Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the mesothelium, i.e. a thin layer of tissue surrounding most organs. Some organs have mesothelium, among others the lungs (pleura), stomach (abdomen), the heart (pericardial), and testikel (tunica vaginalis). This cancer belongs to the aggressive and many of its victims are not successfully alleviated.
Mesothelioma most commonly attacks the mesothelium of the lungs (called pleural mesothelioma) and chest wall. This type of mesothelioma is another rarer is peritoneal mesothelioma, mesothelium invade the abdominal cavity. Mesothelioma is benign conditions in contrast to the chest which is also called solitary fibrous tumor with.
Cancer that attacks the body’s organs originated from a mutation that causes cells to grow into uncontrolled until then doubled. Experts are still unable to ascertain the cause of the mutation in this cell. However, the interaction between life style, condition and environmental derivatives allegedly can be factors trigger cancer.
Although the exact cause of mesothelioma is not yet known, the main risk factors of mesothelioma are asbestos. The disease is classified as rare before the use of asbestos commercially began. Asbestos is a mineral that is used as an ingredient to make the brake, floor, roof, and baffle.
Dust asbestos are inhaled or ingested will accumulate in the lungs and the stomach for a long time, usually around 20-50 years before eventually developed into mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is also diagnosed more often in men than women, and a person older than 65 years.
Some other factors that can trigger the disease, namely:
1. Soil environments contain asbestos.
2. Living in the area or live with someone who has a job associated with exposure to Asbestos can stick well on skin and clothing so that it can carry asbestos fibers into the home or other environments.
3. Ever been exposed to asbestos or have family members who suffer from mesothelioma.
Mesotheliomas symptoms can vary based on the location of the cancer cells are located. Pericardial mesothelioma may cause chest pain and difficulty breathing, while mesothelioma tunica vaginalis will show symptoms in the form of swelling in testikel.
Pleural mesothelioma has symptoms as follows:
1. Unusual Lumps on the network behind the skin of the chest.
2. Weight loss without a clear reason.
3. Coughing accompanied by pain that is not overwhelming.
4. Breath is short due to the buildup of fluid in the chest.
5. The fingertips swell.
6. Feels chest pain under rib cage.
7. Frequently hit by excessive fatigue.
8. A fever accompanied by sweating, especially at night.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma has the following symptoms:
1. Swelling in the abdominal area.
2. Weight loss without cause.
3. Pain in the abdominal area.
4. There are bumps on the belly chain.
5. Diarrhea or constipation.
Considering the symptoms of mesothelioma are non-specific and can be associated with other conditions, then we recommend that you immediately meet the doctor so the feel of the above symptoms especially if there is a history of exposure to asbestos.
The examination will be preceded by the anamneses of the symptoms suffered, personal and family medical history. Anamneses is a conversation conducted by doctors to patients directly as a way of obtaining data about medical conditions and problems that are being experienced by the patient. In addition to anamneses, the doctor will perform a physical examination to check for the presence of lumps or abnormal signs more.
Next the doctor may be instructed to do the checks as part of supporting the efforts of the diagnosis of the disease. The General examination is performed to diagnose mesothelioma, include x-rays to check if there are any abnormalities in the breast and a CT scan to check for chest and stomach area.
A biopsy or other tests may also be conducted to determine what caused the disease symptoms appear. A biopsy is an examination of the laboratory against a small number of networks that can be taken from different parts of the body, depending upon the location of the disease suffered. The network is then examined in a laboratory to find out what types of cells causes abnormalities, as well as knowing the type of cancer.
As for some kind of a biopsy may be recommended for a mesothelioma diagnosis process, namely:
1. Laparoscopic Biopsy – by way of making a small incision on the abdominal area to pick up the network. This procedure is assisted with the operation as well as a very small camera.
2. Using a fine needle Biopsy of small network example for pulling or fluid from the chest or abdomen.
3. Torakoskopi or VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) – Biopsy with how to make a small incision between the ribs to insert a camera and small operations into the chest cavity and take a small sample of tissue that will checked.
4. Laparotomi – Biopsy by way of dissecting the open abdomen to retrieve the network that will be examined will be the existence of the disease or other disorders.
5. Torakotomi – Biopsy by means of dissected an area in between the ribs to check out the area, if there are signs of illness and take an example network if necessary.
After the diagnosis, the doctor will do a test next against the patient’s body, such as the MRI Imaging tests and mapping PET, to know the stage of the disease and the treatment measures can be taken. There are four levels (stage) on pleural mesothelioma stages, while the spread on other types of mesothelioma are more rare still is not known with certainty.
The four stages of mesothelioma pleural consist of:
Stage I – the condition of cancer still is local, i.e. only within one area on one layer of chest.
Stage II – the cancer has spread outside the chest area of the lungs or diaphragm.
Stage III – the cancer has spread to other areas that are in the chest or have invaded nearby lymph nodes. Some of the location of lymph nodes in humans is in the neck, armpits, and groin, around
Stage IV – Advanced stage cancer that has spread throughout the chest or other body areas, such as the brain and liver.
