Mesothelioma Information Knowing About The Disease Is Our Own Right
Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer induced by exposure to asbestos. It affects the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the internal organs of the human body and nearly takes 10-50 years to develop. In the nascent stage of Mesothelioma attack, the pleura or peritoneum are affected and then it gradually spreads to the other parts of the body. Mesothelioma is also termed as ‘malignant’ mesothelioma where the lining of the chest, the abdomen and the heart are attacked. There are two types of mesothelioma, one being Pleural mesothelioma (lung cancer) and the other being Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal cancer).
How you can get affected of Mesothelioma
The inhaling of the fine airborne asbestos dust and fibers causes mesothelioma. It is a proven fact, as 70% to 80% of the case histories of patients state that asbestos exposure in factories or industries leads to mesothelioma. Hence all those working in construction based jobs like shipyards, boilermakers, insulators etc. are susceptible to this fatal disease.
The first step to cure of this disease is to find out all the relevant symptoms. But because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, the symptoms come into play even after 30-50 years since the contraction of the disease. Moreover, the symptoms are not conclusive, and are common to most other diseases. This is why the mesothelioma tests are imperative from the doctors point of view.
The three most prominent symptoms of Mesothelioma are excruciating pain whilst breathing or coughing, breathing problems and a persistent cough, which could even, lead to bleeding. In addition, tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of weight are some of the other symptoms. Amongst some of the very rare symptoms, husky voice, problem in swallowing, swelling of the face and pain around the rib area are considered.
It is a daunting task to diagnose the victims of mesothelioma. Normally the average age of the victims at diagnosis is around 50 to 70 years. Surprisingly, the white Americans are victimized more than the African Americans. At the time diagnosis begins, the disease had already spread and seems invincible. A victim would normally survive for only one year when the disease becomes quite ominous. However, the survival time of the patient can be stretched to almost two years if the disease is detected early and given proper treatment.
There are many factors, which determine the treatment of Mesothelioma viz., stage of the disease, location of the cancer, patient’s age and general health. Surgeries, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are amongst the basic treatments for Mesothelioma. In the recent past, treatments like removal of the pleural fluid to relieve pain and control breathlessness are being used. Apart from medication, there are a few helpful techniques that can help relieve pain and stress. These involve a balanced diet preferably prescribed by a general physician or a dietitian, conservation of energy on self-initiative as well as therapies such as aromatherapy, relaxation and massage.
In the inference, it would be worthwhile to mention that Mesothelioma is a dreadful disease and its spread can only be shunned if you are willing to know more about the disease. Then again you should also make sure that you take precautionary measures by piecing together all the information that you have garnered today.
How do you treat pericardial mesothelioma ?
Of all the cancers caused by asbestos dust (mesothelioma), pericardial mesothelioma is the most rare, accounting for a fraction of all cases (5%). It is a cancer that grows on the pericardium (the lining of the heart). This is a delicate ‘film’, and any infection on the pericardium can have deadly consequences.
Once an individual has been diagnosed with pericardial mesothelioma they are offered three different treatment options. These are radiation, surgery and chemotherapy. Pericardial mesothelioma is extremely difficult to treat (due to the intricacies involved in removing the tumours from the pericardium), and a patient’s chances of survival are slim. All three methods have a poor success rate mainly due to the fact that pericardial mesothelioma is detected in the mature stages of development. (The reason for this is because in the early stages of the cancer the symptoms resemble those of diseases such as pneumonia). The prognosis for a patient undergoing treatment at this point (mature stage) is usually less than a year.
Before treatment, the patient requires a doctor’s evaluation in order to determine which of the three treatments are suitable for him/her. Details such as age, weight, medical history, and general well-being are considered prior to the commencement of treatment. So, how do you treat pericardial mesothelioma ?
Radiation – As with all cancer treatments that use this method, large doses of radiation are used to kill the cancerous cells on the pericardium. The downside to radiation treatment is that not only are you killing off the cancerous cells, but you are also damaging the vital organs in close proximity to the heart, namely the lungs. The heart also gets damaged (due to the large doses of radiation).
Surgery – We can break this down into two parts; aggressive surgery and palliative procedures. Aggressive surgery involves the removal of the cancerous cell. Since these are very close to the heart and lungs, this makes it an extremely precarious procedure and one that requires an extremely skilled surgeon.
Palliative procedures are used in the latest of stages of pericardial mesothelioma and serve the sole purpose of reducing the symptoms. Usually at this stage the cancer is practically incurable.
Chemotherapy – This is the most widely-used of cancer therapies which involves the use of drugs to kill the cancerous cells. Unfortunately, the majority of drugs used have a low success rate with pericardial mesothelioma. Research is being conducted to come up with a cocktail of drugs that have a more favourable outcome.
There does exist another form of treatment which involves using all three aforementioned treatment options. It is known as Dual Therapy. Surgery is used to remove the cancerous cells, then chemotherapy and radiation are used to kill the remaining cells. The success rate for this method is higher than just using radiation, surgery or chemotherapy alone, but can still be dangerous