asbestos-roofingMesothelioma is a type of Lung Cancer that is closely associated with past exposure to Asbestos.

This cancer develops from cells of the mesothelium –  the protective lining that covers many of the internal organs of the body.

The most common location is the Lung Pleura or lung tissue or it can be localized to a specific area of the Lungs.

 

Other areas affected include

–   The lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum)

–  The sac around the heart (pericardium)

–  The sac around the testis (tunica vaginalis)

–  And other locations.

 

Those who get this cancer – Men outnumber women by 3 to 1.

20 to 50 years can pass between exposure and symptoms.

No association has been found between cigarettes and mesothelioma.

Asbestos alone can increase your risk of other lung cancers, with the addition of smoking that risk increases dramatically.

Cigarette smoking alone can increase your risk of other lung cancers but not mesothelioma

 

Symptoms:

–  Age is 60+
–  Cough
–  Sputum
–  Difficulty breathing
–  Shortness of breath
–  Weight loss
–  Chest pressure
–  Chest pain
–  Abdominal pain

220px-MesotheliomaCXR

 

Diangosis

Biopsy is usually essential.

Chest X-ray can be an initial process.

CT may demonstrate severity and are helpful.

Metastases may occur

A Thoracoscopy

– Tube inserted into lungs with a camera.

– Can allow for a biopsy.

– Talc can be placed through this process to prevent fluid accumulation of the lung

 

Treatment

1.)  Surgery

–  Often done in combination with another form of treatment.

–  A procedure called pleurectomy is the most common surgery, in which the lining of the chest is removed.

–  A pleurectomy can also be called a decortication.

–  A less common procedure is called an extrapleural pneumonectomy (EPP).

–  In this case lining of the inside of the chest is removed where a portion of the diaphragm and the pericardium are removed.

 

2.) Radiotherapy

–  Radiation can occur for those after surgery.

–  Often – Chemotherapy is done at same time as Radiation.

 

3.) Chemotherapy

–  A combination of agents or single agents can be used depending on location, type, severity, and more.

–  The following is a list of some of the agents that have been used.

.   Cisplatin

.  Pemetrexed  (Alimta)

.  Ralititrexed

.  Gemcitabine

.  Vinorelbine

 

Prognosis

Survival is often less than 12 – 16 months for severe diseases.

Less than 5 years for mild to moderate

5 year survival is often less than 5%

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