Monday, January 28, 2008

Mesothelioma - Know The Disease

Mesothelioma is a cancer developed by the mesothelial cells. These cells surface most of our internal body organs which forms a lining that is called mesothelium - where the word 'mesothelioma' comes from.

Types of mesothelioma cancer
There are 3 main types of mesothelioma cancer which include pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. The mesothelial tissue lining of the body's three largest cavities which are the pleura (lung cavity), the peritoneum (abdominal cavity) and the pericardium (heart sac) are affected by the mesothelioma cancer. Malignant mesothelioma is based on the section of the mesothelium that it affects.

Pleural Mesothelioma
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of malignant mesothelioma. It is the most reported and documented case of the mesothelioma disease accounting for about 75%. Pleural mesothelioma is often misdiagnosed as lung cancer and viral pneumonia. Lung cancer is a type of cancer caused by the exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma in other place is a malignancy of the tissue casing of the lungs. In such, pleural mesothelioma shares almost as the same symptoms as viral pneumonia.

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are chronic chest pains, shortness of breath, chronic coughing, weight loss and fever. These are the most common symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. A surgery can be performed to reduce the pain but there is no assurance that it will cure the mesothelioma disease.

Pericardial Mesothelioma
Pericardial Mesothelioma is the most uncommon cases of the mesothelioma cancer compared to the pleural mesothelioma and peritonium mesothelioma. Not many cases of pericardial mesothelioma were reported so far. Pericardial mesothelioma affects the section of the mesothelium called the pericardium which is the mesothelial lining of the heart. Surgery is an option to lessen the symptoms of the pericardial mesothelioma.

There are several symptoms for pericardial mesothelioma which are chest pain, fluid buildup around the heart, a mass in the space between the lungs, abnormal or difficult breathing, chronic coughing and irregular heartbeat.

Peritoneal Mesothelioma
Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the section of the mesothelium called the peritonium (the mesothelial lining of the abdomen). Peritoneal mesothelioma is normally caused by the ingestion of carcinogenic asbestos fibers.

There are several symptoms for peritoneal mesothelioma which are swelling, abdominal pain, weight loss, abdominal mass, lowered red blood cell amount, fever, bowel obstruction and blood clotting problems. If you encounter one of more of these symptoms, don't hesitate to consult your nearest doctor.