Malignant Mesothelioma: Definition and Treatments

Malignant mesothelioma is known as a rare form of cancer which impacts the thin lining in human’s body internal organ, which is known as the mesothelium. Just as the name suggests, it is deadly cancer which often has rather poor prognosis. Basically there are three main types of mesothelioma, which include malignant pleural mesothelioma (occurring in the lining of the pleura or lungs), malignant peritoneal mesothelioma (occurring in the lining of the abdomen), and malignant pericardial mesothelioma (occurring in the lining of the heart)

The Causes of Malignant Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is caused by the exposure to asbestos. Asbestos denotes a toxic, naturally occurring mineral which was frequently used across a wide variety of industries till about the end of 80s. Microscopic asbestos fibers get in human body by ingestion or inhalation. Once it gets inside human body, the asbestos fiber can trigger scarring and inflammation, which significantly leads to the growth of cancerous mesothelioma cells. There appears to be a long dormancy or latency period between the initial asbestos exposure and the outset of the symptoms of mesothelioma, which sometimes reaches as long as thirty to fifty years. The exposure can take place right away, such as at a job area, be it mine, factory, and shipyard, or indirectly through a sort of secondary exposure. Children and spouse of those that are exposure to asbestos have generally developed malignant mesothelioma as the result of such a secondary exposure to asbestos.

How can Malignant Mesothelioma Treated?

Mesothelioma prognosis can be really poor, as often the disease will get diagnosed in the later stages after the symptoms have occurred and the cancerous cells have metastasized. However, there are some treatment options that are available for the management of this sort of deadly cancer. First, being surgery, it is devoted for malignant mesothelioma which includes the remove of all or just part of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum. The prognosis of adjacent organs and lymph nodes may also be removed if the cancer has spread to them. Another option of treatment is chemotherapy, which is used to kill the fast-growing malignant mesothelioma cells throughout the body. It is commonly used in addition to surgery, so as to destroy any occurring cancer cells which may have been left behind after the treatment has been carried out. The last option is radiation, which can be really helpful to shrink tumors and prevent the cancerous cells from spreading again, therefore presumably preventing the recurrence.  Radiation is often used as the adjuvant therapy, after the ultimate treatment of surgery and chemotherapy are carried out.

More aggressive therapies are now possible for patients diagnosed with mesothelioma in the early stages. For instance, extrapleural pneumonectomy is now an option for various pleural mesothelioma patients that are considered eligible for aggrieve surgery. Extrapleural pneumonectomy includes the removal of the whole affected lung, the pleura, the pericardium, and the diaphragm. Dr. Sugarbaker is one of many renowned specialists on mesothelioma that often perform aggressive surgery in the early stage mesothelioma.

You May Also Like

About the Author: Dr Strange

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *