Sunday, January 22, 2012

mesothelioma


What is Mesothelioma?
 Mesothelioma (or specifically, malignant mesothelioma) Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body's internal organs, known as the mesothelium. In other words Mesothelioma is a tumour of the mesothelium. This is the thin membrane that lines the chest and abdomen (tummy) and surrounds the organs in these areas.

The most common anatomical site for the development of mesothelioma is the pleura Mesothelioma Cancer
Image courtesy of the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance.
(the outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it can also arise in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), and the pericardium (the sac that surrounds the heart), or the tunica vaginalis (a sac that surrounds the testis).
 Most people who develop mesothelioma   have worked in jobs where they inhaled asbestost(a substance that does not burn easily that was used in building materials in the past. It is now known to cause cancer and is no longer used), or were exposed to asbestos dust and fibers in other ways Some people who were exposed to asbestos have collected damages for asbestos-related disease, including mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive and deadly form of cancer. Mesothelioma treatments are available, treatment for mesothelioma is often focused on keeping you as comfortable as possible.

mesothelioma lawyer:
As i explain above Asbestos exposure has been conclusively linked to mesothelioma and other fatal diseases .For 100 years, asbestos was one of the most commonly used materials in industries such as construction, shipbuilding and manufacturing.The disease of mesothelioma cancer can drastically change your finances.The biggest expense coming your way will be a share of medical bills. Even with good medical insurance, some expenses will not be covered. If you have an asbestos-induced disease,seriously consider contacting a qualified mesothelioma lawyer immediately. These types of cases are time sensitive, and only a lawyer trained in asbestos litigation should help you decide if and when to pursue a lawsuit against a company who may be responsible for exposing you to asbestos. Each state limits the time you have to file a lawsuit after you diagnosed with mesothelioma cancer. A mesothelioma lawyer can help you file your claim before the statute of limitations expires.In a mesothelioma lawsuit, the attorney will deal with actual filing of the case and then all aspects of it after that.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma:

  •  shortness of breath             
  • heavy feeling in the chest area
  •       
these two symptoms is caused by fluid build up in the lungs. These two symptoms should be taken seriously 89.9% of all patients will notice these two symptoms. However, because the symptoms do not seem serious many choose not to seek out medical care. Some symptoms common with pleural mesothelioma include back, chest or side pain, difficulty swallowing, cough, fatigue and weight loss. Peritoneal mesothelioma is often is often accompanied by abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting, back pain, anemia and bowel obstruction.


Types of Mesothelioma:

There are three main types of Mesothelioma.

  • Pleural mesothelioma
  • Peritoneal mesothelioma
  • Pericardial mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma:
The pleura is the outer lining of the lung. It has two layers; the inner (visceral) layer, which is next to the lung, and the outer (parietal) layer, which lines the chest wall. The two layers of the pleura are usually in contact and slide over each other as we breathe. The layers produce fluid, which allows them to move smoothly over each other.
When mesothelioma develops in the pleura (pleural mesothelioma), the delicate linings thicken and may press inwards on the lung. Fluid may also collect between the two layers of the pleura: this is known as a pleural effusion. Around 3 out of 4 of cases of mesothelioma develop in the pleura.
Peritoneal mesothelioma:
The outer lining of the abdomen is known as the peritoneum. It also has two layers: the inner (visceral) layer, which is next to the abdominal organs, and the outer (parietal) layer, which lines the abdominal wall. Mesothelioma in the peritoneum is called peritoneal mesothelioma. It causes thickening of the linings surrounding the abdominal organs and a collection of fluid in the abdomen. The collection of fluid is called ascites and causes swelling of the abdomen. Around 1 in 4 cases of mesothelioma develop in the peritoneum.

Pericardial mesothelioma:
Pericardial mesothelioma is the rarest form of the three main forms of mesothelioma, affecting the protective layer covering the heart.The membrane has two layers: an outer layer called the parietal layer, heart sac or theca cordis, and an inner layer known as the visceral layer or epicardium. Exposure to asbestos is the main cause of this condition. It is not clearly understood how these tiny fibers make their way to the pericardium.

Diagnosis:
Mesothelioma is difficult for doctors to diagnose because it can be easily confused with other diseases. Even after a cancer diagnosis has been recognized, mesothelioma looks similar to other types of cancer in diagnostic tests.
Diagnosis begins with a review of the patient's medical history. A history of exposure to asbestos may increase clinical suspicion for mesothelioma. A physical examination is performed, followed by chest X-ray often lung function tests. he X-ray may reveal pleural thickening commonly seen after asbestos exposure and increases suspicion of mesothelioma. A CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI is usually performed. If a large amount of fluid is present, abnormal cells may be detected by cytopathology if this fluid is aspirated with a syringe. For pleural fluid, this is done by thoracentesis or tube thoracostomy (chest tube); for ascites, with paracentesis or ascitic drain; and for pericardial effusion with pericardiocentesis. While absence of malignant cells on cytology does not completely exclude mesothelioma, it makes it much more unlikely, especially if an alternative diagnosis can be made (e.g. tuberculosis , heart failure ). Using conventional cytology diagnosis of malignant mesothelioma is difficult, but immunocytochemistry has greatly enhanced the accuracy of cytology.


main treatments types:
  • Surgery
  • chemotherapy
  • radiation

Surgery:

Surgery, by itself, has proved disappointing. In one large series, the median survival with surgery (including extrapleural pneumonectomy) was only 11.7 months. However, research indicates varied success when used in combination with radiation and chemotherapy (Duke, 2008). (For more information on multimodality therapy with surgery, see below). A pleurectomy/decortication is the most common surgery, in which the lining of the chest is removed. Less common is an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP), in which the lung, lining of the inside of the chest, the hemi-diaphragm and the pericardium are removed.

Chemotherapy:

Chemotherapy is the only treatment for mesothelioma that has been proven to improve survival in randomised and controlled trials. The landmark study published in 2003 by Vogelzang and colleagues compared cisplatin chemotherapy alone with a combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed (brand name Alimta) chemotherapy in patients who had not received chemotherapy for malignant pleural mesothelioma previously and were not candidates for more aggressive "curative" surgery.

Radiation:

For patients with localized disease, and who can tolerate a radical surgery, radiation is often given post-operatively as a consolidative treatment. The entire hemi-thorax is treated with radiation therapy, often given simultaneously with chemotherapy. Delivering radiation and chemotherapy after a radical surgery has led to extended life expectancy in selected patient populations with some patients surviving more than 5 years. As part of a curative approach to mesothelioma, radiotherapy is also commonly applied to the sites of chest drain insertion, in order to prevent growth of the tumor along the track in the chest wall.
Although mesothelioma is generally resistant to curative treatment with radiotherapy alone, palliative treatment regimens are sometimes used to relieve symptoms arising from tumor growth, such as obstruction of a major blood vessel. Radiation therapy when given alone with curative intent has never been shown to improve survival from mesothelioma. The necessary radiation dose to treat mesothelioma that has not been surgically removed would be very toxic.




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