Saturday, October 18, 2008

What is Mesothelioma? Is it a Type of Cancer?

Mesothelioma is a disease where the cells of the mesothelium become abnormal. It is called the cancer of the mesothelium. They can damage the tissues and other organs of the body. They can also affect the other cells and spread throughout the body.

It was hard to find any information before the Internet era. Now, with the invention of Internet, information on anything can be achieved. Around 2000 cases of Mesothelioma are diagnosed in US alone. In the past 20 years mesothelioma cases have gone high. Mesothilioma mainly affects men than women and it gets riskier as people age.

How do people get Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is the main factor for this disease. People in factories who work under the asbestos roof or people who manufacture asbestos sheets or asbestos related products tend to get this disease. Around 70-80 percent cases for mesothelioma are because of asbestos. However, there are some cases where the person with mesotheliioma has no exposure to asbestos. The tiny particles or dust of the asbestos float in the air, and when they are inhaled, it leads to health problems. Exposure to asbestos also increases the possibility of lung cancer, and other cancers. Smoking as well as exposure to asbestos could lead to cancer in the air passageways.

Who can develop mesotheliioma?

The risk associated with asbestos was unknown for a long time. Millions of people have been exposed to this dust since 1800?s. But, nowadays, people wear protective equipment while working with asbestos related products. There have been cases where people who have worked with asbestos for many years as well as people who have worked for a very small time too have got this disease. Not all workers get this disease. Even, family members have the history of getting mesothelioma or other asbestos related disease. This could be because of the dust brought by the worker from his hair or clothes, so it is necessary that the worker at the factory take bath before leaving the workplace.

Symptoms: Mesothelioma usually occurs after 30 years of exposure to asbestos dust. Shortness of breath and chest pain is the first indication. Mesothelioma is treated by surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy etc.

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