Mesothelioma – definition causes and symptoms
Mesothelioma – definition causes and symptoms – Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-you-lee-O-muh) is a type of cancer that occurs in a thin layer of tissue that covers most of your internal organs (mesothelium).
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and fatal form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, but for many people with mesothelioma, a cure is not possible.
Doctors divide mesothelioma into various types, which affect which part of the mesothelium. Mesothelioma most often affects the tissue surrounding the lung (plur). This type is called pleural mesothelioma. Other, rare types of mesothelioma affect the tissue in the stomach (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart and around the testicle.
Symptoms – Mesothelioma – definition causes and symptoms
Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma vary depending on where the cancer occurs.
Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the tissue that surrounds the lungs, includes signs and symptoms:
Pain in chest
Unusual lumps of tissue under the skin on your chest
Unexplained weight loss
Peritoneal mesothelioma, which occurs in tissue in the abdomen, includes signs and symptoms:
Unexplained weight loss
Causes – Mesothelioma – definition causes and symptoms
In general, cancer begins when a series of mutations (mutations) occur in the DNA of a cell. DNA contains instructions that tell a cell what to do. Mutation calls for the cell to grow and multiply out of control. Abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor.
It is unclear what caused the initial genetic mutations that lead to mesothelioma, although researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. It is likely that cancer is caused by interactions between several factors, such as inherited conditions, your environment, your health conditions, and your lifestyle choices.
Which treatment you have to undergo for mesothelioma depends on your health and some aspects of your cancer, such as its condition and location.
Unfortunately, mesothelioma is often an aggressive disease and treatment is not possible for most people. Mesothelioma is usually diagnosed at an advanced stage – when it is not possible to remove the cancer through an operation. Instead, your doctor can work to control your cancer to make you more comfortable.
Discuss treatment goals with your doctor. Some people want to do everything they can to cure their cancer, even if it means lasting effects for a small chance of improvement. Others prefer treatments that make them comfortable so that they can spend the rest of their time as symptom-free as possible.
What is the main cause of mesothelioma? Mesothelioma – definition causes and symptoms
Asbestos exposure: primary risk factor for mesothelioma
Most mesothelioma is thought to be related to asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a mineral found naturally in the environment.
What is the life expectancy of a person with mesothelioma?
Life expectancy for patients with malignant mesothelioma is approximately 12 to 16 months. Life expectancy of patients with pleural mesothelioma with stage 1 or stage 2 cancer is 19 to 21 months. Peritoneal mesothelioma patients may live with surgery for five years or longer.
Why is Mesothelioma so deadly?
Mesothelioma is considered so fatal for the exact reason that the disease can remain dormant for decades, regardless of the patient. Mesothelioma destroys the energy of stricken people, often leaving the patient in disarray, unable to do almost anything, full of pain.