If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is in your best interest to gather as much information as possible. Asbestos has had many uses throughout history, and though it is a rare find these days, it still exists in the insulation of some older buildings.
Many lung diseases occur as a result of exposure to this material, among them is mesothelioma cancer. The web is ripe with information, and here we will give you a brief introduction.
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is almost always malignant, and can afflict a variety of bodily systems. Most often it affects the lungs because the easiest way for asbestos (the cancers main cause) to enter the body is through inhalation. If it affects the lungs it is also known as pleural mesothelioma.There is also peritonial mesothelioma, which affects the lining around the organs in the abdomen. And pericardial mesothelioma is found in the sac around the heart.
There are also three different types of mesothelioma. Epithelioid, which is the most common, is found in the protective lining around vital organs. Sarcomatoid, the most serious, but less common than the former, is found in tissues such as fat, muscles, bone and cartilage. There is also mixed, where both epithelioid and sarcomatoid are present at once.
Unfortunately all information concludes that it is a fatal cancer. Symptoms vary depending on which bodily systems are affected. If the cancer resides in the lungs there may be shortness of breath, coughing, chest pain, and sometimes no symptoms at all. Abdominal cancers are generally accompanied by weight loss, a swollen belly, and digestive related problems. These symptoms may not appear until many years after asbestos exposure. And diagnosis is often difficult because many of the symptoms mimic other conditions.
Treatment for mesothelioma varies, and is dependent upon many factors. Common treatments, as with most cancers, include surgical removal, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. And though the prognosis is grim, modern technology is advancing by leaps and bounds. If you, or someone close to you, is experiencing the symptoms of mesothelioma, see your doctor, and do your research. Stay updated on the latest information. Hopefully we will find a cure soon.