About Mesothelioma Treatment
This information is intended for general information only and should not be considered as medical advice on the part of Health-Tourism.com. Any decision on medical treatments, after-care or recovery should be done solely upon proper consultation and advice of a qualified physician.
Mesothelioma is cancer that affects the mesothelial cells. These are the cells that cover the outer surface of our internal body organs, forming a lining that is sometimes called the mesothelium. Mesothelium can develop in the tissues covering the abdomen and the lung.Types of mesothelioma
Mesothelioma risks and causes
- Pleural mesothelioma – this type of cancer grows in the tissues covering the lungs
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – this type of mesothelioma grows in the tissue lining the inside of the abdomen
The primary risk factor for getting mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a natural occurring mineral found in the environment and when it’s broken up it creates dust particle that when inhaled, settle in the linings of the lungs or stomach and cause irritation that leads to mesothelioma.Other factors that increase the risk of mesothelioma include:
- Personal history of asbestos exposure be it at home or work
- Staying with someone who constantly works with asbestos
- A family history of mesothelioma
In order to reduce the risk of mesothelioma, one must reduce his/her exposure to asbestos. It is important for one to follow the following guidelines to limit the chance of getting mesothelioma:
Test and diagnosis of mesothelioma
- You should find out if at work you are exposed or work with asbestos
- All safety rules and regulations should be complied with those who work in fields with a high risk of asbestos exposure.
- Consult an expert if you find asbestos in your home as it is dangerous for someone without training to handle asbestos.
If the signs and symptoms might indicate the possibility of having mesothelioma, the doctor is required to do the following tests to confirm.
- Physical examination to check for lumps
- Imaging scans such as X-rays and a computerized tomography scan of the chest area to look for any abnormalities.
When the finding are inconclusive, further tests are needed to be performed to confirm if the symptoms are truly for mesothelioma or another disease. They include:
Biopsy – involves removal of a small portion of tissue that is subjected to laboratory examination. The tissue sample will be analyzed with the aid of a microscope to determine whether the irregular tissues is mesothelioma. A biopsy is a proven way to confirm mesothelioma.Staging of mesothelioma
After being diagnosed with mesothelioma, the doctors will require determining the stage of cancer. Imaging test that will be performed to help determine the stage of the cancer include:
- PET (positron emission tomography) and CT (computerized tomography) scans
- Ultrasound scans
- Mediastinoscopy – an examination of the central area of the chest (mediastinum)
- Magnetic resonance imaging
Once the extent of the mesothelioma is determined, a cancer stage will be assigned. It starts from stage 1 which is considered localized to stage 4, which is considered advanced cancer that has spread to distant areas of the body.Treatment of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease and for most people, the cure is not possible, if it is diagnosed late when it is not possible to remove cancer through surgery. Treatment options include:
- Surgery – the surgeons remove the mesothelioma if it diagnosed at an early stage. However, surgery is not recommended to everyone.
- Chemotherapy – use of chemicals to kill the cancer cells.
- Radiation therapy – focusing of high energy beams to the affected area. Radiation might be used to kill all the remaining cells after surgery.
Learn more about Mesothelioma