Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Pleural Mesothelioma

We all know that mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that develops from the mesothelium - the protective lining that covers many of the body's internal organs, which is usually caused by exposure to asbestos.

There are three different types of Mesothelioma Cancer, the Peritoneal Mesothelioma, Pericardial Mesothelioma and the most common type is the Pleural Mesothelioma. This type of cancer is located around the lining of the lungs, and begins when a membranous cell attempts to consume an asbestos fiber that has become lodged in the lung membrane. When this occurs, other cells rush to help, but cannot do so as the fiber is too long and too thin for the body to achieve the removal on its own. As more cells pile up, inflammation results, leading to the growth of a tumor. Once a tumor has begun to grow around the lungs, patients will typically begin to experience a shortness of breath, a feeling of pressure, and often severe coughing. When these symptoms are examined by a doctor, they will often mistake them for a severe flu or buildup of fluid in the lungs from another source. 

Exposure to asbestos is the primary cause of pleural mesothelioma. Used in many industries throughout the 20th century, asbestos was found in thousands of products and those who worked with the material in an occupational setting are most at risk for developing pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma research is exploring other risk factors, but none have been proven like the link between asbestos and pleural mesothelioma.

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