Five types of mesothelioma and their causes: Pleural mesothelioma
In the third part of this five-part blog series, pleural mesothelioma will be examined. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the pulmonary (lungs) area and is the most common, accounting for three out of every four cases of mesothelioma. The cause of pleural mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. Asbestos was widely used over the past 150 years in industry, manufacturing, and construction due to its heatproof and fireproof properties. People who worked near airborne asbestos particles or asbestos dust are at the highest risk for developing mesothelioma. From the time a person is exposed to asbestos, it can take anywhere from 20 to 50 years for mesothelioma symptoms to begin. Symptoms of pleural mesothelioma can be mistaken for symptoms of a minor cold or flu, which often delays diagnosis and treatments. According to the American Cancer Society, common pleural mesothelioma symptoms include:
· Fatigue · Persistent coughing, usually dry or raspy · Coughing up blood (hemoptysis) · Back or chest pain · Swelling · Development of lumps under the skin on the chest · Perspiration · Difficulty with swallowing (dysphagia) · Hoarse voice · Unexplained weight loss · Night sweats or fever
When diagnosing pleural mesothelioma, a doctor will need samples from fluid and tissues as well as additional tests. Once diagnosed, a treatment regimen to help reduce mesothelioma symptoms and possibly extend life expectancy will be planned. The most common treatments for pleural mesothelioma include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more successful the treatments will be. No matter how early the diagnosis, however, there is no known cure for pleural mesothelioma. Research has shown that only about eight percent of all pleural mesothelioma cases will survive for longer than five years. Ten percent of all cases will live for three to five years from the time of diagnosis. The range in the number of years in mesothelioma life expectancies is wide and varied.
In the next installment of this five-part blog series, peritoneal mesothelioma will be addressed. References: