Sunday, January 4, 2009

What is mesothelioma?

Detecting Mesothelioma by coronal CT scan.
Legend: the malignant mesothelioma is indicated by the yellow arrows, the central pleural effusion is marked with a yellow star. (1) right lung, (2) spine, (3) left lung, (4) ribs, (5) aorta, (6) spleen, (7) left kidney, (8) right kidney, (9) liver.

Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that develops in the mesothelial cells that lines many organs and body cavities. The mesothelium (composed of mesothelial cells) is the membrane that surrouunds three of the body's major cavities and depending on what cavity it lines it is given a specific name. For instance, the thoracic cavity is called pleura, the abdominal cavity is called peritoneum, and the heart sac is called pericardium.

There are 5 kinds of mesothelioma cancers due to mainly, asbestos exposure:

Pleural Mesothelioma: This is the mesothelioma that develops around the lungs' linings known as pleura. Most medical cases are malignant mesothelioma which account to 70-75% of the cases. This is possibly due to the fact that many workers exposed to asbestos were breathing the toxins in.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma: This is the mesothelioma that surrounds the abdominal cavity's linings. The lining is otherwise known as the peritoneal membrane. An estimated 20-25% percent of mesotheliomas are of this type.

Pericardial Mesothelioma: As the name suggests, this type of mesothelioma forms around the lining of the heart. There's a smaller amount of cases, roughly 3-5%.

Testicular Mesothelioma: This is the rarest type with less than 1000 cases recorded. The cancer forms around the testicles.

Benign Mesothelioma: This is the only type of mesothelioma that a patient can fully recover from but it maybe a precursor of future asbestos-related issues.

To avoid these types of cancer, you must limit your risk of exposure to asbestos. Do not breath it. Do not get exposed to it without adequate protection. Consult a physician or hazard professional for more information on how to prevent it.

No comments: