What is mesothelioma?


Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the mesothelioma layers of the pleura, pericardium, and peritoneum. This type of the tumor affects the more men than women. It can be benign or malignant mesothelioma. The benign type is a very rare and does not appear to have the same origin as the malignant tumor.


Malignant Mesothelioma Disease

Malignant mesothelioma is a multifactorial disease that may include genetic and external factors such as asbestos exposure, commonly known as asbestos. This equates to 80% of cases of this disease with a latency of 20 to 50 years the disease. The risk of malignant mesothelioma due to this exposure depends on the size of the asbestos fibers and not on their chemical constituents. The long and thin fibers have a greater carcinogenic potential as they are easier to penetrate into the lung and also make phagocyte digestion difficult, thereby stimulating the free radical formation and a resulting mutation.

The most common symptoms are respiratory distress and chest pain, both due to the accumulation of fluid in the pleura. Patients affected by peritoneal mesothelioma experience initial abdominal pain and sudden weight loss.

The diagnosis is made by examinations such as radiography, which is first requested by the physician because he can detect the accumulation of pleural fluid. Another diagnostic procedure is computed tomography, which can show the location and size of the tumor as well as possible metastases. The puncture makes it possible to collect the fluid present in the pleura to perform a laboratory examination.

In most cases, the diagnosis of this disease is made after metastasis, making it impossible to surgically remove the tumor. That is, the treatment will depend on the extent of the disease and the doctor will choose the best treatment for the case, which may be chemotherapy and/or radiotherapy.

Mesotheliomas can start in 4 major areas in the body:

  • Pleural mesothelioma - they form in the chest and account for 75% of mesothelioma.
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma - they form in the abdomen and account for most of the remaining cases.
  • Pericardial mesothelioma - they form in the lining of the heart (pericardium) and are very rare.
  • Mesothelioma of the vagina tunic - they form in the top layer of the testes and are also very rare.

Mesotheliomas can be classified according to the organization of their cells:

  • Epithelioid - This type of mesothelioma has a better prognosis than the other types.
  • Sarcomatoid (Fibrous) - About 10% of mesothelioma are of this type.
  • Mixed (biphasic) - These mesothelioma have both epithelioid and sarcomatoid areas and account for 30% to 40% of mesothelioma.

Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma is also rare cancer. This causes the growth of a tumor in the membranes that cover the thoracic organs, or in the membranes that protect the abdominal organs.

Depending on the site involved, there are two main types of malignant mesothelioma:
  • Malignant pleural mesothelioma: Is the most common type affecting the tissue covering the lungs;
  • Malignant peritoneal mesothelioma: It appears on the membrane covering the abdominal organs.

Normally, malignant mesothelioma grows on one of the membranes, but can quickly affect other organs, causing cancer in the lungs or stomach, for example.


Treatment for Malignant Mesothelioma

The treatment of a malignant mesothelioma should be managed by an oncologist. Usually, however, the maximum of the affected tissue is removed with chemotherapy and radiation to remove the remaining tumor cells.

However, the most mesothelioma is diagnosed at very advanced stages, making treatment difficult. And the chances of survival drop for less than 12 months.

Symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma

Symptoms of a malignant mesothelioma can be:
  • Chest pain;
  • Difficulty breathing;
  • A persistent cough;
  • Frequent nausea and vomiting;
  • Fever below constant 38 ° C;
  • Change in bowel habits;
  • Sudden weight loss for no apparent reason.
Symptoms of malignant mesothelioma are more common in the advanced stage of the disease. And may vary depending on the organs involved.



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Mesothelioma Master: What is mesothelioma?
What is mesothelioma?
The mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the mesothelioma layer of the pleura, pericardium and peritoneum.Mesothelioma : concept, causes, clinical features, diagnosis, treatment and evolution -
Mesothelioma Master
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