Mesothelioma is a form of cancer which occurs in thin membranes (called the mesothelium) lining the chest, lungs, abdomen and sometimes the heart. Although quite rare, mesothelioma symptoms strike more than 200 people each year in the United States. The majority of mesothelioma cases are directly linked to asbestos exposure.
Because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, the average age of patients is between 50 and 70 years. Mesothelioma affects men most due to the high exposure of asbestos in industrial typed jobs. Mesothelioma symptoms include respiratory problems, shortness of breath, continual cough and pneumonia. Other mesothelioma symptoms include weight loss, abdominal problems and swelling. In some mesothelioma patients, the mesothelioma symptoms are quite muted, making it hard for mesothelioma doctors to diagnose.
Mesothelioma doctors specialize in the study, research, and treatments of Mesothelioma cancers.
Mesothelioma (or the cancer of the mesothelium) is a disease in which cells become abnormal and replicate without control. During Mesothelioma, these cells will invade and damage tissues and organs. Mesothelioma cancer cells can spread throughout the body causing death.
Mesothelioma treatments and Mesothelioma clinical trials and tests
There are many mesothelioma treatment options available. Treatments include surgery, radiation therapy and chemotherapy and the mesothelioma treatment depends on the patient’s age, general health and stage of the cancer. There has been much mesothelioma research conducted throughout the past two years to find new treatment methods. Click here to read more about mesothelioma treatment techniques.
Through mesothelioma research, The National Cancer Institute has sponsored mesothelioma tests and clinical trials that are designed to find new treatment methods. Because of the increase in number of mesothelioma cases in the United States, both governments have increased funding for mesothelioma research. Mesothelioma research and clinical trials have been successful in developing new techniques to fight this cancer and the outlook for more advanced mesothelioma treatments is promising.
Surgery is the most common treatment method for malignant mesothelioma. Tissues and linings affected by mesothelioma are removed by the doctor and may include the lung or even diaphragm.
A second mesothelioma treatment method is radiation therapy through the use of high energy x-rays that kill the cancer cells. Radiation therapy can be outside or inside the body.
A third mesothelioma treatment method is chemotherapy. Through pills or drugs through needles, chemotherapy drugs are used to kill cancer cells.
A new mesothelioma treatment method is called intraoperative photodynamic therapy. In this treatment, light and drugs are used to kill cancer cells during surgery for early stages of mesothelioma in the chest. Although there are numerous treatments and drugs for mesothelioma, doctors are losing the battle against this deadly disease. Most mesothelioma treatments involve old techniques combined with different drug cocktails. However, in most cases, these mesothelioma treatments have many side effects including organ damage, nausea, increase in heart failure etc. The rush to find a more effective mesothelioma treatment or even cure is ongoing at numerous clinical labs across the nation. Let's hope that the mesothelioma treatments will one day erradicate mesothelioma cancer and asbestosis.
Mesothelioma is such a harsh disease. Not only does it take years for symptoms to appear, but there are limited treatements and drugs that will prolong the lives of workers stricken with mesothelioma. In many cases, the death rate of mesothelioma is unfortunately very high. However, with increased funding in mesothelioma research through the government and private grants, the outlook for a mesothelioma cure is quite possible. In the meantime, mesothelioma support groups and local discussions provide the ongoing support for mesothelioma patients.