A Guide To Malignant Mesothelioma
by: Richard Romando
Malignant mesothelioma is usually a fatal disease. Often by the time it is diagnosed, the cancer has spread extensively, even though the patient may not have had any earlier symptoms. Malignant mesothelioma affects about 2,000 people each year in the US. It is a fast-spreading cancer, but there are several treatment methods.
Research is being undertaken to alleviate the pain and other symptoms, to improve the quality of life for sufferers, and to find cures for this devastating disease. Life expectancy rates for sufferers normally range from approximately nine months to a year after diagnosis. This can be improved to two, or in rare cases five years with extensive and aggressive treatment, if the cancer is detected early.
Malignant mesothelioma is usually caused by exposure to asbestos, a carcinogenic material used in construction. A few cases are due to exposure to a mineral silicate called zeolite, or to thorotrast, which was used in the pre-1960s as a radiation contrast dye to enable blood vessels show up on X-rays.
The three main types of malignant mesothelioma are epithelial, sarcomatoid and mixed. The most common type is epithelial mesothelioma. Once malignant mesothelioma has been diagnosed, the next step is to determine what stage the disease has progressed to. This helps to fix how extensively the tumor has spread. There are four levels of the staging. Stage I responds best to treatment, as in this stage the tumor is limited to the pleural lining of the chest.
CT scans and MRIs are used to determine the extent of the spread of the tumorous cells, and what treatment is best suited to the case. The disease usually affects the mesothelium, a membrane that covers and protects most of the internal organs of the body. Most cases of mesothelioma affect the pleura that lines the chest cavity and the lungs. Mesothelioma can also affect the peritoneum, which covers the abdominal cavity. In rare cases, it can affect the pericardium, which covers the heart.
Asbestos And Mesothelioma provides detailed information on malignant mesothelioma, asbestos and mesothelioma, mesothelioma, mesothelioma research and more. Asbestos And Mesothelioma is affiliated with Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis.
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