Mesothelioma is a disease known to usually affect people who have a high exposure to asbestos. It is a form of a tumour that affects the stomach and the other abdominal parts of the body ,especially the mesothelial cells that are present in an organ. The treatment of this disease depends on early diagnosis and the stage in which the patient is at present. Accordingly suitable treatments may be suggested ranging from surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are mainly three types of Mesothelioma that can affect the human body namely ,Pleural
Mesothelioma, Peritoneal Mesothelioma and Pericardial Mesothelioma.
It is the most common type which occurs at a high rate. It results in the mesothelial cells dividing abnormally and spreads malignancy to the surrounding areas resulting in complications of the other organs present in the body.In case the Pleural Mesothelioma is not cancerous and malignant it can be removed surgically and is less risky. Whereas in case it turns out to be malignant it becomes very serious and tends to shorten the life expectancy of the patient.
In such cases there is a accumulation of fluid caused due to the tumour in the pleura.As the
pleura starts thickening it reduces the capacity of the lungs and does not enable proper
breathing. As a result of this a patient suffering from Pleural Mesothelioma finds it difficult to
breathe normally. Once the tumour starts spreading outwardly to the chest walls and the ribs,
the patient also experiences chest pains.
Apart from these he also exhibits some common symptoms like cough, fever ,tiredness, unexplained weight loss with loss of appetite. Treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma is slightly complicated and difficult to achieve compared to the other types.
It is the second most common type of Mesothelioma found in humans. It occurs usually when the patient is exposed to asbestos and known to affect the peritoneum membrane. Patients suffering from this type of tumour exhibit most of the similar symptoms like those suffering from Pleural Mesothelioma. The symptoms are characterised by abdominal pain and swelling along with fever, loss of weight resulting in fluid accumulation developing around the peritoneum.
The presence of Peritoneal Mesothelioma can be confirmed by conducting a biopsy though X-rays and CT scans can prove to be useful in initial diagnosis. Further a microscopic analysis is done using specialised stains. Treatment may be provided at this stage of diagnosis using a combination of chemotherapy, radio therapy or any other surgical intervention to reduce the extent of the spread of this tumour.
This type of Mesothelioma is the least common amongst all the types of Mesothelioma affecting humans. As the name suggests it causes tumour in the pericardial membrane which forms a lining to the heart The symptoms are accompanied by chest pain ,chronic cough and a fluid accumulation around the heart, palipitations along with similar symptoms as exhibited in other types of Mesothelioma.
Compared to other types of Mesothelioma it is less life threatening provided it is diagnosed on time with proper surgical intervention.
Treatments generally used for Mesothelioma
– Radiation therapy
Some of the new treatments used in treating Mesothelioma
– Gene Therapy.
– Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy ( IMRT)
– Non-chemotherapy drugs like Veglin and Avastin .
Mesothelioma is a serious and a life-threatening disease and an early diagnosis can prevent further complication that can harm the patients. Advanced medical studies are been conducted to find a better solution in curing this dreadful disease. New drugs are been tested and developed and maybe in the years to come by hopefully an effective treatment should emerge in curing Mesothelioma successfully.