What is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that stems from the protective lining of many of the body’s internal organs. It starts out in this lining. This lining is called the mesothelium, which is where the cancer’s name is derived. The cancer may spread – or metastasize – to other areas of the body. Mesothelioma is generally caused by exposure to the carcinogen called asbestos.
Malignant mesothelioma is among the most difficult to treat cancers in terms of the rate of success when it comes to treatment, and its prognosis is in general not good.
Asbestos induced diseases have resulted in law suits for decades. Working or living in conditions where asbestos exposure was high, for example, may result in any number of diseases, including mesothelioma. Those who suffer asbestos induced diseases may be able to sue former landlords or former employers – often many years after the original exposure – for the exposure in order to cover medical expenses, living expenses as they attempt to treat the illness, and for any number of other reasons.
What is mesothelioma in terms of its symptoms? The disease may present itself through shortness of breath, the coughing up of blood, or other factors. These symptoms are prevalent in the lung based version of the disease. There is little to link mesothelioma with smoking. Other cancers from which exposure to asbestos are caused have been known to be encouraged by smoking. Other versions of the disease mesothelioma have other symptoms, such as bowel obstruction.
What is mesothelioma in terms of versions of the disease? There is a pleural form of the disease affecting the lining of the lungs. There is a version of the disease that affects the lining of the abdomen. This is called the peritoneum. Other less prolific mesothelioma cancers affect an area that is found in the area of the testis, the tunica vaginalis, and the pericardium (a sac that encompasses the heart).
What is mesothelioma in terms of how it is acquired? Most people who suffer from the disease have been exposed to asbestos at some point in their lives. Asbestos – which was used in building construction and various other industries with great prevalence during and after the Second World War, is now known to be extremely harmful in its airborne form. Unfortunately, the carcinogenic nature of this material was only discovered decades after it started to be used on an industrial scale. The symptoms of mesothelioma can present themselves half a century after this exposure to asbestos, although they have known to present themselves long before then.
Mesothelioma can be treated through various means. If the sufferer of this cancer is finding it difficult to breathe, for example, he or she can treat the illness through breathing techniques that alleviate this pain. Medical treatments for the illness include radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The cancer is sometimes treated with surgery. Once diagnosis is confirmed, the prognosis for sufferers of mesothelioma is generally not good.