Hello and welcome to our comprehensive guide on pleural mesothelioma cancer. In this article, we will cover everything you need to know about this type of cancer, from its causes to its symptoms, diagnosis, treatment options, and more.
What is Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer?
Pleural mesothelioma cancer is a rare but aggressive cancer that affects the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. It is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos, a fibrous mineral that was widely used in construction, shipbuilding, and other industries until its dangers were discovered in the 1970s.
Unfortunately, pleural mesothelioma cancer can take decades to develop after asbestos exposure, which means that many people who were exposed to asbestos in the past are now being diagnosed with this deadly disease.
Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma cancer can vary depending on the stage of the disease, but some common symptoms include:
|Pain in the chest or rib area that gets worse with coughing, breathing, or twisting
|Shortness of breath
|Difficulty breathing or catching your breath, even when at rest
|Feeling tired or weak, even with plenty of rest
|Cough that doesn’t go away or gets worse over time
|Unexplained weight loss
|Losing weight without trying or without a known reason
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and have a history of asbestos exposure, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible.
Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
Diagnosing pleural mesothelioma cancer can be challenging because its symptoms can be similar to other respiratory illnesses, and it can take decades for the cancer to develop after asbestos exposure.
However, there are several tests that doctors can use to diagnose pleural mesothelioma cancer, including:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
- PET scans
If you are at risk for pleural mesothelioma cancer, it’s important to talk to your doctor about getting regular screenings to catch the disease early.
Treatment Options for Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
Treatment for pleural mesothelioma cancer depends on the stage of the disease, as well as the patient’s overall health and other factors.
Some common treatment options for pleural mesothelioma cancer include:
- Radiation therapy
- Palliative care
Your doctor will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for your specific case of pleural mesothelioma cancer.
Causes of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
As we mentioned earlier, pleural mesothelioma cancer is most commonly caused by exposure to asbestos. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, they can become lodged in the lining of the lungs and cause inflammation and scarring over time.
Over time, this inflammation and scarring can lead to the development of pleural mesothelioma cancer.
Types of Asbestos
There are several types of asbestos, but the most common types are:
|Type of Asbestos
|Also known as white asbestos, chrysotile is the most commonly used type of asbestos and was widely used in construction and automotive industries.
|Also known as brown asbestos, amosite was primarily used in insulation and cement products.
|Also known as blue asbestos, crocidolite was primarily used in shipbuilding and pipe insulation.
All types of asbestos can cause pleural mesothelioma cancer, as well as other types of cancer and lung diseases.
Prevention of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer
The best way to prevent pleural mesothelioma cancer is to avoid exposure to asbestos. If you work in an industry where you may be exposed to asbestos, be sure to follow all safety protocols and wear proper protective gear.
If you live or work in an older building that may contain asbestos, it’s important to have it inspected for asbestos and have it removed if necessary.
1. Is pleural mesothelioma cancer curable?
There is currently no cure for pleural mesothelioma cancer, but treatment options are available that can help manage symptoms and improve quality of life.
2. How long does it take for pleural mesothelioma cancer to develop?
It can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for pleural mesothelioma cancer to develop after asbestos exposure.
3. Who is at risk for pleural mesothelioma cancer?
People who have been exposed to asbestos are at the highest risk for pleural mesothelioma cancer, but family members of asbestos workers may also be at risk due to secondhand exposure.
4. What are the survival rates for pleural mesothelioma cancer?
The survival rates for pleural mesothelioma cancer vary depending on the stage of the disease, but the overall 5-year survival rate is around 10-20%.
5. Can smoking cause pleural mesothelioma cancer?
No, smoking does not cause pleural mesothelioma cancer, but it can increase the risk of developing other types of lung cancer.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in understanding pleural mesothelioma cancer. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please consult with your doctor or a medical professional.