Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer that is unique to those who have been exposed to asbestos. For many years mining companies have known about the connection between mesothelioma and asbestos exposure, but chose not to inform their employees. Moreover, while many employees in asbestos-related industries became sick and suffered lung disease, asbestosis, and mesothelioma, some companies had their doctors falsely diagnose those employees with emphysema and lung cancer caused by smoking. There is no known cure for mesothelioma.
Common Mesothelioma Cancer Symptoms
- Persistent coughing
- Coughing blood
- Shortness of breath
- Pain in chest
- Pain in the abdomen
- Significant weight loss
Types of Malignant Mesothelioma Cancer
> Pleural Mesothelioma
> Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is cancer of the pleura, a sac that lines the lungs. The pleura is a membrane that lines the pleural cavities surrounding the lungs. When inhaled, asbestos fibers are absorbed into the lungs, eventually making their way to the edges of the lungs and into the pleura, causing lesions and scarring. Eventually, malignant mesothelioma cancer develops as a result of the damage caused by the asbestos fibers. Peritoneal mesothelioma is much more rare than pleural mesothelioma, accounting for roughly 10 percent of all mesothelioma cases. While asbestos is to blame for peritoneal mesothelioma, it is not known exactly how asbestos fibers make their way into the peritoneal mesothelium. Peritoneal mesothelioma cancer affects the lining of the abdomen instead of the lining of the lungs and chest cavity.
Most people who suffer from malignant mesothelioma or asbestosis have been exposed to asbestos on a daily basis over a long period of time. Asbestos is used in many tiles, brake pads, and insulation products because of its ability to add strength and heat resistance. However, those who work with products containing asbestos, or factories that produce asbestos products, are most at risk.
Treatments for mesothelioma have improved over the past couple of years. The following are the current standard treatments for malignant mesothelioma.
- Surgery – Invasive techniques remove the cancerous tissues from the body
- Radiation treatments – External or internal devices used to shrink cancer in the patient
- Chemotherapy – a series of pills or injections that cause the cancer to discontinue reproducing.
- Photodynamic therapy