What is Mesothelioma? Tips to Prevent and How to Get Proper Treatment
There are many rare and dangerous diseases which can greatly impact the health of person suffering from it. One of those disease is Mesothelioma. In this post, we will discuss about Mesothelioma and how it can be prevented.
What is Mesothelioma?
It is basically a very rare form of cancer which develops from cells of mesothelium. Mesothelium is a protective lining or membrane which covers most of the internal organs of the body. Most of the time it begin in the pleural mesothelium of the chest cavity. But, it can also begin in the abdominal cavity and around the heart.
What are the causes of Mesothelioma?
The main cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is basically a mineral with thin fibres which are resistant to heat, fire and chemicals and also don’t conduct electricity. Due to these awesome properties, asbestos is mined and used in many field like construction, automation and other industries. However, despite having such a great importance in so many industries, asbestos can cause cancer like mesothelioma.
Tiny particles of asbestos are released in the air during their use and when these particles are inhaled or consumed, it causes serious health problems. More than 75% of mesothelioma cases are due to direct exposure of asbestos at work. Even the family members of people working with asbestos, have an increased chances of developing this cancer. Asbestos can be brought to home either on the clothing or on the hair. Due to so many industrial applications, particles of asbestos can be easily released in air. It rarest of the rare cases, it was found that mesothelioma can also be caused genetically.
What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?
Symptoms of mesothelioma appears after 20-50 years of exposure to asbestos. The common symptoms of mesothelioma are shortness of breath, pain in chest and cough. Other signs include weight loss, abdominal swelling and pain in body. Many symptoms like bowel obstruction, anemia, blood clotting and fever are also seen in few cases of mesothelioma. In severe cases of mesothelioma, tumor masses may also appear and it can also spread in the body.
Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma:
- Chest wall pain
- Shortness of breath
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
How Mesothelioma is diagnosed?
Symptoms of this disease is very much similar to many other common diseases, so it is difficult to diagnose it. However it can be done by imaging where a physical examination is performed and is followed by Chest X-ray and other lungs related test. If there is a pleural thickening, it may be because of mesothelioma. Although, imagine can only give a rough idea about whether the person is actually suffering from mesothelioma or not.
A biopsy is done to confirm the presence of asbestos in the body. There are many other medical methods which are used for diagnosis of mesothelioma.
What is the treatment of mesothelioma?
Since it is a form of cancer, there is still not much development in curing this disease. However, it can be stopped if found in earlier stages.
- Surgery: Surgery is the most common treatment when it comes to cancer. A decortication surgery is done in the case of mesothelioma in which the lining of the chest is removed.
- Radiation: This is done as a consolidative treatment and is done along with chemotherapy. Although, there are many side-effects of this treatment like fatal pneumonitis.
How it can be prevented?
There are no such rules and regulation for prevention of this crucial disease. All you need to do is to take proper precautions. If you are the person who works nearby asbestos, make sure you are wearing proper safety equipment’s and are not taking asbestos with you in any form. Keep yourself updated about the progress in the cases of asbestos. Get proper treatment. Remember prevention is better than cure.
This was all about what mesothelioma is and how it can be fought. Let us know if this post helped you.