Mesothelioma: General Info and Treatments

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer affecting the lungs due to inhalation of asbestos. Research in curing this type of cancer is still going on. Asbestos is a commercially exploited natural material, used as a roof for the houses, covering for the automobiles etc. It was also used in toothpaste, Christmas tree, and the incision thread used for surgery. Of the varieties of asbestos, the ‘amphibole variety’ is considered to be most dangerous to human being, causing cancer.
The symptoms may occur after 30 to 40 years after using the asbestos even for a short period of time. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by inhaling the asbestos. It may affect the lungs. Awareness on the use of asbestos has been taken up by the National Cancer Institute.
Before commencing the cure, doctors assess the intensity of the disease, age, the immune system etc. The very diagnosis of Mesothelioma is difficult in the available clinical facilities. So, much research has to be made in this regard.
Three types of treatment presently available are: surgery, radiation and chemotherapy.
Surgery: By surgical procedure the lining of the chest and the affected tissues around it are removed (pleurectomy or decortication procedure). In another method lining in the lung and inside the chest, diaphragm and the pericardium are removed (extrapleural pneumonectomy). Whenever the growth of cancerous tissue occurs, it is removed by surgery.
Radiation (Radio) therapy: It could be external radiation wherein laser energy is passed into the affected area which kills the cancer cells. But this can be done only in the cured area, so that further growth of cancer cells is avoided. There is an internal radiation therapy, where
in materials producing radiation is inserted to the affected area. In some cases it is also given as a post operative treatment. By this method, the growth of tumor can be arrested for the time being. Radiotherapy alone is not sufficient to treat Mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy: In this method, anti cancer drugs are used to kill the cancer cells. Research is also going on for a procedure to put chemotherapy directly to the chest.
In Mesothelioma, fluid secrets in the chest or lever or abdomen causing pain to the patient. To suppress the pain, the fluid is removed from the affected area. It is removed from the chest area by a procedure called “thoracentesis” . It is called Paracentesis, if the fluid is removed from abdomen area.
A combination of Surgery, Radio Therapy and Chemotherapy will provide some relief to the patient. However, active research is going in this field and positive results are expected.
Mesothelioma cancer patient resource with questions and answers about Mesothelioma cancer patient resource with questions and answers about Mesothelioma: General Info and Treatments, a deadly cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Mesothelioma: General Info and Treatments by AGATHA SIMONA


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