There are a few steps treatment mesothelioma which may be recommended by a doctor. The selected treatment plan will depend on the condition of disease, stages of cancer suffered, and health sufferers in General. But considering mesothelioma is a cancer that can not be cured and generally can be detected at an advanced stage, then more treatment measures aiming to reduce the perceived symptoms of the patient.
While there are several treatment options for pleural mesothelioma and the abdomen, another case with pericardial mesothelioma and tunica vaginalis that there has been no treatment because it is considered more rare. However, cancers that are still at an early stage can be raised through the process of surgery or patients could still be through other treatments to reduce symptoms.
Here are a few steps treatment mesothelioma generally does:
Radiotherapy may be performed after surgical procedures to eradicate leftover cancer cells or reduce symptoms of advanced cancer when surgery is not possible. In its application, this therapy uses high-energy jets, such as X-rays and proton light, which are focused on specific body areas.
Chemotherapy drugs are used to shrink or inhibit the growth of cancer. This drug can be spread to all parts of the body and can be used before surgery or after surgery. In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, the drug can be heated and are given directly into the abdominal cavity to avoid harming healthy tissue in other parts of the body. This way allows the dose of chemotherapy drugs administered in high doses.
Chemotherapy given before undergoing surgical procedures can simplify the operation because the cancer cells had shrunk before finally lifted. Chemotherapy is given after surgery will reduce the risk of the cancer reappeared.
Surgery is done to remove cancer that generally is still at the early stages of development of the disease, although in some cases nevertheless did not manage to lift the cancer cells completely. Surgery can also be done to alleviate the symptoms of advanced-stage cancer that has already spread to other parts of the body with the aim of alleviating the symptoms suffered.
Here are a few options that are commonly performed operations and its use for patients with mesothelioma.
1. The surgical procedure to reduce the buildup of fluid in the chest area that can interfere with breathing. The operation is done by means of inserting a catheter tube into the chest to suck up liquids. The doctor may also inject the drug to prevent the recurrence of a buildup of fluid, also known as pleurodesis the procedure.
2. Surgical procedure to lift as much as possible cancer cells that can be lifted from the body of the sufferer. This procedure allows doctors to continue treatment with radiotherapy to relieve pain and prevent excessive fluid buildup due to mesothelioma.
3. Surgical removal of part of the lung that is affected by the following surrounding tissue to reduce symptoms in sufferers of pleural mesothelioma. This procedure usually followed by high-dose radiotherapy.
4. Surgical removal of tissue around the abdominal cavity, ribs, or lungs that have been affected by cancer cells to help reduce the symptoms and signs of mesothelioma.
This therapy is a combination of three or more treatment steps, such as surgery, postoperative chemotherapy (chemotherapy adjuvant), and radiation therapy to increase the success rate of treatment.
Alternative medicine has not been clinically proven able to treat mesothelioma; however some of these treatments have shown good development in sufferers of mesothelioma. Here are the related healing techniques:
1. Exercise the body, especially muscle relaxation, breathing, can also make it easier for sufferers to breathe with a lighter.
2. Breathing exercises to control breathing when sufferers begin to find it difficult to breathe.
4. Sit close to the fan face can reduce the sensation of breathing difficulty that is felt by the sufferer.
Discuss alternative treatment steps that you choose with your doctor before you start using it. Complementary medicine or other additions can be recommended doctors to reduce the symptoms of mesothelioma. Additional treatment, such as oxygen or certain drugs, can help sufferers of breathing more comfortable considering mesothelioma can cause pressure in your chest that can interfere with breathing.
Some clinical trials are generally available and informed on cancer survivors, however a possibility to recover remains unknown for sure so it’s important to consider carefully. Discuss also with doctors about clinical trials that exist and if in accordance with the conditions of the sufferer. On the other hand, following a clinical trial will increase the opportunity for the doctor to find a treatment against mesothelioma.
Here are some clinical trials being studied for mesothelioma condition:
1. Gene therapy – change the genes inside the cancer cells to stop this disease.
2. Biological Therapy – using the immune system to fight cancer sufferers, or also known as immunotherapy.
3. Therapy uses drugs to attack the abnormality/abnormalities occur in cancer cells.
Pleural mesothelioma that has spread to the chest and causing depressed structures in the infected area can cause complications including:
1. Pain caused by pressure on a nerve and spinal cord.
2. Pain in the chest area.
3. Difficulty in swallowing
4. Shortness of breath.
5. Buildup of fluid in the chest that suppress lung and complicate the process of breathing
The main precaution of mesothelioma is by reducing contact with everything associated with asbestos, the main cause of the development of mesothelioma. People who work or are often exposed to asbestos is a group of people who are at high risk, such as factory workers, miners, the manufacturer of the appliance insulation, building workers, and mechanics.
If you are part of one of the groups at risk of the above then you are obliged to abide by the rules of safety that has been established by the company. Sometimes it is better to let the asbestos in place than trying to move it without the help of experts, although both of these remain at risk of endangering health. Find out, learn, and follow the instructions on the handling of asbestos are secure in the environment around you.