What is Mesothelioma? Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops from the thin layer of tissue that covers many of the internal organs, known as the mesothelium. The most common area affected is the lining of the lungs and chest wall.
It is Caused by asbestos, mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis. Other risk factors include exposure to Radiation, Carbon nanotubes, genetic factors. Prevention centres around reducing exposure to asbestos. Treatment often includes surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
KEYNOTE: Prognosis is how a disease will progress. A prognosis can be good or bad, and may include a life expectancy estimate.
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma may include shortness of breath due to fluid around the lung, a swollen abdomen, chest wall pain, cough, feeling tired, and weight loss.These symptoms typically come on slowly.
CLASSIFICATION OF MESOTHELIOMA
Mesothelioma is most commonly classified by the location in the body where it develops. Specifically, cancer forms in the lining of certain organs or spaces within the body, known as the mesothelium. Mesothelioma typically develops in one of three specific areas.
- Pleural Mesothelioma (LUNGS): The most common type, pleural mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation of asbestos fibres.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma (ABDOMEN): Inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibres can become trapped in the lining of the abdomen (the peritoneum).
- Pericardial Mesothelioma (Heart): In rare cases, asbestos fibres can get lodged in the pericardium, the lining around the heart cavity.
NOTE: Mesothelioma can also be characterised by the type of cell that makes up the tumours. The cell type is determined through a process known as histology, which is a microscopic inspection of the tissue acquired through a biopsy.