who works with asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos may carry the fibers home on their skin and clothing. Exposure to these stray fibers over many years can put others in the home at risk of mesothelioma. People who work with high levels of asbestos can reduce the risk of bringing home asbestos fibers by showering and changing clothes before leaving work.
- A family history of mesothelioma. If your parent, sibling or child has mesothelioma, you may have an increased risk of this disease.
- inhalation of fibrous silicates such as erionite, zeolite and intrapleural thorium dioxide
Mesothelioma Diagnosis Tests
Blood Tests. Blood levels of 3 substances — fibulib-3, osteopontin, and soluble mesothelin-related peptides (SMRPs) — are often elevated in people with mesothelioma. Although these blood tests cannot confirm a diagnosis of mesothelioma, high levels of these substances make mesothelioma more likely.
- Thoracentesis — chest cavity
- Paracentesis — abdomen
- Pericardiocentesis — membrane around the heart
Laparoscopy or laparotomy
Staging of Mesothelioma
Treatment of Mesothelioma
- the location of the cancer
- the stage of the cancer
- the patient’s general health and age
- A pleurectomy or peritonectomy removes the lining around the lungs or abdominal cavity, to relieve symptoms. A tumor that cannot be completely removed may be debulked, or reduced in size. A catheter or tube may be installed to relieve fluid on the lungs.
- Pleurodesis: Drugs such as tetracycline or bleomycin are inserted between to pleura. This inflames the pleura, bringing them back together and blocking potential fluid buildup in the space.
- Wide local excision, which removes cancer along with some of the healthy surrounding tissue.
- Extrapleural pneumonectomy, which involves removing one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, the diaphragm, and lining of the sac around the heart.
Chemotherapy: If tumors cannot be surgically removed, chemotherapy may be used to shrink them and slow their progress. Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment that uses drugs to stop the growth of mesothelioma cells, either by killing the cells or by stopping them from dividing.
Chemotherapy can be given by mouth, injected into a vein or muscle to enter the bloodstream and reach mesothelioma cells throughout the body, or it can be placed directly into the affected area of the body to mainly affect mesothelioma cells in that area. Sometimes doctors use more than one chemotherapy drug.
This is called combination chemotherapy.
Radiation therapy is a type of cancer treatment uses high-energy X-rays and other types of radiation to kill mesothelioma cells or keep them from growing.
Radiation may be administered externally or internally. External radiation therapy uses a machine outside the body to send radiation toward cancer. Internal radiation uses a radioactive substance sealed in needles, seeds, wires, or catheters that are placed directly into the area near the mesothelioma.
Complications of Mesothelioma
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Pain caused by pressure on the nerves and spinal cord
- Accumulation of fluid in the chest (pleural effusion), which can compress the lung nearby and make breathing difficult
Prevention of Mesothelioma
- Asbestos exposure & the development of mesothelioma cancer. (2017, Jan 11). Retrieved from https://www.mesotheliomahelp.org/asbestos/
- Asbestos-related disease. (2013). Retrieved from http://www.worker-health.org/asbestosreldisease.html
- How is malignant mesothelioma diagnosed? (2016, February 17). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/detection-diagnosis-staging/how-diagnosed.html
- Malignant mesothelioma. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma.html
- Malignant mesothelioma mortality – the United States, 1999-2015. (2017, March 3). Morbidity and mortality report, 66(8), 214-218. Retrieved from https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/66/wr/mm6608a3.htm
- Surgery for malignant mesothelioma. (2017, February 17). Retrieved from https://www.cancer.org/cancer/malignant-mesothelioma/treating/surgery.html
- Malignant pleural mesothelioma. Fort Washington, Pa.: National Comprehensive Cancer Network. http://www.nccn.org/professionals/physician_gls/f_guidelines.asp. Accessed March. 05, 2018.
- Niederhuber JE, et al., eds. Diseases of the pleura and mediastinum. In: Abeloff’s Clinical Oncology. 5th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Churchill Livingstone Elsevier; 2014. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March. 05, 2018.
- Broaddus VC, et al. Pleural Tumors. In: Murray and Nadel’s Textbook of Respiratory Medicine. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa.: Saunders Elsevier; 2015. http://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March. 05, 2018