Stage Four Mesothelioma Treatment and How Many Are Affected

Mesothelioma is an aggressive and rare cancer.  It is caused by asbestos and forms on the protection tissues that are covering the abdomen, lungs, and heart.  Symptoms include chest pain, coughing and shortness of breath. Stage four Mesothelioma treatment combines surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation often can improve survival and life expectancy.

Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society documents about 3000 cases of mesothelioma that are new every year in the U.S.  It is a disease that mainly affects those working with asbestos as well as products holding asbestos.  While there are some treatments that will control tumor growth, researchers have been unable to find any definitive cure for cancer.

Causes

Mesothelioma is cancer very rare caused by asbestos exposure.  This cancer begins after a person ingests asbestos and causes changes to a person’s DNA.  Our genes, containing DNA, control how these cells grow, multiply and then die.  Changes in the genes might cause cells to divide totally out of control as well as may lead to cancer.

Development of Mesothelioma

  1. A person swallows and inhales airborne asbestos fibers.
  2. Fibers of asbestos become lodged in the lining of the lung, abdomen or heart.
  3. The rooted fibers injure the mesothelial cells and cause inflammation.
  4. Over time, tumors begin to form on damaged mesothelium, that is the lining of the lung, abdomen, heart and testicular.
  5. Tumors can also be benign (noncancerous). But when tumors are cancerous, physicians will call this disease “malignant mesothelioma”.  It is also often shortened to meso.

Symptoms

Common mesothelioma symptoms include:

  • Shortness of breath;
  • Dry coughing;
  • Pain in the chest or abdomen;
  • Respiratory complications;
  • Fever or night sweats;
  • Fluid around the lungs known as pleural effusion;
  • Weakness in the muscles;
  • Fatigue

These symptoms of mesothelioma normally do not show up until tumors have spread and grown.  The latency mesothelioma is 20-50 years.  These are the length of time from exposure initially to a diagnosis that is accurate.  This is why more of those with mesothelioma are ages of the 60s or 70s.

Common symptoms stage four

Common stage four mesothelioma symptoms are important to talk to a mesothelioma specialist soon especially if you have a history of exposure to asbestos and experience these symptoms. A diagnosis that is early may improve your prognosis as well as life expectancy.

Who Is Most at Risk of Mesothelioma?

Veterans

Asbestos used in the military was wide from 1940 through 1980.  Veterans during those years from all branches of the United States Armed Forces were exposed.  Veterans from the Navy are most at risks as this is the branch that used the largest number of asbestos products.

Occupational exposure

Over 75 different occupations expose workers to asbestos.  These include textile workers, auto mechanics, construction workers, steel mill workers, and firefighters are among those most at risk.

Secondary exposure

Unknowingly asbestos workers carry fibers of asbestos on their clothing and body.  This has resulted in secondary exposure asbestos among residents such as children and women.

Types of Mesothelioma

Oncologists usually name types of mesothelioma for the location where it starts.  The peritoneal and pleural kinds of mesothelioma are types most common. Pericardial accounts for 1% of cases.  Another rare kind is testicular mesothelioma.  It is less than 1% of all mesotheliomas.

Symptoms, prognosis and treatment options vary by type.

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