Commonly developing in the pleural cavity surrounding the lungs and internal chest wall, in the pericardium sac around the heart, the tunica vaginalis, the thoracic cavity, the mesentery, and the peritoneum membrane lining the abdominal cavity, Mesothelioma is a form of cancer generally caused by exposure to asbestos, asbestos dust, asbestos fibers, and possibly to people washing the clothing of workers exposed to these items.
While rare instances of contracting Mesothelioma from such sources as irradiation, intrapleural thorium dioxide, inhaling fiberous silicates, erionite usually found in volcanic ash, and other zealitic minerals that absorb liquid waste, gene abnormalities in the P14ARF, P16INK4A, neurofibomatosis of the Type 2 at 22q12 genes, oncogene activations, proto-oncogene activations, inactivations of tumor suppressor genes, apoptosis preventions, telomerase activations, erroneous DNA repair enzyme activations, macrophage alterations, asbestos phagocytosis, hydroxyl free radical increases, platelet-derived growth factors, the release of transforming growth factors, and living with asbetos workers have been reported, indisputably the major cause of the cancer remains asbestos in all of its forms.
The symptoms of Mesothelioma may not appear for up to fifty years after being exposed to asbestos and may include such things as pleural effusions, shortness of breath, unexplained weight losses, anemia, wheezing, excessive coughing, blood in the sputum coughed up from the larynx, bronchi, trachea, or lungs, tumor masses, collasped lungs, pneumothorax collections in the pleural cavity, abdominal pains, bowel function problems, ascites, gastroenterological fluid build ups in the peritoneal cavity, blood clots, thrombophlebitis, severe bleeding in body organs, jaundice, low blood sugar levels, blood clots in the lungs, vein inflammations, pleural contaminations, and pulmonary embolisms.
Mesothelioma may be diagnosed through patient and family histories, x-rays, CT scans, tissue biopsies, thoracoscopies, lung function tests, cytopathological diagnosis of abnormal cells, thoracotomies, laparoscopes, immunohistochemical studies, screening tests, serum osteopontin levels, and Mesomark Assay levels of mesothelin proteins released by discarded cells.
Treatment options for Mesothelioma may include surgeries, although they have provided little success, radiation, chemotherapies such as Cisplatin, Raltitrexed, and Pemetrexed, pleurectomies, decortications, extrapleural pneumonectomies, pallative treatments for symptom relief, immunotherapies, Heated Intraoperative Intraperitoneal Chemotherapies, and cytoreductive debulking surgeries that reduce the tumors and help extend survival rates.
Affecting internal organs with uniformily shaped, uniquely tubular cancer cells, and an individually distinguishable cell nucleus, about half of all Mesothelioma cases consist of Epithelioid Mesothelioma, which also has the best prognosis for survival.
The rarest form of Mesothelioma, with elongated spindle, irregularly shaped cells that often overlap one another, and are more aggressive and resistent to treatment, Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma produces a very low prognosis.
With extremely bland invasive cells, often misdiagnosed as benign fibrous tissues, Desmoplastic Mesothelioma is a variant of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma. and is perhaps the hardest of all forms of the disease to treat.
Known as Mixed Mesothelioma, and producing approximately one-fourth of all reported cases of the disease, with Epithelioid and Sarcomatoid cells mixed together, and no unique cellular structure, Biphasic is the second most common form of Mesothelioma.
Reaching all the way to the United States Supreme Court, with the first lawsuits filed against asbestos manufacturers in 1929 for failing to establish safety measures for handling the product after its links to Mesothelioma were discovered around 1898, current lawsuit amounts reach billions of dallars in damages saught.
Banned in 1989 by the United States Environmental Protection Agency, and regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, asbestos is a set of naturally occurring silicate minerals with long, thin fibrous crystals, that became popular for late 19th Century construction, and were previously used in electric oven and hotplate wiring, insulation, ship building, automobile brake pads, clutches, Kent filtered cigarettes, ammonium sulfate, iron skillets, ceilings, railroad cars, various industries, asbestos mining operations, drywalls, plaster, joint compounds, texture coats, vinyl flooring, adhesives, shingles, countertops, popcorn ceilings, caulk, fireproofings, stage curtains, gaskets, fire doors, HVAC flexible duct connectors, drilling fluids, fire blankets, and other consumer goods, that are known to cause lung cancer, severe depression, and Meosthelioma by affecting the lungs. Included in these minerals are serpantine, amphibole, actinolite, tremolite, anthophyllite, amosite, crocidolite, the two most hazardous forms of asbestos, and chrysotile, or white asbestos, the most common type of asbestos used in the United States, with vermiculite, zonolite, and other non-regulated asbestiform materials still currently used.
This Article was compiled from several websites that provide much more information about asbestos, and Mesothelioma, including: