So many people take Mesothelioma as a death sentence, stemming from the fact that it has had a very low survival rate in the past five years.
With better knowledge about this condition, one can take adequate preventive measures and know the best ways to combat this ailment. What is mesothelioma? what are its causes, symptoms, and treatments? find out by reading this great masterpiece of a write-up.
Mesothelioma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment
According to popular cancer.net, it is estimated that about 3000 people in the United States are diagnosed with Mesothelioma every year. In the world at large, 30,870 people were diagnosed with mesothelioma in the year of the Covid 19 pandemic. in this population, about 26,000 people died as a result of the ailment.
Mesothelioma occurs more in men than women and white and Hispanic people than Asian American people.
Let’s get into more details about this ailment and its major causes, symptoms, and treatments.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma (pronounced as me-zoe-thee-lee-O-much) is a type of cancer that develops in the thin layer of the tissue that covers most of your internal organs (mesothelium).
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and mortal type of cancer. There are mesothelioma treatments available, but for many mesothelioma patients, a cure is not very feasible.
Depending on whatever portion of the mesothelium is affected, doctors classify mesothelioma into various categories. Most frequently, mesothelioma attacks the tissue around the lungs (pleura). Pleural mesothelioma is the name given to this kind of mesothelioma.
The tissue in the belly (peritoneal mesothelioma), the heart, and the testicles are all affected by other, more uncommon kinds of mesothelioma.
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What Are the Symptoms of Mesothelioma
The Symptoms of mesothelioma vary according to the area of the body affected. Below are the various symptoms according to the area of the body affected;
This mesothelioma occurs in the tissues inside the abdomen. The causes of this type of mesothelioma include;
- Pains in the abdomen
- Abdominal swelling
- Unexplained weight loss
This is the type of Mesothelioma that affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, the symptoms include
- chest pain
- Painful coughing
- breathing difficulty
- Unusual tissue lumps beneath the skin of your chest
- weight loss
Other Forms of Mesothelioma
Other forms of mesothelioma are rare but they do exist. Their symptoms are;
Chest aches and breathing difficulties are the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the tissue surrounding the heart.
A lump or swelling on a testicle may be the initial sign of mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis, which affects the tissue around the testicles.
When to See a Doctor
If you experience any symptoms or signs that give you worry, make sure you consult a doctor. Because mesothelioma is a rare disease, the signs and symptoms aren’t specific or unique to it and are more likely to be linked to other illnesses.
Ask your doctor to evaluate any persistent symptoms or indications if they appear out of the ordinary or unpleasant. If you’ve been exposed to asbestos, let your doctor know too, as they are known to cause this illness.
Genetical Causes of Mesothelioma
Cancer often starts as a result of DNA alterations (mutations) in a cell. The instructions that inform a cell what to do are encoded in its DNA. The cell is instructed to grow and multiply uncontrollably by the mutations. Abnormal cells gather and develop into a tumor.
Although studies have identified characteristics that may raise the risk, it remains unclear what triggers the initial genetic abnormalities that result in mesothelioma. It’s possible that a variety of factors, including genetic problems, your environment, your health conditions, and your lifestyle choices, can cause this cancer.
Causes of Mesothelioma – Risk Factors
It is believed that asbestos exposure causes the majority of mesothelioma cases. A mineral called asbestos occurs naturally in the environment. Because asbestos fibers are robust and heat-resistant, they can be used in a wide range of products, including insulation, brakes, shingles, flooring, and many others.
Dust may be produced when asbestos is broken up, in situations like during mining, or after removing asbestos insulation. If the dust is swallowed or inhaled, asbestos fibers will gather in the stomach and lungs, where they can irritate tissues and possibly cause mesothelioma. No one is exactly sure how this happens. Following asbestos exposure, mesothelioma development might take anywhere between 20 and 60 years or longer.
Most persons who are exposed to asbestos do not acquire mesothelioma. This suggests that there may be other factors that affect a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma. For instance, you might have a hereditary tendency for cancer or another illness that raises your risk.
Some factors that can raise the risk for Mesothelioma include:
Personal History of Asbestos Exposure
Your risk of developing mesothelioma is considerably raised if you have ever been in close contact or directly exposed to asbestos fibers, whether at work or home.
Staying with Someone Who works With Asbestos
Asbestos exposure can make people bring the fibers home on their skin and clothing. Other people in the home may get mesothelioma after years of exposure to these fibers.
By taking a shower and changing out of their work clothing before leaving, people who deal with high levels of asbestos can lessen the chance of transporting asbestos fibers home.
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A family history of mesothelioma
You may have a higher risk of developing mesothelioma if your parent, sibling, or kid has been diagnosed with it.
Radiation therapy to the chest
If you have had cancer radiation therapy before in your chest, you might have a higher risk of contracting the disease.
What Are the Causes of Mesothelioma Other Than Asbestos
Apart from asbestos, other things can increase your risk of having mesothelioma, such as;
- SV40 virus
- Gene changes
How to Prevent Mesothelioma
The best preventive measure for Mesothelioma is to reduce your asbestos exposure. This may lower your risk of getting mesothelioma.
What People Have a Higher Risk of Having Mesothelioma?
Workers that may encounter asbestos fiber are;
- Asbestos miners
- Shipyard workers
- Demolition workers
- Brake mechanics
- Selected military personnel
- Home remodelers
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Mesothelioma the Deadliest Cancer?
The deadliest form of mesothelioma is pleural mesothelioma, which regrettably occurs most frequently in people exposed to asbestos. The majority of those who die from mesothelioma experience deadly health issues such as respiration difficulty.
How Quickly Does Mesothelioma Develop?
This illness may take between 20 to 60 years or more to develop after asbestos exposure. Most people with asbestos exposure do not develop mesothelioma.
What are the General Mesothelioma Symptoms
The most common symptoms of Mesothelioma include;
- Excessive sweating.
- Weight loss (without trying)
- Blood clots.
- Loss of appetite.
Can Mesothelioma Be Cured If Caught Early?
When it is diagnosed at early surgeons work to remove mesothelioma when it’s diagnosed at an early stage. In some cases, this may completely cure cancer.
Most of the time, it isn’t possible to remove all cancer. In this case, the surgery may only help to reduce the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma spreading in your body
Is Mesothelioma Always Fatal?
Mesothelioma is fatal. Despite early detection, mesothelioma is incurable. Very rarely, mesothelioma can experience partial remission, which means the cancer is still there but not actively growing. There are treatment alternatives available to lengthen a patient’s life and control side effects.
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