Mesothelioma Information. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. This is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the lining of the sac of the chest (pleura) or abdomen (peritoneum). Virtually all cases of mesothelioma are attributable to asbestos.
A radiograph is the method first used in the diagnosis of mesothelioma. Although mesothelioma typically cannot be seen on a radiograph, the tumor often causes a pleural effusion, or fluid among the lung and the chest wall. The abnormal result was associated with shortness of breath and ensures follow-up. For confirmation of the pathology of the disease in a sample from a biopsy or surgery is usually required. Like most cancers, malignant mesothelioma is best treated if diagnosed early. Mesothelioma progresses in stages. In the early stages, the cancer is found in the lining of the chest cavity, the lining of the lung or the lining of the abdominal cavity. In advanced stages of malignant mesothelioma, the cancer spreads beyond the lining of the chest or abdomen to the lymph nodes, chest wall, center of the chest, heart, through the diaphragm or abdominal wall. Finally, mesothelioma can spread to distant organs or tissues.
If you do not know if you have been exposed to asbestos, this cite can help you determine if you are in danger.
Working with asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. A history of asbestos in the workplace occurs in about 70 percent to 80 percent of cases. However, mesothelioma has been reported in some patients without known exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos is a group name and minerals that occur naturally in the masses of strong, flexible fibers that can be separated into thin threads and fabrics. Asbestos was widely used in many industrial products including cement, brake linings, tiles, flooring, textiles, and insulation. For small asbestos particles float in the air, especially during the manufacturing process, can be inhaled or ingested and cause serious health problems. Besides mesothelioma, exposure to asbestos increases the risk of developing lung cancer, asbestosis (noncancerous, chronic lung disease, illness) and other cancers, such as the larynx and kidney.
Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma. However, the combination of the consumption of snuff and asbestos exposure significantly increases a person’s risk of developing cancer of the airways in the lungs.