In the United States, about 2,000 patients are diagnosed with Mesothelioma lung cancer, yet the incidence of this disease increases in most parts of the world. Furthermore, this type of cancer is associated with on-the-job frequent exposure to asbestos, particularly among those who work in construction sites. Considering the nature of this disorder, it may be prevented with the application of protective measures and awareness at the workplace. In most cases, patients who suffer from mesothelioma do not show severe signs until several years of exposure from asbestos. They are only diagnosed to be suffering from the disease even when their exposure to the material was decades ago.
Overview of the Disease
Mesothelioma is a malignant or cancerous tumor that starts in the mesothelium, which is a membrane that protects and lines various organs such as the heart, lungs, as well as the abdominal cavity. There are three types of this disease, which include peritoneal mesothelioma (begins in the lining of the abdominals), pleural mesothelioma (starts at the lining of the lungs), and pericardial mesothelioma (forms at the lining of the heart).
Causes and Symptoms
Most patients who suffer from mesothelioma lung cancer have a history of frequent exposure to asbestos, which occur at the job site. Aside from work-related factors, the disease may be caused by several other aspects including exposure to a type of virus such as the SV40 or Simian Virus 40 and radiation. Additionally, some people are naturally more susceptible to this disease, as compared to other individuals.
A number of symptoms are linked with this form of cancer, which mostly affect the lungs and respiratory system. For instance, several patients experience chest pains, particularly under their ribs each time they breathe. They may also suffer from shortness of breath, difficulty in swallowing or dysphagia, and persistent cough. Moreover, unexplained weight loss and anaemia are common symptoms of mesothelioma. Hence, these patients may not be capable of performing their jobs because of an overall feeling of weakness.
Prevention and Treatment Options
Generally, Mesothelioma is categorized into two main stages including localized or stage 1. In this initial stage, the cancer is typically restricted in the patient’s mesothelium, which may be the pleura or peritoneum. On the other hand, during the advanced stages of the disease, the cancer has already spread to other organs and the lymph nodes.
The best way to prevent this disease is by undertaking safety precautions when you work in areas that frequently expose you to asbestos. You may also consider asbestos insulation that will minimize the spread of this component in your home.
As for the treatment option, this may depend on the location and size of your tumor. Among the common means of treating the disease include surgery, which is helpful among patients who are in the early stages of mesothelioma. Chemotherapy is another option, and the combination of therapy and chemotherapy medication increases the chances of the patient’s survival and recovery from mesothelioma lung cancer. Lastly, radiation therapy may help, although it is only advised to patients who have undergone surgery since this treatment option effectively kills remaining cancer cells in the body.
Disclaimer: The information in this article is for educational and informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article. This article was written by a third party and its content reflects the views of the third party and does not necessarily reflect the views or opinions or of Surviving Mesothelioma or Cancer Monthly.