What Is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a highly deadly for of cancer that has recently been the subject of a lot of publication and new reporting due to its close association with asbestos. What is less known, however, is that there are different strains of mesothelioma cancer. The most common type of these different strains of mesothelioma cancer is pleural mesothelioma. So, what is pleural mesothelioma, and, more importantly, how can we treat this disease?
A rare and deadly form of cancer, pleural mesothelioma (also commonly known as malignant pleural mesothelioma) attacks the pleural cavity surrounding the patient's lungs, hence its name. Because of this, the patient faces problems contracting their lungs when breathing and therefore suffers from, among other things, repository problems, such as shortness of breath.
Because pleural mesothelioma attacks the pleural cavity surrounding the patient's lungs and chest, the symptoms can be difficult to detect. Basically, however, these include: a prolonged cough, shortness of breath, phenomena type symptoms.
How is it contracted?
In most cases pleural mesothelioma is contracted by inhaling asbestos fiber tissues. This inhaling can be over a prolonged period of time or over a very short period of time. What does need to happen is for the fibers to penetrate the pleural cavity and for the fibers to lodge in the mesothelioma protective tissue. Over a prolonged period of time, sometimes for as long as 30 to 40 years, the fibers will result in a cancerous growth, which will result in a tumor.
How is it treated?
Treatment for pleural mesothelioma cancer will vary depending on the stage of the illness, the age of the patient and the chances of recovery. However, traditionally, treatment for pleural mesothelioma is either: (1) Surgery; (2) Radiation therapy; or (3) Chemotherapy treatment. More recently, more aggressive forms of treatment have been tried, including gene therapy, but at this time these forms of treatment are very much in their infancy.
Can it be prevented?
Yes, but in order to limit your chances of contracting pleural mesothelioma you need to ensure that you work with a face-mask when you are working in any environment where you may be exposed to dangerous, toxic substances or fibers. Moreover, you should ensure that your home is not insulated in asbestos material unless it is absolutely safe and there in no chance that you can inhale any of the asbestos fibers.
Is pleural mesothelioma fatal?
While pleural mesothelioma can be fatal, this is not always the case. With continued research into its cause and treatment, more and more cases are being treated effectively. Nonetheless, due to age of most patients of pleural mesothelioma, it is currently difficult to tell whether or not the treatments are successful over a long-term period. In the future, as we learn more about this deadly disease, hopefully we will be able to detect the symptoms at a much earlier stage than is currently possible and therefore be able to start reducing the risk that it fatal to those who contract it.