Asbestos Lung Mesothelioma
Asbestos lung mesothelioma is a form of cancer that affects the mesothelial cells lining the lungs. This condition affects an individual who has been exposed to asbestos while working around asbestos for a lengthy period of time. Asbestos is a substance made from naturally-occurring minerals that are toxic to human. Before the carcinogenic aspect of asbestos became known in the 1970′s, it was widely used in industrial and commercial buildings and products.
Exposure to asbestos causes 3 different types of mesothelioma: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma. Most cases of diagnosed asbestos lung mesothelioma are the pleural type because it develops in the pleural membrane surrounding the interior of the lung. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma may not occur for years after the exposure to asbestos. These symptoms include having trouble breathing, a persistent cough that is not alleviated with home remedies or medication; chest pain that may be mistaken for heart problems and extreme fatigue.
The majority of people do not exhibit symptoms of mesothelioma for up to ten or twenty years after exposure. Unfortunately, this means it is often not diagnosed until the patient is in the advanced stages of mesothelioma. In addition, physicians who are not aware of the person’s prior exposure to asbestos may misinterpret symptoms as being caused by a respiratory ailment or pneumonia.
A biopsy is required to offer a correct diagnosis of mesothelioma. Tissue and fluid taken from the lungs are sent to a laboratory where tests are performed to determine whether asbestos-related cancer cells exist in the lining of the lungs. Treatment for this disease consists of radiation therapy, chemotherapy, surgery or a combination of these choices. Some treatments may be more beneficial than others. Chemotherapy, for example, is more effective when certain kinds of tumors are present. For more advanced cases, opting for surgery and chemotherapy may be more effective in preventing mesothelioma from advancing.