Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that develops in the inner layers of large internal organs. It is caused by exposure to asbestos. Because asbestos fibers are insignificant, they will remain in the inner layers of internal organs and, over time, cause cancerous tumors to grow. The time interval between exposure to asbestos and mesothelioma cancer may be decades, which is why many patients fail to recognize the initial symptoms of the disease. Unfortunately, these lead to delayed diagnosis of mesothelioma, which in turn affects the patient's life expectancy.
Patients with mesothelioma are often exposed to asbestos at their workplace, such as naval shipyards and construction sites. Repeated exposure to asbestos means that they inhale millions of tiny asbestos fibers that remain in the body. The three organs most affected by mesothelioma are the lungs, heart and stomach.
Lung: pleural mesothelioma
The most common form of mesothelioma, called pleural mesothelioma, affects the lungs. This disease occurs when inhaled asbestos fibers are retained in the lining around the lungs and cause cancer cells around them to grow. This process causes the lung lining to be filled with fluid, block breathing and cause chest pain. At this point, most patients with pleural mesothelioma have noticed problems and seek medical help.
Stomach: peritoneal mesothelioma
Asbestos fibers may also remain in the lining around the stomach. This type of mesothelioma, called peritoneal mesothelioma, occurs when a person eats food covered with microscopic asbestos fibers. The fibrous material remains in the stomach wall for a long time [20 – 50 years] before promoting the growth of cancer cells. Peritoneal mesothelioma is much less than pleural mesothelioma, accounting for about 10-20% of all mesothelioma cases.
Heart: pericardial mesothelioma
Tiny asbestos fibers also accumulate in the inner layers of the heart where they cause cancer. This form of mesothelioma is called pericardial mesothelioma. It is a very rare mesothelioma that accounts for about 10% of all mesothelioma cases.
Mesothelioma: medical and legal considerations
The treatment of all forms of mesothelioma is similar and usually involves a combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. Although aggressive treatment of mesothelioma can slow the spread of the disease, it is difficult to cure it. This is because most mesothelioma cancers are found in the late stages of poor treatment.
If you are diagnosed with mesothelioma or if your loved one has died of the disease, then a knowledgeable mesothelioma lawyer may help you with your medical expenses, physical and psychological pain, and declining quality of life. The person responsible for your pain.