According to a famous saying which goes, “health is wealth,” this is true. Therefore, when you have good health, that is only when you will be able to partake in productive activities which could produce wealth.
In the world today, there are so many diseases that are not so well known to many people, yet many people are suffering from them—one of such diseases is Mesothelioma.
You may never have heard about it and maybe wondering what Mesothelioma means. Well, we will break it down, and by the end of this article, you will be able to know what Mesothelioma means, mesothelioma staging, and everything surrounding it.
What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is generally known as a form of cancer that grows from the thin layer of tissue or cells covering the major parts of internal body organs, being referred to as Mesothelium. The parts of the internal organs most affected are the chest wall and the lining of the lungs. The parts least affected are the sac around the testis and the sac around the heart.
Types of Mesothelioma
AlthoughMesotheliomaa is of different types, the most common types recognized are:
This is the type most affected by people. It is a Mesothelioma that affects the pleura, and it is accompanied by specific symptoms such as anemia, pain in the chest, cough, shortness of breath, and a few others.
This form of Mesothelioma could cause the total collapse of the lung and even expand or spread to other body parts.
The pericardial Mesothelioma is caused by a tumor encasing the heart, and it is associated with various symptoms such as heart failure, chest pain, cough, cardiac tamponade, and a few others.
The peritoneal Mesothelioma is caused by fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity. It is also accompanied by various symptoms, including pain, abdominal swelling, weight loss, constipation, vomiting, and lots more.
When cancer advances beyond Mesothelioma, the patient may start having several other symptoms such as swelling of the neck, difficulty swallowing, and a few others.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Asbestos exposure is found to be the main of mesothelioma cancer. Therefore, those working with asbestos are at risk of being affected by mesothelioma cancer; that’s why such people are always advised to wear protective equipment to lower the risk of exposure.
In very rare cases, Mesothelioma has also been caused by inhalation of talc, erionite, and the irradiation of the abdomen or chest.
The effect of exposure to asbestos doesn’t manifest immediately; it usually takes between 20 – 45 years before the patient starts having the symptoms.
Mesothelioma staging refers to the system being used by doctors to determine the stage of mesothelioma disease. These staging systems include the TNM system, Brigham, and Butchart systems.
The TNM and the Brigham systems are mostly used. As for the TNM staging system, T sums the level to which the tumor has advanced to, N shows the extent of spread of cancer to lymph nodes, and M is used to determine if cancer has affected other organs in the body.
These mesothelioma stages are usually used to determine the level of seriousness of the mesothelioma disease. There are four stages involved, and they are:
- Stage 1
Stage 1 is considered the least serious among the four stages and offers the highest chance for survival.
- Stage 2
During this stage, cancer has started spreading, and the chance for survival is also high.
- Stage 3
At this stage, the cancer is at an advanced stage already, and the chance for survival is a bit low.
- Stage 4
Stage 4 is the peak of it all, as it is the most serious because cancer has spread to many other parts.
These are the 4 primary mesothelioma stages used to determine how serious cancer already is and the kind of treatment option that will be the best.
In terms of prevention, Mesothelioma can be prevented by avoiding exposure to asbestos, such as wearing protective equipment while working with asbestos.
So far, there is no cure for Mesothelioma. However, several treatment options are available for people living with Mesothelioma, depending on the stage of cancer.
Some doctors usually combine several treatment options for patients, and this approach is referred to as Multimodal Therapy. The individual treatment options available are surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy.
Mesothelioma disease is affected and still affects many people due to exposure to asbestos and ignorance. Therefore, more awareness needs to be created to know more about it and how to prevent it as well.