Is mesothelioma curable? The straight answer to this question is 'No'. Well, there are medications and treatments that help in easing the pain and may help to prolong life, but these treatments are not enough to save life. Mesothelium refers to the wrapping structure of most of the bodily organs in our body and mesothelioma is the cancer that occurs in mesothelium.
Like any other cancerous conditions, abnormal cell growth is observed in the area of mesothelium when someone suffers from mesothelioma. When these abnormal cells start growing rapidly, they cause harm to the nearby cells, leading to the metastatic condition, which means that the cancer spreads to the nearby tissues and organs.
Mesothelioma is mostly noticed in the lung area, precisely in the pleura - the thin lining wrapping the chest cavity and lung. Apart from that, mesothelioma also affects areas pericardium, the wrapping structure of heart and peritoneum, the wrapping structure of abdominal cavity.
The Major Causes of Mesothelioma
The major causes of mesothelioma are not very common. However, the cure of mesothelioma is nearly impossible and thus the recovery is much tougher, once diagnosed. As we know, prevention is always better than cure, so being aware of the causes of mesothelioma may offer some advance benefits in prevention of mesothelioma. Let us discuss it here now.
Not a surprise now, but the people from western countries are higher risk for developing mesothelioma cancer than people from developing countries. Do you know why? The simple reason is industrialization. It's true that modern science has offered us a wide variety of luxuries and hi-tech facilities, but it hasn't offered it for free, but it has taken its toll.
The leading cause of developing mesothelioma cancer is asbestos exposure. Quite naturally, the exposure to asbestos is quite higher in the industrial zone than any other areas. Although no concrete reason has found in support of this fact, it has been seen that men are at higher risk for developing mesothelioma cancer than women. Also, mesothelioma cancer can develop at any age, but elderly people are more prone due to reduced immune level.
Although asbestos has been identified as the primary trigger for the development of mesothelioma cancer, few cases have been also reported as the instances of not getting exposed to asbestos. In some cases, radiation has also been found to cause mesothelioma cancer. In rarest cases, thorium dioxide may also trigger mesothelioma cancer.
Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
It is very important to understand the symptoms of mesothelioma at an earlier stage, so that the recovery could be possibly easier. Unfortunately, it is really difficult to understand the mesothelioma symptoms at an earlier stage, because doctors, health practitioners and even patients frequently become confused to understand as they resemble so much with any other non-fatal and common health conditions.
However, if the patient suspects that he or she might have been developed mesothelioma cancer, it is important not to neglect the condition and seek help from the doctors. A regular medical check up of thoracic zone and abdominal area can help in diagnosing mesothelioma cancer in earlier stages. If someone is working in asbestos factory or industries involved in asbestos manufacturing or molding job should frequently check them up in the mesothelioma clinic.
The most specific symptoms of mesothelioma cancer are breathing troubles, swallowing problem, sudden weight loss, back pain, cough, excessive and abnormal sweating, and chest pain. Admitted, these symptoms are very common and in most of the cases may not lead to any serious problems, the concerned individual should not be left unattended, once diagnosed with such signs and symptoms.
If you or your near ones are working in asbestos factories and these symptoms become apparent, consulting doctors should be an emergency. Always remember that mesothelioma symptoms do not occur at an earlier stage, but in majority of the cases the symptoms occur at advanced stages due to the pressure created by the cancerous cells over the nerve cells and other tissues and organs.
Diagnosis of Mesothelioma
When someone is suspected developing mesothelioma cancer, doctors take an account of the degree of the asbestos exposure of the concerned person. The exposure to asbestos is considered as the precursor of the mesothelioma. Predominantly, diagnostic tests are done by lung function test and chest x-ray or abdominal x-ray. Apart from these diagnostic tests, imaging tests like CT (Computer Tomography) scan, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and PET (Positron Emission Tomography) scan are also conducted.
Treatment of Mesothelioma
Unfortunately, conventional treatments do not bring enough success in the treatment of mesothelioma cancer. Once diagnosed, the expected remaining life span lies from 6 months to 1 year. The severity of mesothelioma cancer depends on a wide variety of reasons. One of these factors is the elongated latency period between the development of the disease and asbestos exposure.
Surgical intervention is one of the commonest modes of treatment of mesothelioma cancer. When the surgery is performed, depending on the condition of the disease and the person concerned, doctors conduct either the surgery alone or in combination with adjuvant therapy. However, none of these modes are enough promising, since the survival rate is really too less, say, lesser than 10%. Pleurectomy is the most common form of surgery. In this surgical procedure, the chest lining is fully confiscated.
Although mesothelioma cancer is extremely resistant to radiation therapy, this treatment method is still employed in order to trim down the pain that develops as a result of mesothelioma cancerous growth. The radiation therapy is most commonly used to prevent cancerous growth along the chest wall.
In the year 2004, FDA approved Pemetrexed drug for the chemotherapy treatment of pleural malignant mesothelioma cancer. This drug is administered in combination with cisplatin. Folic acid is applied in order to minimize the adverse side effects of Pemetrexed drug.
Immunotherapy is another mode of treatment for mesothelioma cancer. The results of immunotherapy significantly vary from person to person. While Bacillus calmette-Guerin offers benefit to the immunotherapy treatment urinary bladder cancer, it does not provide any positive result in the treatment of mesothelioma cancer.
On the other hand, vitrolysis by LAK is found to be effective in obliterating mesothelioma cancerous cells. However, the biggest drawback of this treatment is the extreme adverse side effects. In fact, this treatment is terminated due to the serious adverse side effects of interleukin-2 toxicity. When it is developed, patients start suffering from fever and cachexia. Interferon alpha produces positive benefit, however, lately. Nearly 50% reduction in the tumor size is observed during this phase.
Legal Help for Mesothelioma Cancer
Many patients suffering from mesothelioma cancer seek legal help from mesothelioma attorneys. People need to seek for mesothelioma attorney when they are about to file a case for compensation against the company responsible for their exposure to asbestos. It is due to the fact that asbestos causes mesothelioma cancer. A prolonged exposure to asbestos or products manufactured from asbestos may cause cancer, so patients with such exposure can claim for compensation.
Quite obviously, attorneys specializing on mesothelioma cancer and the causes can offer someone more help if he is suffering from mesothelioma cancer due to the result of asbestos exposure in the professional sector than any other general attorneys. So, it is important to seek help from mesothelioma attorneys to file a compensation case against any company. It can be filed for a group of individuals and this type of group filing is referred to as class action lawsuits. Needless to say, this type of lawsuit draws more public attention since there are a huge number of people involved.
Typically, the fees of mesothelioma attorneys are quite higher. However, one does not need to cover the fees if the attorneys lose the case. So the patients do not need to hesitate to file for a mesothelioma lawsuit, since it does not involve any financial burden. For individual cases, it completes faster, however, for the group, it needs some time to finish the case.
patient resource with questions and answers about All About Mesothelioma Cancer
, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.