Mesothelioma: Etiology, Signs, & Symptoms

If you are a frequent television watcher, you surely have seen the numerous ads that encourage Mesothelioma victims to initiate a lawsuit against their former employers. These commercials could definitely get someone thinking that they could receive a huge compensation, because they were exposed to many environmental factors that are linked to the disease.

Etiology

 

Mesothelioma is a malignant cancer that develops in the membrane that forms in the lining of the thoracic cavity better known as mesothelium. The cancer is caused by exposure to asbestos, which can be found in old insulation. It is composed of long, thin fibers and is a very toxic material that has now been banned in the United States. People that are most likely to gain exposure to the material include;

 

– Construction Workers

– Demolition Workers

– Heating & Air Conditioning Workers

– Plumbers

The fibers are inhaled into the oral and nasal cavity and later work their way into the pleura or thoracic cavity. This causes pleuritis or inflammation of the pleura, which will later develop into mesothelioma or asbestosis (scarring of the parenchymal tissue in the lungs).

Smoking is also linked to Mesothelioma, but it is very uncommon for a smoker to be diagnosed with this type of cancer. Most smokers will be diagnosed with pulmonary carcinoma, which affects around 174,000 Americans each year.

 

Diagnosis

 

There are several medical tests that can be used to diagnose mesothelioma. Some of these tests are invasive, but most of them are non-invasive.

 

– MESOMARK Essay (Blood Test To Measure Soluble Mesothelin-Related Peptides)

– Radiographic X-ray Imaging (Lungs)

– Lung Positron Emission Tomography (PET Scan)

– Chest Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

– Lung Needle Biopsy or Thoracoscopy

 
Your physician may want you to undergo all of these tests, just to make sure that the diagnosis is truly Mesothelioma.

 

Prognosis

 

There are several factors that can lead to unfavorable, mesothelioma prognosis including:

 

– Stage Of Cancer On Diagnosis

– Overall General Health Condition

– Eligibility Of Specific Treatments

– Age (Older Adults Will Most Likely Be Plagued With Other Chronic Diseases)

– Whether or Not The Tumor is Operable

– Type Of Disease (Pleural, Pericardium, Peritoneum)

– Metastasis (Spread Of Cancer To Other Organs)

 
The detection of malignant mesothelioma is more often than not, in the advanced stages of the disease, which makes the prognosis very unfavorable.

 

Treatment

 

The level of treatment will depend on the diagnosis of the disease and how far it has progressed.

 

– Surgical Tumor Including Lobectomy (Removal Of The Affected Lobe), Wedge

– Resection (Triangular Section Of Lung Tissue is Removed)

– Radiation

– Chemotherapy

Signs & Symptoms

– Malignant Pleural Infusion (Extra Fluid in Pleural Space) Normally Seen in Later Stage

– Dyspnea. (Shortness of Breath)

– Diaphoresis (Excessive Sweating)

– Fever

– Unintentional Weight Loss

– Generalized Aches & Pain

– Fatigue

 

To find out more about the lungs, be sure to click here.