Mesothelioma Facts

Mesothelioma Facts

Mesothelioma is an uncommon form of cancer that takes place in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is made up of visceral and parietal membranes which surround organs and body cavities, such as the lungs or abdomen. The visceral membrane immediately surrounds the organ, and the parietal membrane is a sac covering the visceral membrane. There is a lubricating fluid between these membranes that make up the mesothelium. This fluid helps organs move easily between surrounding structures. In the case of the lung, it helps reduce friction between the lung and chest wall during normal breathing as the lung expands. Here are more facts about mesothelioma:

There are different types of mesothelioma:

In the abdomen, it is called peritoneal mesothelioma; on the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma; and if it develops on the heart, pericardial mesothelioma.

It develops mostly on the lungs:

The most common location for mesothelioma to develop is on the lungs. About two-thirds of all mesothelioma cases develop in the pleural mesothelium. This mesothelioma on the lungs is called malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). The remaining cases develop in the peritoneal mesothelium in the abdomen. A tumor in the abdominal mesothelium is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Rarely, mesothelioma occurs in other mesothelial tissue, such as on the heart or on the reproductive organs.

It may have other causes:

Although asbestos is the major cause of mesothelioma, up to 30-50% of all cases are not clearly related to previous asbestos exposure. Other possible reasons include previous exposure to radiation or to particular minerals closely related to asbestos that are found in the soil. Smoking has not been shown to be a cause of mesothelioma. However, if a smoker has also been exposed to asbestos, this significantly increases his or her risk of developing other types of lung cancer.

It has a long development time:

It has a long latency period, which means that symptoms don't develop for 20-50 years after environmental exposure. The average age at which symptoms usually start to appear is around 60 years old.

It occurs more in men than in women:

Mesothelioma affects men about three times more often than women in the US. Occurrence rises gradually with age. In other parts of the world, where exposure comes primarily from other environmental sources, such as in Turkey, mesothelioma occurs about equally in men and women.

It is a rare disease:

An estimated 3,000 to 4,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the US. In other countries, the number of cases varies. Overall, the number of cases reported each year seems to be increasing.

Mesothelioma Cure:

Doctors and researchers are searching and working hard to find solutions pertaining to a cure for Mesothelioma but have not discovered any yet.

Reference:Joyce Richards

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