What is mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that has been detected just before few years. It is a rare form of cancer, where the condition is present inside in form of malignant tumors, surrounding and affecting several vital organs in the body. The important organs affected with the development of malignant tumors are chest, lungs and abdomen. Exposure to asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma. Initially the cancerous growth is found in the linings of these organs. There are different types of mesothelioma cancer, which is classified based on the area affected by cancerous growth.
Mesothelioma is classified into pleural mesothelioma cancer, peritoneal mesothelioma cancer and pericardial mesothelioma cancer. All these three types of mesothelioma have different types of symptoms and effects, yet they are developed due to common cause, asbestos exposure. Further, people are not able to realise or detect their exact problem for years, which is also common in all types of mesothelioma. It is not mandatory that direct exposure to asbestos or long term asbestos only could result in mesothelioma. It is certain that mesothelioma can occur in anyone with indirect contact of asbestos, where they have direct contact with persons having exposure to asbestos. For instance, family members or friends of a person who have direct asbestos exposure can develop malignant tumors, which result in mesothelioma.
Let us see the different types of mesothelioma briefly.
Pleural Mesothelioma cancer:
Pleural mesothelioma cancer refers to the cancer that affects the protective linings of the lungs and the lungs as well. It is the most common subtype of mesothelioma. The symptoms and warning signs of pleural mesothelioma develop from pleural effusion due to accumulation fluid in between the chest cavity and the linings of the lungs.
Common symptoms experienced by people suffering from pleural mesothelioma include loss of weight, cough ranging from severe to mild, breathing problems, fever and rasping. Other symptoms of the condition include one or combination of symptoms in case of severe condition, as follows:
• Severe chest pain
• Breathlessness and shortness of breath
• Fluid retention in and around the lungs
• Chronic cough with traces of blood
• Severe wheezing
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Cancer:
Unlike lung mesothelioma cancer, this is not a common form of mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal region and the stomach. This form of cancer is also termed as abdominal mesothelioma, where the cancer patients with peritoneal mesothelioma cancer account for around 15% of total mesothelioma cancer patients. Initially, the malignant tumors start to grow in the abdominal area and spread over to the other parts. Cancer cells in the abdomen presses the abdominal wall, which result in producing the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma cancer.
• Swollen abdomen
• Breathing issues
• Loss or no sense of appetite
• Vomiting and nausea
• Anaemia due to loss of appetite and lack of nutrition
• Bowel problems
• Blood clots
• Lumps in the abdominal tissues
• Rapid loss of weight
• Chronic diarrhoea or severe constipation
Pericardial Mesothelioma cancer:
As the name indicates (cardial), this subtype of mesothelioma cancer refers to the cancer affecting the heart and the linings of the heart. This is the rarest subtype of mesothelioma cancer and only around 3% of people with mesothelioma are diagnosed with this type of mesothelioma cancer. People affected by pericardial mesothelioma cancer experience the following symptoms and problems associated with heart.
• Severe chest pain
• Breath problems
• Chronic cough with bleeding
• Heart palpitation
Irrespective of the types of mesothelioma and the organs affected by malignant tumors, treatment is decided based on the stage of cancer and the extent of the development and growth of cancer cells in the respective organs.