Mesothelioma or Asbestos
Which Would You Like To Learn First?
What is Mesothelioma?
A type of cancer caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos fibers and it gets its name because the cancer grows in the mesothelium which is the lining that surrounds many of the body’s internal organs. Approximately 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. This type of cancer is more common in older adults rather than young people.
Types of Mesothelioma
About 75% of mesothelioma cases begin in cells that line the sacs of the chest, the pleura, which is the outer lining of the internal chest wall and lungs. Because the tissue which covers the heart (pericardium) is close to the pleura, this cancer sometimes spreads to the lining of the heart.
The lining of the abdominal cavity is called the peritoneum. It contains fluid which aids in keeping the contents of abdomen safe and accounts for approximately 25% of mesothelioma cases. This type of asbestos-related cancer usually does not spread to other parts of the body.
The least common type is pericardial mesothelioma which involves the heart. Cancer invades the sac which surrounds the heart (pericardium). As it progresses, the heart is unable to get oxygen to the body efficiently. This causes a rapid decline in health.
Doctors use four primary stages, Stage l, ll, lll, or lV, to determine the severity of a patients diagnosis of mesothelioma. These stages also determine the extent of cancer within the body. A lower stage number means you have more treatment options and a better chance for long-term survival.
Doctors use these stages to describe the cancer to patients and to one another about how advanced the cancer is, how many tumors there are and how far the cancer has spread within the body. It is an important assessment tool because once the doctor knows the stage of the cancer, he can then develop a table of treatment options where he will be able to determine which treatments are available and which are not. Watch the video or click on the button below to learn more.
Correct Answer: ASBESTOSTiny asbestos fibers can cause cancer of the mesothelium if they are inhaled (most common) or ingested. These fibers, if inhaled, will travel to the pleura through small air passages. As they pass through the mesothelium, they can cause inflammation and scarring which damage the cells’ DNA and those changes result in uncontrolled cell growth. If the fibers are swallowed, they may reach the abdominal lining which causes cancer in the peritoneum.
Asbestos is a mineral that occurs naturally in the environment and the United States; it is most commonly found in Arizona, California, Alaska, and Washington State. Asbestos is commonly found in buildings and homes that were built before 1980. In buildings, such as your workplace, asbestos can be found near/in Sprayed ceilings, walls, columns, and beams, Water tanks, Ceiling tiles, Partition walls, etc. MORE IMPORTANTLY… The list of the most common places to find asbestos in the home can be found on our Community Blog page listed in our article, Most Common Asbestos Locations.
Mesothelioma Around the World
More than 2,600 people in the UK are diagnosed with asbestos-related cancer per year. At this rate, the United Kingdom is the leader in mesothelioma diagnosis cases. Learn more: Mesothelioma in United Kingdom
The People Affected by Asbestos the Most
Mesothelioma has been directly linked due to being exposed of asbestos. Asbestos had been used for almost 100 hundred years in industries such as manufacturing, construction, and shipbuilding. Almost every branch of the Armed Forces used asbestos until the 1970’s. It was used in vehicles, ships and aircrafts because it was highly regarded for its resistance to heat as well as its fire-proofing capabilities.
The group highest at risk are veterans who served their country during the years from 1940 to 1980. Military Veterans make up almost a third of all legal cases in addition to those who qualify for special benefits from the Veterans Administration. Watch video to learn more!
Prognosis & Life Expectancy
Once a diagnosis has been made the patient and doctor can begin to discuss treatment options. There are several types of treatment available including multimodal therapy, chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, immunotherapy, virotherapy, clinical trials, and various medicines. The treatment received will be decided on factors such as the stage of the cancer and overall health.
Learn more about your treatment options for mesothelioma.