What is Malignant Mesothelioma?

Malignant mesothelioma is an uncommon type of cancer that develops in the outer tissue covering of internal organs. There are four types namely pleura, peritoneal, pericardial and testicular mesothelioma. As the names of these diseases suggest, pleura mesothelioma is the cancer of the pleura or lung membrane. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the peritoneal cavity. In pericardial mesothelioma, the lining of the heart called the pericardium is affected. Testicular mesothelioma, on the other hand, develops in the lining of the testicles.
What is Malignant Mesothelioma?

What is Causing Malignant Mesothelioma?


Asbestos is the only known cause of any forms of mesothelioma. Asbestos is an organic, yet toxic material that is commonly used in industrial businesses. Asbestos fibers easily enter the body through the nose and the mouth. The body have difficulty breaking down or expelling asbestos fibers that are inhaled or ingested. This normally leads to the swelling and scarring of the mesothelium. The scarring may lead to fluid build – up between the layers of the mesothelium and the development of malignant tumors.

The latency period of asbestos in the body usually takes a long time. It may take decades before a person who has mesothelioma experiences some symptoms. In most cases, these symptoms are very general can be easily attributed to other diseases like pneumonia and influenza for pleural mesothelioma and common heart conditions for pericardial mesothelioma. This makes it difficult for doctors to diagnose patients with mesothelioma.
How is Malignant Mesothelioma Treated?

Interesting Article

Often, the disease has already progressed into a serious stage that the only treatment option is palliative treatment. This kind of treatment does not cure the disease; instead it only reduces the pain and discomfort and improves the patients’ quality of life. Sometimes, these treatments could help prolong the life expectancy of patients for a few months. Early detection gives patients the option to undergo surgery in order to remove tumors and affected areas of the mesothelium. Not all patients with malignant mesothelioma have the option of surgery. Physical condition, location of the tumor and the seriousness of the disease are often considered. Surgery often comes with great risks especially in cases of pericardium mesothelioma. Since the tumor is found on the heart, surgery is usually not advisable.  Radiation and chemotherapy are more common forms of treatment for mesothelioma. These help prevent further growth and spread of malignant cancer cells. Medications that also help in stopping of spread of cancer cells are also given to patients.

People battling with malignant mesothelioma usually get exposed to asbestos because of unhealthy working conditions. If you obtained your mesothelioma because of your work, you can claim remuneration from your employer. Patients can sue their employers for the period during which they were exposed to asbestos. Employers should pay for all the expenses involved in the treatment. There are also some government agencies that offer benefits to patients with mesothelioma. The Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit gives patients a regular weekly allowance. At times, people can get mesothelioma by just coming in contact with people who have more exposure to asbestos. The Diffuse Mesothelioma Scheme 2008 made it possible for such people to still claim compensation. Payment is usually made in one big transaction. Whatever the cause of your mesothelioma may be, it is important for you to know your rights.
What is Malignant Mesothelioma?