Mesothelioma (also known as malignant mesothelioma) is one of the rare types of cancer and is acquired when a patient is exposed to asbestos. It is a kind of cancer that attacks the mesothelium, which is a thin membrane that covers some internal organs especially the lungs, abdomen, and the heart. It is known commonly to cause lung cancer. Of course we know that cancer is the most unbearable illness a patient could ever have in life. It does not only make a patient suffer physically but emotionally as well. More emotional pains are evident to the family of the victim as well; thus, it is a big burden of life.
Mesothelioma is due to a patient’s exposure to asbestos. The United States Armed Forces used asbestos to create vehicles, buildings, and ships which logically results to a lot of people exposed to this frightening mineral, from the soldiers to the workers. During the 2nd World War, many soldiers were exposed to this type of mineral. As a result, many of our veterans today have some cancers connected to this mineral.
Mesothelioma has three major types that an individual must be aware of: pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma.
- Pleural Mesothelioma is the most widely known type of mesothelioma disease that exists in the lungs and can eventually turn into a lung cancer. It is a cancerous disease that affects the thin membrane that lubricates the cells on the lungs and chest. This thin membrane is called pleura. The symptoms of this disease do not appear until a long period of time, but even so, its symptoms are sometime mistakenly interpreted as pneumonia and influenza.
- Peritoneal Mesothelioma is the next most widely known type of mesothelioma disease that affects the abdomen. This type of disease affects the lining of the abdomen called peritoneum. Some symptoms that are evident when a patient has this disease are weight loss, abdominal swelling, and bowel blockage.
- Pericardial Mesothelioma is a disease related to mesothelioma. The tiny asbestos fiber enters a membrane of the heart called pericardium, but it is still unclear how the tiny fibers enter the pericardium. This case of mesothelioma is caused by an exposure to asbestos. Its symptoms are not evident until a long period of time after an exposure to asbestos; thus, its symptoms are sometimes interpreted as another kind of heart condition. Some of the symptoms are fatigue, pain in the chest, and some respiratory issues.
These diseases are life-threatening but hard to diagnose that is why patients who have these symptoms are often recommended to an MRI.