Cancer happens when cells in the body split without control or order. A mass of tissue can form when this happens. It is called a growth or tumor. The term cancer refers to malignant tumors. They can invade nearby tissue and spread to other parts of the body.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer. It is almost always caused by being around asbestos. This is a loose mineral that is found in building materials and car parts. Even being around small amounts can raise your risk.
Things that may raise your risk are:
Repeat exposure to asbestos, usually on the job
Living with a person who works near asbestos
Being around other hazardous fibers, such as erionite
Exposure to ionizing radiation
This cancer can take up to 40 years to happen. It may cause:
A lump in the chest wall
You will be asked about your symptoms and health history. A physical exam will be done. You may be referred to a health expert. A pulmonologist treats the lungs. An oncologist treats cancer.
It can be hard to tell this apart from more common types of
These same tests and others may also be used to find out if cancer has spread outside the pleura. It is important to know whether and how far the cancer has spread in order to plan treatment. This step is called the staging process. It helps determine the level of treatment.
Pleural mesothelioma is usually treated with a mix of:
Antunes G, Neville E, Duffy J, Ali N on behalf of the BTS Pleural Disease Group. BTS guidelines for the management of malignant pleural effusions. Thorax. 2003;58:ii29
Cugell DW, Kamp DW. Asbestos and the pleura: A review. Chest. 2004;125(3):1103-1117.
General information about malignant mesothelioma. National Cancer Institute website. Available at: http://www.cancer.gov/types/mesothelioma/patient/mesothelioma-treatment-pdq. Updated July 30, 2018. Accessed August 29, 2018.
Mesothelioma. American Lung Association website. Available at: http://www.lung.org/lung-health-and-diseases/lung-disease-lookup/mesothelioma/. Accessed August 29, 2018.
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