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Lung Cancer Mesothelioma: Slowly Spreading Its Tentacles
Lung cancer mesothelioma is the common name for malignant mesothelioma, a rare cancer that is not very responsive to therapy. Lung cancer mesothelioma is the deadliest of all asbestos related diseases. Medically speaking, lung cancer mesothelioma is misnomer. Mesothelioma is not a cancer of the lungs; it generally affects the lining of the lungs.
Mesothelial cells are special cells found in cavities of certain internal organs. They form a covering tissue surrounding most of the vital organs. This tissue is known as pleura, peritoneum and pericardium and surrounds lungs, abdomen and heart respectively. This tissue produces a lubricant that allows the internal organs to move effectively. For example, it helps the lungs to move around in the chest during breathing. Lung cancer mesothelioma is the name given to cancer of the lining of the lungs. It is the most common of mesothelioma cancers and is known as pleural mesothelioma.
Mesothelium tumors can be cancerous as well as non-cancerous. However, most mesothelial tumors are cancerous. The malignant mesothelioma referred to as “mesothelioma”. About 75% mesothelioma tumors start in the chest cavity (pleural mesothelioma). About 10% to 20% occur in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma). Pericardial mesothelioma is a rare disease and even rare is the incidence of mesothelioma in the lining surrounding the testicles.
Mesothelioma cancer was first recognized as a tumor of the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium in the late 1700s. It was only in the 1960s that could this tumor be connected to exposure to asbestos and be described with detail. The first person to do so was J. C. Wagner, who cited examples from the “Asbestos Hills” in South Africa and provided sufficient evidences to establish a link to mesothelioma cancer of the lung cavity to asbestos exposure. Further studies have confirmed the relationship between asbestos and the incidences of mesothelioma cancers.
Mesothelioma cancers were a rarity in the United States. There were only 14 cases recorded per million people in a year. However, the number has tripled between 1970 and 1984 particularly among the males working in areas of asbestos production and shipbuilding facilities. Mesothelioma cancers are Mostly found in sexagenarian males and in some cases, it has also been discovered in women and children.
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