What is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural Mesothelioma or malignant pleural mesothelioma is cancer in the layer of the lungs that can spread to the lungs. The spread of the tumor over the pleura results in pleural thickening. This hinders the reflexivity of the pleura and encases the lungs in an increasingly restrictive belt. With the lungs thus restricted, they get constricted in no time and a person is always out of breath.
Pleural mesothelioma can be:
– Diffuse and malignant (carcinogenic)
– Localized and benign (non-cancerous)
Benign pleural mesothelioma can be removed surgically, but the malignant tumors are the real terror heads.
Most common among other mesothelioma cases, Pleural Mesothelioma is caused due to exposure to blue asbestos for a longer period of time, say 20 years, in which time the disease incubates only to show its fearful countenance via certain symptoms.
The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma
The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma include difficulty in breathing, difficulty in sleeping, pain in the chest and abdominal regions, blood vomits, weakness, weight loss, loss of appetite, lower back pains, persistent coughing, hoarseness of voice, sensory loss and difficulty in swallowing.
Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma
The first step is to go through a chest X-ray or a CT scan (computed chest tomograph), which will reveal a pleural thickening and an effusion. This is followed by a bronchoscopy. However, it should always be left to a medical practitioner for a better understanding of the respective cases. Another method is a biopsy, which can be a needle biopsy, an open biopsy, or a thoracoscopy, where a mini camera is inserted inside the body and with that a tissue sample is attained for further diagnosis.
Treatment of Pleural Mesothelioma
Treatment is directly proportional to the time of the revelation of the disease, i.e., at an early stage the tumor can be removed through surgery.
A pioneering mesothelioma treatment option is immunotherapy, e.g., intrapleural inoculation of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is a useful mesothelioma treatment in which an effort is made to intensify the immune response.
Radiation treatment and chemotherapy is probably then the answer to the malignant pleural mesothelioma, but this can aid the pain management only; there’s no escaping death with Pleural Mesothelioma.
Side effects of Treatment
The side effects and penalty of mesothelioma lung cancer treatment are more than its treatment, which is damaged healthy tissues, a state of absolute fatigue ness; excessive radiation causes the skin to become red, dry, and itchy.
Other side effects of radiotherapy are nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, urinary discomfort and a sudden reduction in the number of white blood corpuscles.
The average life span of a person with Pleural Mesothelioma is up to 6 months to a year and the maximum can reach up to 5 years – the magnesium-silicate mineral fibers take its toll that’s more than painful.
Other factors that may accelerate the possibility of pleural mesothelioma are chronic lung infections, tuberculous pleuritis, radiation (Thorotrast), exposure to the simian virus 40 (SV40) or mineral fibers (Zeolite) and tobacco smoking to a certain extent.
Pleural Mesothelioma does not give a person the avenue for fair play. Though the existence depends much on the various stages of the disease, it is an ultimate killing menace that sucks out the life of the common man.
he most common system to determine the stage mesothelioma is in is called the International Mesothelioma Interest Group (IMIG) system and is based on the TNM system used in other types of cancer.
Stage one is when the cancer is beginning to affect the outer layers of the lung or chest wall on one side and may be on the diaphragm. This only applies when the mesothelioma is on one side of the chest.
Stage two is when the mesothelioma is in both the inner and outer layers of the lung and a tumor has started to grow.
In stage three it may have spread to the chest wall or possibly the pericardium or the sac that covers the heart and its main arteries and blood vessels. It could also be spread to the lymph nodes as well.
Stage four is when the tumor has grown too large to be successfully removed with traditional surgical methods. It could have spread to other organs, lymph nodes on both sides of the chest, or above the neckline.