Your mesothelium is a dual layered lining around your lungs, stomach, heart and other vital organs. It generates fluid between these layers to allow life preserving organs to shift about slightly within your body cavity.
Malignant mesothelioma is a rare and serious cancer that occurs in your mesothelium tissue. Asbestos exposure is the main risk factor for causing mesothelioma.
Most who develop mesothelioma cancer have a history of inhaling asbestos particles. Asbestos fiber exposure may be brought to you via a wide variety of sources:
- exposure to asbestos at home
- living with someone who works with asbestos
- working directly with asbestos in insulation, cement, brakes, shingles, flooring and numerous other fabrications
Previous history of asbestos exposure at work accounts for the highest percentage of malignant mesothelioma, but some sufferers have reported no known exposure.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most prevalent form of this type of cancer, developing in the lining around your lungs. Very often these symptoms don’t occur until you’ve reached the advanced stage of your malignancy:
- dry cough
- painful coughing
- shortness of breath
- odd chest skin lumps
- unexplained weight loss
- under rib cage chest pain
- pleurisy ~ painful breathing
Peritoneal mesothelioma is far less common, materializing in the lining surrounding your abdomen. It may cause symptoms that include:
- abdominal pain
- bowel obstruction
- abdominal swelling
- inexplicable weight loss
- blood clotting irregularities
- tissue lumps in the abdomen
- bowel habit changes ~ more frequent diarrhea, constipation
Other forms of malignant mesothelioma include pericardial mesothelioma and mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis. They are so rare that not much is known about these cancers, except for causing these symptoms:
- pericardial mesothelioma ~ difficulty breathing, chest pains
- mesothelioma of the tunica vaginalis ~ mass on your testicle
Malignant mesothelioma cancer symptoms may not appear for a few decades after your asbestos exposure.
If your cancer spreads outside the mesothelium, your symptoms may also involve
Malignant mesothelioma treatment depends on your health and particular aspects of your cancer. Because mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer and often diagnosed at an advanced stage, a cure isn’t likely achievable. Symptom free comfort may be all that is available.
Standard treating considerations entail:
- radiation therapy
- surgical removal of mesothelioma cancer itself
- surgery to decrease fluid buildup or tissue causing symptoms
Aggressive combination of these regiments is most favorable, yet grueling side effects should be expected. And most will ultimately experience this cancer’s recurrence
Participating in clinical trials is an option as well.
Alternative medicine treatments have not proved beneficial. But these options have helped some cope with ongoing symptoms, particularly breathing issues:
- relaxation exercises
- breathing technique training
- use of a fan directed toward your face
Prevent the perilous grasp of asbestos causing malignant mesothelioma cancer by staying out of its air space.