Minggu, 03 April 2011

Mesotheloma : What You Need To Know About Mesotheloma

What Is Mesotheloma?

Mesotheloma is a type of cancer that affects the inner lining of the lungs commonly referred as pleura. Mesotheloma is a rather rare type of cancer that affects only about one in every 50,000 of the general population on the average. Although mesotheloma is rare, it is often hard to diagnose in its early stages, and far too often medical practitional have overlooked its causes and symptoms as its symptoms that it shows are quite similar to other lung ailments such as pneumonia.

Causes of Mesotheloma

What are the causes of mesotheloma? Mesotheloma is usually caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos where the tiny asbestos particles that floats within the air is inhaled into the body. People who are normally affected are those who worked in the manufacturing sectors that involves the use of asbestos.

As asbestos is a great insulator and a rather flexible material, it is often used in building materials such as roofs, cements as well as flooring materials. Although asbestos has been a great material, its use has been reduced and controlled since the last several decades after findings have shown that asbestos is lethal and is the main cause of mesotheloma. And also because the first symptom of mesotheloma only start to develop after a time span of about 20 to 50 years, its use has ever since been very widespread and therefore many people have been killed by mesotheloma.

How Does Asbestos Causes Mesotheloma

Asbestos inhaled over time causes the pleura, which is found all over the lungs, and in the covering the chest cavity could result in the accumulation of water in the internal linings of the lungs. Most exposed people never know they have water acumulation in their lungs as they shows no symptoms at all initially.

However, over time the water in the lining of the lungs becomes sticky and tend to stick together with the chest cavity causing pleural thickening. A thickened pleural prohibits the free movement of the lungs when one breathe in and out resulting in some degree of loss in lungs functionality, thereby causing breathing difficulties as well as shortness of breath.

Also as time passes, the asbestos in the pleura acts as an irritant and causes the growth of deformed malignant cells which then reproduce very rapidly and attack on other mesothelial cells. Eventually, this malformed cells becomes what is known as mesotheloma cancer.

Symptoms Of Mesotheloma

Generally the symptoms of mesothelioma could include one or more of the followings:

* Acute Shortness Of Breath
* Severe Cough
* Pain In The Chest
* Appetite Loss
* Easily Fatique

More severe symptoms where the cancer cells could have spread to other organs or other part of the body. Symptoms may include:

* Trouble Eating And Swallowing
* Blood clots in the arteries of the lungs
* Eyes and skins turns yellowish
* Swelling of the neck area and face

Mesotheloma Diagnosis and Treatment

Mesotheloma diagnosis can be overwhelmingly difficult as its symptoms are similar to other lung ailments. However, successful early diagnosis of mesotheloma greatly improves the chances of survival. Also thanks to the advance in research and technology, there are now many treatments available for mesotheloma ranging from the traditional surgery, immunotherapy to radiation as well as chemotherapy.

Despite of the many available form of treatments, chemotherapy has been proven to be the most successful in treating early stages of mesotheloma. The success rate has been more than 70% for the treatment of stage I and stage II mesotheloma in prolonging the life to 5 years or more.