|“Normal Lung X-Ray”|
Mesothelioma “malignant mesothelioma” is a form of cancer that develops from the mesothelium which is the lining membrane for several body cavities.
The most common site for mesothelioma is the pleura.
Mesothelioma is considered as a rare cancer in spite of the higher incidence rate in the last years.
Causes of mesothelioma:
Asbestos inhalation is the most common cause of mesothelioma, asbestos has strong resistance to heat, chemical and electrical factors so it may be used in fireproofing, fire blankets, pipe insulation, plaster …… etc.
Diagnosis of mesothelioma:
It is very difficult to diagnose mesothelioma as the symptoms are similar to many other diseases starting with flu like symptoms then chest pain, fatigue and shortness of breath.
History: Working with asbestos for long period is a major risk factor so history is of great importance in diagnosis of mesothelioma.
Imaging: x-raying, MRI’s, CT scans are commonly used to exclude mesothelioma or to require further tools as biopsy.
Biopsy: taking a sample from tissue or fluid to be examined by pathologist can confirm the diagnosis effectively.
As any type of cancer, mesothelioma treatment in early stages has better prognosis.
Surgery: Surgical treatment includes three main types: diagnostic, curative and palliative surgery.
Pleurectomy is the most common surgery in which the lining of the chest is removed.
Radiation: radiation has the least side effects, external beam radiation is the most common and the most effective radiation therapy for mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy: Alimata and Cisplatin interfere with the cell division process.