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What is Mesothelioma ?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer cause by asbestos exposure. Asbestos contains small fibers usually used in making insulation for homes and buildings. Patients diagnosed with Mesothelioma have damages in the lining of their abdomens, hearts or lungs.

Since asbestos are used in most building materials, people who work in the construction of buildings until the 1970s are at risk of developing Mesothelioma. Although it is not known whether health officials back then were aware of the dangers of this naturally occurring substance, the use of asbestos was only banned in 1989.

The characteristics of Mesothelioma are similar to general signs of aging. As such, many people ignore the symptoms until it becomes severe and potentially fatal. Doctors recommend that anyone who have been exposed to asbestos even when they were children should get a check-up and investigate symptoms that can be associated with Mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma comes in several forms:

1) Pericardial Mesothelioma – Also known as cancer of the heart lining, Pericardial Mesothelioma is an extremely rare condition characterized by severe chest pains and shortness of breath. Surgery is done to remove the tumor of the heart lining.
2) Peritoneal Mesothelioma – Also known as cancer of the abdominal lining, Peritoneal Mesothelioma causes nausea, hernia, vomiting, stomach pains, weight loss and development of mass in the abdomen. Removal of the entire tumor through a procedure called ‘laparotomy’ is needed to prevent the enlargement or spread of tumor.
3) Pleural Mesothelioma – Also known as cancer of the lung lining, Pleural Mesothelioma causes chest pains, muscle weakness, shortness of breath, coughing up blood, fluid build up, inflammation of arms, sensory loss, paralysis and swelling of the face. This type of Mesothelioma is treated by removing parts of the lungs to get the entire tumor.

All types of Mesothelioma require chemotherapy and radiation treatments to alleviate symptoms and reduce the chances of regression. Today, most governments worldwide have laws that prohibit or limit the use of asbestos in products.

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