What Exactly Is Mesothelioma

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Mesothelioma is a cancer of a membrane that lines various organs in the body called the mesothelioma now the mesothelium is found in various places mainly in the chest and also in the abdomen or tummy the majority of cases that we see as doctors are actually pleural mesothelioma and these are cancers of the lining of the lung usually this tumor is really quite silent and it’s very difficult to pick it up at a very early stage because it

grows silently within the chest cavity when patients become unwell and seek medical input it’s usually because they’re feeling short of breath they’re not able to do things with as much capacity as they could before going uphill walking up the stairs or even just resting and talking to people is becoming more difficult because of breathlessness other symptoms that patients can have other than breathlessness is weight loss in fact weight loss without trying to diet is generally indicative of an underlying
problem such as cancer should be investigated further athelia Mia is predominantly seen in patients who have been exposed to asbestos nearly eight or nine out of ten patients with a diagnosis of mesothelioma report that they have worked either in an industry that has had asbestos acceso ciated with it or known to be exposed to asbestos in the past smoking by itself doesn’t cause mesothelioma but patients that have known that they’ve been exposed to asbestos should not smoke they should give up smoking if they do
because that massively increases the risk of lung cancer because the Airways become more down because of the smoke and often there can be a long lag period between asbestos exposure and cancer forming the average lag period that we see is anywhere between 50 to 60 years with most patients having a lag period of around 40 years also some patients who have cared for patients who have been exposed to asbestos and then developed mesothelioma might be at increased risk this is generally the typical setting of
the wife of a man who has worked in the construction industry and has potentially bought his overalls work shoes or work cap home to be cleaned and the asbestos fibers from such materials can then be in a digital environment one thing to emphasize that mesothelioma does not seem to be heard at the tree so you can’t inherit that from your parents and neither is it infectious you can’t catch me within you know from another patient that has mesothelioma there are a number of tests that doctors do to make a
diagnosis of mesothelioma now usually a GP will do an examination to listen to the chest to see whether there is any fluid present or not and then arrange for a chest x-ray to be performed the mainstay of treatment of mesothelioma is generally with chemotherapy and the aim of this is very much to improve the quality of life of our patients and there’s very good evidence that this can potentially in some patients shrink cancer and also keep cancer under control for longer than it would do otherwise and sometimes that can improve
length of life as well other treatments that can be considered include radiotherapy which can be useful in very specific cases either to prevent cancer from growing biopsy sites or to target a specific area that might be causing pain or discomfort we’re expecting more cases of mesothelioma over the next few years because of the lag phase between this best dose exposure and the disease become clinically manifest if patients have known they’ve been exposed to asbestos it’s worth them just touching
base with their GP so they can just have a general assessment to make sure that they’re okay

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