Mesothelioma(You Must Know This!!!!!!!)
Malignant mesothelioma is an
uncommon, but no longer rare, cancer that is difficult to diagnose and
poorly responsive to therapy. Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious
of all asbestos-related diseases.
The mesothelium helps protect the organs by producing a special
lubricating fluid that allows organs to move around. For example, this
fluid makes it easier for the lungs to move inside the chest during
breathing. The mesothelium of the chest is called the pleura and the
mesothelium of the abdomen is known as the peritoneum. The mesothelium of
the pericardial cavity (the "sac-like" space around the heart) is called
The incidence of mesothelioma in the United States remains very low, with 14 cases occurring per million people per year. Despite these numbers, the noticed threefold increase in mesothelioma in males between 1970 and 1984, is directly associated with environmental and occupational exposure to asbestos, mostly in areas of asbestos product plants and shipbuilding facilities.
Although the disease is much more commonly seen in 60-year-old men, it has been described in women and early childhood as well. The cause of the disease is not so well understood in these latter two groups, but there is some evidence of possible asbestos exposure for some of these cases as well.
Malignant mesothelioma is divided into three main types. About 50% to 70%
of mesothelioma occurrences are the epithelioid type. This type has the
best prognosis (outlook for survival). The other two types are the
sarcomatoid type (7%-20%), and the mixed/biphasic type (20%-35%).
Treatment options for all three types are the same.