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Mesothelioma: The Most Dangerous Cancer To Grip Your Breath!

Here is a cancer that is all set to grip the internal organs. Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops malignant cells in the mesothelium. The Mesothelioma primarily attacks the outer lining of the lungs called pleura, the internal chest wall, the lining of the abdominal cavity, the heart, the sac that covers the heart, and tunica vaginails.

The cancer develops more in those people who are exposed to asbestos. Not only the work related exposure to the asbestos but also washing the clothes of a family member who worked with asbestos can put a person at risk for developing mesothelioma. Even though smoking doesn"t lead to mesothelioma, it can increase the severity of the disease.

The symptoms of mesothelioma may remain undetected even for 50 years. There are primarily two types of mesothelioma. The pleural mesothelioma attacks the lung region whereas the peritoneal mesothelioma affects the abdominal region.

Shortness of breath, cough, and pain in the chest due to an accumulation of fluid in the pleural space are often symptoms of pleural mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include weight loss and cachexia, abdominal swelling and pain due to ascites, bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia, and fever. Also please note that these symptoms may be caused by mesothelioma or by other, less serious conditions.

Diagnosing mesothelioma is often difficult, because the symptoms are similar to those of a number of other conditions. In accordance with the patient"s medical history, tests can be performed. They include chest x-ray, lung function tests, biopsy and laparoscopy. The doctors can decide on the way of treatment depending on the severity of the cancer spread.

The usual treatment for mesothelioma includes conventional therapies in combination with radiation and or chemotherapy. While surgery itself proved disappointing, pleurectomy/decortications is a suggested one in which the lining of the chest is removed. For patients with localized disease immunotherapy has yielded variable results.

Wish you all good health!

Story first published: Tuesday, October 20, 2009, 9:19 [IST]
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