There are a lot of different forms of lung cancer around. Mesothelioma lung cancer is one that a lot of people are not very well informed about. It is a form of cancer that afflicts the area of the body that surround and protect the internal organs of the body. Here we will learn it a bit more.
This is a kind of rare form of cancer but with this being mentioned the number of cases that are being seen has up in recent years. Most of the time people especially men are the victims that are suffering by it, but it does not mean that women are immune as they can get it too.
Lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma, both influence the lungs of a person. Mesothelioma is not a form of lung cancer; both of these are two different and distinct diseases. Lung cancer develops in the tissues of the lungs, while mesothelioma affects the lining around the lungs which is called ‘pleura’. Both these diseases cause critical health issues.
Mesothelioma is an asbestos induced disease. There are no other known causes for this disease. If a person has mesothelioma, then it can be implied that he/she was exposed to asbestos. This is why mesothelioma is called a ‘signature disease’ for exposure to asbestos.
Asbestos can be attributed to a lot of health conditions that people develop, especially if they have been working around it for a number of years. It has been found that the more that a person is around this substance that there is far more chance of them becoming ill because of it in some way or another.
Lung cancer can be caused due to smoking, and also due to exposure to asbestos. But mesothelioma cannot be caused by smoking. A person who is an active smoker and who was also exposed to asbestos has a much higher risk of getting lung cancer.
Cancer, Smoking and Mesothelioma
Smoking is always considered harmful to the body, especially to the lungs. Smoking and exposure to asbestos can both separately prove to be fatal to a person. Quitting smoking can however reduce the severity of developing lung cancer till an extent. Quitting smoking can considerably lower the risk of cancer in the future, but in way guarantees to do so.
If you are a smoker and are also suffering from an asbestos inflicted disease, then quitting smoking can be helpful to improve the quality of life. It can slow down the progress of the disease by making breathing easier, and can also improve the blood circulation. It is also helpful to reduce the stress on the heart.
It therefore becomes essential to know what the “synergistic effect” is. According to the ‘synergistic effect’, a combination of two or more exposures can be more dangerous than the aggregate of the individual exposures.
Here is an example to explain this well. Exposure to asbestos can increase the chances of a person to get lung cancer by 5 times. And continual smoking can increase the risk of lung cancer by 10 times. But if a person is an active smoker and was also exposed to asbestos, then his chance of getting lung cancer increases by 50 times and not 15 times. The individual risks are multiplied and not added.
The risk of cancer due to smoking will reduce once the person quits smoking. As per the American Lung Association, if a person quits smoking today, then his risk of cancer after a period of ten years will be half of what it would have been if he had not quit smoking. The risk of strokes, heart diseases and other cancers will also come down significantly.
Giving up smoking can bring multiple health benefits for the patient. The benefits are higher for a person suffering from an asbestos inflicted disease, or for one who has a history of exposure to asbestos.
It is advisable that patients remember that smoking can increase the risk and severity of lung cancer and mesothelioma by manifolds. While mesothelioma will only occur from asbestos exposure, but fact of the matter is that smoking does cause already suffering patients greater discomfort.
Often referred to as mesothelioma lung cancer, this is something of a misnomer. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the soft tissue coating that surrounds and lubricates internal organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity.
The reason many people refer to this condition as mesothelioma lung cancer is that about 70 percent of these cancers start in the pleura, the lining surrounding the lungs or in the lining of the chest cavity.
Lung carcinoma has been directly linked to environmental risks such as smoking. Mesothelioma is different in that the primary environmental risk appears to be asbestos exposure, generally in the work place. Smoking does not clearly link to mesothelioma.
Asbestos is mineral used to make heat-resistant fabrics and other materials. The first mining and commercial use of asbestos was recorded in the late 1800s. Since then it has been used in everything from building materials to brake pads. The risk of mesothelioma goes up dramatically for anyone in mining or manufacturing that involves asbestos.
Construction crews, particularly those engages in Navy shipbuilding or in commercial building demolition prior to the regulation of asbestos have some of the highest disease rates. Rates of mesothelioma seem directly linked to the length and intensity of exposure, but cases have been recorded just from incidental exposure to asbestos dust in family members of people working in high-asbestos environments.
Familial mesothelioma contributed to establishing clean-room precautions in asbestos work areas. Shower-out or full change requirements for asbestos removal crews and people working in the few industries still making use of asbestos helps minimize residual contact for friends and family.
Treatment of Mesothelioma
Mesotheliaoma treatment follows a different course than other lung and thoracic carcinomas. Surgery is a common first step in treatment, often removing a full lung if the lining is sufficiently impinged by the cancer. Both external and internal radiation treatments often are part of the overall oncology treatment plan. Finally, chemotherapy is used to target and kill the fast growing cancer cells.
There are also a number of clinical trials ongoing to expand the treatment options for mesothelioma, lung cancer, and many other thoracic cancers. The indications that can come along that may signal that this condition may be present can take years to show up in people but when they do they are common ones that can be linked to many other health issues that people could be facing. Shortness of breath and chest pains are a common symptom of this disease but the fortunate part of this is that they are also a common symptom of many other issues as well. This can make things quite difficult when it comes time to make a firm diagnosis. There are a lot of other symptoms to think about as well, so getting information about what they all are can be a very good idea.
The symptoms that this disease presents are very similar to other conditions that are common which can make it very difficult when it comes to diagnosing it. A doctor will need to review a complete medical history of the patient which will include any exposure to asbestos if it has been something that has happened. Following this there will have to be a whole battery of tests done like x-ray, Cat scans and MRI’s that the doctor will need to be able to see the area that is affected more clearly. Once they see the results they need to perform a biopsy of this area to confirm whether or not it is mesothelioma or not.
Determining at what stage that the disease is in is the next step the next thing that the doctor will look at. This enables them to decide on the best course of action to be taken when it comes to treating the disease. If it is caught early on and is considered to be localized then it is far easier for the doctor to treat then if it has advance to another areas of the body.
By maintaining a normal schedule of visits to your doctor is essential when it comes to taking care of your health. This will help your doctor know of any things new that might be developing with regards to your health. Other thing that people can do is to stay aware of the developments which are coming along when it comes to this disease. Do not forget that there are new things that are coming out all the time and that the improvement that are being made are very promising.
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