A rare cancer that attacks the body’s mesothelial cells around the organs is mesothelioma. A protective membranous lining for the internal organs and allows moving organs (i.e. the heart and the lungs) to glide easily against adjacent structures is provided by the mesothelium.
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Three regions of mesothelial cells that provide protective coating are named:
- Pleura: the sac which surrounds the lungs
- Peritoneum: the lining which protects the abdominal cavity
- Pericardium: the sac which surrounds the heart
These three different regions attacked by three different types of mesothelioma cancer.
The pleura surrounding the lungs are attacked by a type of lung cancer. This affects affecting approximately two-thirds of all mesothelioma patients and is the most common type of mesothelioma.
Hoarseness, fever, blood in sputum, swollen arms and face, coughing, loss of weight, difficulty breathing, chest pain, weak muscles, and reduced tactile sensitivity are the symptoms.
The peritoneum lining the abdominal cavity is attacked by this cancer. Approximately one-third of all mesothelioma patients are affected by this disease. Abdominal bloating, impaired bowl function, fever, swollen feet, and nausea are the symptoms.
It is extremely rare type of mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma attacks the pericardium surrounding the heart. Chest pain, dyspnea, cough, and palpitations are the symptoms.
Asbestos exposure has been linked to mesothelioma. Asbestos is described as a type of building material used in ceiling tiles and thermal insulation products. Asbestos usage peaked during the 1950s – 1970s in United States.
Concerns over the health consequences of asbestos exposure began to arise during the late 1960s, thus in two decades later the amount of asbestos manufactured was decreased. a new industry of asbestos abatement began to flourish by the 1980s.
However, as many as 733,000 schools and public buildings still contain asbestos, according to the Australian Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Small asbestos fibers which enter the air can remain suspended in the air for a long time since they don’t evaporate. When the fibers breathed into the body, they are toxic. These are three types of asbestos exposure:
- Occupational asbestos exposure high exposure to asbestos is most likely occurred to people working in factories that manufacture asbestos. They are most at risk of developing asbestosis or mesothelioma.
- Para occupational asbestos exposureWorkers’ family members are susceptible to exposure from asbestos dust brought home by the worker on his clothes or skin since the workers are exposed to asbestos in the workplace.
- Neighborhood asbestos exposureIn the vicinity of an asbestos manufacturing plant, people who live there are at risk.
It is still rare form of cancer – mesothelioma. In the Australia, there are estimated 2,000 – 3,000 new cases per year.
Male patients with a history of asbestos exposure contract mesothelioma are approximately 7-13 per one million. 20 to 40 years after initial exposure to asbestos usually is when diagnosis of this cancer occurs.