Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer that affects the mesothelium. This mesothelium acts as a lining that protects the organs of the body. However, the maligned itself implies that the cells grow uncontrollably and rapidly. This can be very dangerous, affecting the other tissues in the body and damaging them.
There are mainly four main types of Malignant Mesothelioma that we know till now. However, this disease is also related to the body affected—for example, the lungs, abdomen, or heart.
Pleural Mesothelioma pleural
means the lungs. When the lungs are affected by this disease, we call it Pleural Mesothelioma. Here the lining of the lungs is affected. The symptoms include Shortness of breath, chest pain, Wheezing, hoarseness, cough, Blood in the sputum, etc.; this is the most common form of Malignant Mesothelioma.
For Pleural Mesothelioma, a lot of research has already been done as it is the most common form of cancer affecting people.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. The symptoms include abdomen pain caused by increased fluids in the tissues surrounding the abdomen, irritation in the bowel function, vomiting, etc. Usually, the tumors associated with the abdomen show symptoms when they are at their last stage.
As the name suggests, this cancer affects the pericardium that is the lining of the heart. This is the rarest form of Malignant Mesothelioma, and hence the research to find the treatment for this disease is still going on.
As this affects the lining of the heart, the treatment becomes difficult. The symptoms include chest pain, difficulty in breathing, irregular heartbeat, etc.
This cancer affects the Testicles. The symptoms include lumps in testicles, Scrotal swelling, etc.
Types of Mesothelioma Cells
Apart from the different types of Malignant Mesothelioma, different types of Mesothelioma Cells comprise Mesothelioma tumors. In addition, the mesothelioma cells that are the affected cells may be different for a different person. Therefore, the correct diagnosis must be made, and the right type of cell that has been affected must be identified for the proper treatment.
The three types of cells include,
Malignant Epithelioid Mesothelioma is developed is the tumor consists mainly of epithelial cells. Here lining that is affected will mainly be made up of epithelial cells.
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is caused due to the Sarcomatoid cells. Mesothelioma is rare due to this cell type. Also, these are very resistant to therapies to treat cancer. This is also known as the most aggressive type of cell.
Biphasic Mesothelioma consists of both the Sarcomatoid and the epithelial cells. Therefore, the tumor’s intensity or how fast the tumor will grow will depend on both cells’ ratios.
Causes Of Malignant Mesothelioma
One of the most common causes is exposure to asbestos minerals. When asbestos is inhaled, the asbestos fibers stick to the tissues of the linings of the lungs, chests, or abdomen. They stay here for a long time, causing the cells to undergo a change and become cancerous.
Asbestos may be exposed due to the environment, that is, to people living at places where asbestos is found, or where there is road construction or mining is going on, etc. Also, asbestos exposure may happen to people working in companies that use asbestos in their products and causing secondary exposure to their family members.
Malignant Mesothelioma Diagnosis
Diagnosing the Malignant Mesothelioma is difficult. For the diagnosis purpose, first, an image scanning of the affected area is done to confirm it is performed. Some of the diagnosis procedures include;
This is the basic and the first step. Here the patient is first thoroughly examined, and then images of the affected area are taken with the help of either an X-Ray, CT scan, or an MRI.
This is a crucial procedure to detect cancer. In this procedure, a fluid sample or the affected area’s tissue sample is removed, and several tests are performed to confirm whether it is cancerous or not.
Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment
The treatment of the Malignant Mesothelioma may be said to be dependent on the following factors,
- The place of the body where the cancer is.
- The stage of the cancer is Stage I, II, III, or IV.
- The patient’s age and health, that what type of treatment the patient will be able to cope up.
In this type of treatment, the tumor is removed by performing surgery in the affected part. This may either remove the whole tumor or remove a part of it, depending upon the tumor’s position.
For example, in Pleurectomy or peritonectomy, the affected lining, which is around the lung or the abdomen, may be removed via surgery. This can significantly help in relieving the symptoms associated with the disease. Another example of surgery is debulking, where the tumor is removed as much as possible.
If surgery cannot be performed due to the tumor’s position, the next possible treatment is chemotherapy. In this treatment, the size of the tumor is reduced by attacking the cancerous cells.
This method also helps to prevent the reoccurrence of the tumor. In addition, research is being done to make chemotherapy more effective in the case of Malignant Mesothelioma.
Radiation also helps in reducing the tumor size and is usually recommended along with other treatments.
Even after the treatment, it is essential to take care not to resurfaces again.
It is imperative to regularly follow up regularly with the doctors and make some conscious and healthy lifestyle changes like eating better and taking good care of your body.