Saturday, 15 November 2008

Mesothelioma: A ready Reckoner

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Mesothelioma is a curious ailment where the cells of mesothelium, a membrane that swathe and safeguard internal organs, become cancerous and start splitting up without control. These cancerous cells gradually affect other organs of the body too. The membrane usually gets affected by cancer due to exposure to asbestos, a naturally occurring group of minerals, mined from underground and used for insulation. These minerals are fibrous in nature and these fibers have the tendency to spread in the air when disturbed. They enter the body through the respiratory system or mouth and slowly start chipping away at the mesothelium around our internal organs.
The risk of developing mesothelioma differs from person to person. Some have lived long lives in asbestos quarries and factories where they are used, but never developed the illness, whereas some contracted the cancer in a short time span. This proves that there is no hard and fast rule about the duration of exposure required for getting affected.
Mesothelioma is basically of two types, the pleural and the peritoneal. Pleural mesothelioma, which affects the lungs, is again subdivided into two, the malignant one or lung cancer and the non cancerous. While non-cancerous ones affect local parts and are easily curable, the cancerous ones can be life threatening. The symptoms of being affected, which may come about in combination or singular, are breath shortness, loss of taste and weight, pain in chest and back, cough, problems in swallowing and weakness.
No full remedies have been invented so far to treat mesothelioma lung cancer. However, early detection has saved many people from the clutches of death. It all depends on how far the tumor has spread and the readiness of the body to respond to medication. Some victims succumb in months while others live longer to tell the tale.
However, research and development activities in the field of mesothelioma treatment have brought about hope for people who were fortunate enough to detect the ailment at the early stages itself. Different types of therapies and treatment are applied. Drug based treatments like chemotherapy, radiation and surgery are resorted to. Some new measures like gene therapy, immunotherapy and angiogenesis inhibitors have been brought out on an experiment basis, but for the time being, their trustworthiness is debatable.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is another type of cancer, affecting the peritoneum, which is a thin membrane surrounding the organs of the stomach. The only known cause for its occurrence is exposure to asbestos. Like the pleural mesothelioma, this is also classified as the benign or malignant. The symptoms shown by the victims are the same, with equal chances of survival.
Most instances of mesothelioma are seen in the lungs or stomach, but other body parts are also not immune to the attack of asbestos. Malignant mesothelioma occurs occasionally in the heart and testicles too. It has also been found that two out of every three victims are women.
If you want to know more about Mesothelioma Information then I would recommend you to visit Asbestos Lawyers.
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