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Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Survival
Although a rare condition, a wealth of mesothelioma cancer information is available for interested parties to locate when they fear they may exhibit symptoms and signs. When investigating the ins and outs of this form of cancer, you will encounter a variety of mesothelioma cancer types, including peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. It is the part of the body affected that determines the kind of cancer a patient may suffer from and thier survival rate.
What is Mesothelioma Lung Cancer?
Throughout the thin layers of tissue found about the internal organs, mesothelioma cancer is known to strike the lungs, stomach, and sometimes the linings of the heart and testicles. On a yearly basis, close to 2,000 to 3,000 people are diagnosed with mesothelioma within the United States with pleural mesothelioma being the most common form of the disease. This particular condition attacks the tissues that surround the lung.
When mesothelioma lung cancer develops, the disease starts out as a genetic mutation that plagues healthy cells with abnormality. While healthy cells grow, multiply, and then die out within a set time, rogue cells multiply wildly and do not die. When these cells accumulate, a tumor is the result with cancer cells attacking tissues located close by. It is this form of cancer that is linked to coming into contact with asbestos, especially for long periods of time. The use of this natural fiber (once prevalent throughout industrial and household production) is now curbed by various laws.
When mesothelioma cancer has settled in the lungs, a victim may experience shortness of breath, painful breathing, weight loss, unexplainable lumps under the skin of the chest, rib cage pain, as well as a dry cough. If mesothelioma lung cancer has spread to other parts of the body, pain may migrate, swallowing may become difficult, and the neck and face may swell.
If you suspect any signs or symptoms for mesothelioma cancer in the lungs, a physical exam will be conducted where a doctor will search for lumps and other telling signs. Further determination comes with a chest X-ray or chest CT scan. If additional testing is needed, a patient may undergo a biopsy, fine-needle aspiration, or a throrascopy, where a surgeon will use a tiny video camera to see inside the chest.
The seriousness of mesothelioma lung cancer will determine the best course of action for treatment. The exact location and stage sheds light on the possibilities. Since this type of cancer is extremely aggressive, many will not be able to find a cure for their condition. Treatment options for mesothelioma lung cancer may include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, and clinical trials. For those opting for surgery, the doctor may decrease fluid buildup; take away the tissue surrounding the lung; get rid of as much of the cancer as possible; or more drastically - remove a lung and the surrounding tissue.
When it comes to risk factors for mesothelioma lung cancer, men possess a higher chance of developing this type of disease over women. Also, while the disease can be diagnosed at any age, most mesothelioma cancer patients are over the age of 65, making it a more common disease amongst older individuals. The actual amount of mesothelioma lung cancer cases that come from asbestos exposure is unknown, but may account for about 70% to 80%.
Therefore, people who work in careers where a high level of asbestos fibers are present, such as mining, home construction and insulation installation, carry an increased chance of suffering from this type of cancer. Factory workers, railroad workers, ship builders, and gas mask manufacturers are also at risk. Additional risk factors include radiation and possibly family history.
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