What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is condition of human body when the thin coating of the tissue which protects most inner organs like lungs, heart, abdomen grows uncontrollably due to the presence of a cancer cell. This thin layer of the tissue is responsible for protecting the internal organs and is termed as ‘mesothelium’. Hence, the condition of its disorder is known as ‘Mesothelioma’.
What is the cause of Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is typically associated with exposure to ASBESTOS (a fibrous material used primarily due to its properties like Insulation, Fire resistance, Strength and Less susceptible to corrosion).
Mesothelioma is generally diagnosed in individuals who were more exposed to asbestos. Higher the exposure to asbestos, greater the risk of Mesothelioma.
Worker in Asbestos mines, people involved in asbestos production and those who were exposed for a long time to asbestos has typically developed Mesothelioma later in their age.
How many people are effected by Mesothelioma?
As per latest CDC (Center of Disease Control) report- In United States alone, nearly 2,400 to 2,800 individuals are diagnosed with Mesothelioma every year.
However, these numbers are quite bigger around the world. Reportedly, Australia, United Kingdom and Japan have more number of people suffering from Mesothelioma
As per one survey, more males have been diagnosed with Mesothelioma than females and the condition with generally identified in mid-sixties of a person’s life.
What are the types of Mesothelioma?
Pleural Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma of Chest
Peritoneal Mesothelioma:Mesothelioma of Abdomen
Pericardial Mesothelioma: Mesothelioma of heart
What are the symptoms of Mesothelioma?
The symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma are:
- Breathing discomfort
- Chest wall ache
- Pleural outpouring (presence of fluid surrounding the lung)
- Tiredness or anemia
Symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma:
- Pain near abdomen.
- Presence of a mass in the abdomen
- bowel dysfunction
- fluid build-up in the abdomen
- Loss of body weight
Symptoms of Pericardial mesothelioma:
- Blood clots in the veins
- Yellowing of the eyes and skin
- Reduced blood sugar level
- Pleural outpouring
- Blood clots in the arteries
There are other symptoms, that may be experienced based on age, severity and body condition.
What is the treatment of Mesothelioma?
Like other cancer treatment, Mesothelioma is treated by Surgery, Radiation and Chemotherapy
Also, there is a technique known as pleurodesis, which involves using elements such as talc to scratch together the pleura may also be helpful in some cases avoiding more fluid getting accumulated around the lungs.
Survival Rate of mesothelioma:
Mesothelioma Survival rate can be measured in different ways, as mesothelioma has proven to be a disease exhibiting different trends and patterns in different category of patients. Recovery from Mesothelioma is extremely depended on various critical parameters. I refer it as AMF (Anti-Mesothelioma Factors). These AMFs are extremely important in deciding the chances of recovery, medication strategy and other related patterns to drastically decrease the acceleration of mesothelioma over the time and bring the patient back to a more stable condition.
Here, I have listed few critical Anti – Mesothelioma Factors that are usually considered for determining patient’s physical tolerance level and possibilities of rehabilitation:
Age: Lesser the age, more the chances of survival. Consequently, if Mesothelioma is diagnosed at an early stage (typically from late fifties to mid-sixties) chances are strong to survive for a longer time. However, a late diagnosis may result in uncontrollable body conditions and at times become very difficult for the patient to sustain for more than three to five years. Patient’s condition may drop severely after one year of diagnosis and the requires regular medical attention.
Stage: There are various stages of Mesothelioma and plays a vital role in rehabilitation. The initial stages are considered safer if the treatment is started immediately. In some cases, an initial surgery and supporting medicines may reduce the risk at a very large scale. However, a surgery is often recommended based on various factors including location of cancer, physical state and other body conditions.
A later stage leads to development of more metastasis in the body and therefore more risk is involved. The biggest problem is that the patient suffering from Mesothelioma doesn’t experience much intense symptoms of the underlying disease and most of the times ignores these symptoms as they are not more powerful enough to bring immediate attention during initial stages.
Gender: As per enormous researches and studies conducted for many years across the globe, gender doesn’t have any direct linkage to the existence of Mesothelioma. The chances of Mesothelioma in women is as equal as in men and the occurrence depends particularly on the extent asbestos exposure.
However, as per the reports generated from frequent surveys on Mesothelioma, there are more number of male sufferers than women in different parts of the world and the mortality rate of men are quite higher compared to women. As of now, there is no known scientific evidence that can produce a strong reason behind this mysterious pattern of mesothelioma based on different genders.
Therefore, women are considered at a comparatively lesser risk than to men with same underlying physical conditions (age, stage, other disease.) and this assumption has proven to correct in majority of the cases.
Race: ‘Races’ seems to have significant influence on existence and survival rate of Mesothelioma. Statistically, majority of people died due Mesothelioma are Whites compared to Blacks.
Type: The chances of survival also depends on the type of mesothelioma (Pleural, Peritoneal or Pericardial). Pleural mesothelioma is reported to have caused most fatal conditions and almost 8 out of 10 people suffering from Pleural mesothelioma dies in a very short span of time after diagnosis. Peritoneal and Pericardial mesothelioma are more rare forms of mesothelioma and are found in the linings of stomach and heart respectively.