This Beta-Theta.com Health Resource is designed to inform people about a very serious form of cancer called mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer in which malignant cells are found in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a protective sac that covers most of the body's internal organs. People who develop mesothelioma are often those who have worked at jobs where they inhaled asbestos particles. This will be discussed shortly.
About 2000 new cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the United States each year. Mesothelioma is more common in men than in women. Risk increases with age, however it is important to note that this rare form of cancer can appear in either men or women at any age.
The most prominent risk factor for mesothelioma is coming in contact with asbestos. In between 70% and 80% of reported cases, a history of contact with asbestos at work is cited as the cause of the disease. However, mesothelioma has been reported to strike individuals who have not come in contact with asbestos in rare instances. Smoking does not appear to increase the risk of mesothelioma. It is true though that the combination of smoking and exposure to asbestos increases a person's risk of developing lung cancer.
The symptoms associated with mesothelioma often to not appear until 30 to 50 years after initial exposure to asbestos. Symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pains, weight loss, abdominal swelling, and blood clotting. If you have experienced symptoms similar to these, it is of course important to see a doctor. Only a doctor can make an accurate diagnosis as these symptoms could be caused by mesothelioma or a number of other, less serious conditions.
Treatment of mesothelioma depends on a variety of important factors. To begin with, the location and stage of the disease must be taken into consideration. Next, one must look at the patient's health and age. Treatment options currently include surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. In some cases, these mesothelioma treatments are combined.
We encourage people interested in finding out more about this disease to explore the internet and be certain to get as much information as possible. Mesothelioma informatioin is out there, and efforts are being made to find new treatments and, hopefully, a cure.