Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that can affect the mesothelium, a layer of tissues surrounding the chest and abdomen. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer, because most cases are discovered in workers who have long been exposed to asbestos. An asbestos exposure occurs when asbestos is inhaled or ingested, causing the deadly mesothelioma.
Asbestos is a material used in construction and manufacturing. It is made from polymers and used to make roofing shingles, window films, and insulation. When asbestos fibers are released during a fire, a fire fighter can breathe in them and become sick. However, asbestos is not toxic to humans unless inhaled or ingested.
Mesothelioma causes are classified according to the location where the disease was first noticed. The most common causes of mesothelioma are exposure to asbestos in the workplace, occupational exposure, or natural causes. In the workplace, asbestos exposure can occur when an individual comes into contact with asbestos dust during the preparation of materials or products for manufacturing. In the occupational exposure case, an individual may develop mesothelioma through exposure to asbestos fibers or by breathing in asbestos particles while working in the home. Exposure to asbestos in the natural environment can also cause mesothelioma.
There are several different types of mesothelioma. The most common type is pleural mesothelioma. The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma vary in each patient. However, they are usually similar and include: pain in the chest, shortness of breath, weight loss, fever, and blood in the urine. An individual with pleural mesothelioma may also experience pain in the ribs and lungs, bleeding, coughing, and swelling.
Another common type of mesothelioma is peritoneal mesothelioma. Symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma include: abdominal pain, bloody stools, weight loss, fluid in the abdomen, nausea, and jaundice. Individuals with peritoneal mesothelioma are usually diagnosed when symptoms are discovered early.
There are other mesothelioma causes which include asbestos exposure as a child. Asbestos fibers are still present in the body of many children who have worked at various jobs with asbestos. If an individual develops mesothelioma as a child, treatment is usually not possible because the young body has not developed the strength to absorb radiation.
Another mesothelioma causes that can affect men and women equally is pleural mesothelioma. In this type of mesothelioma, the cause is mostly due to the obstruction of mesothelial blood vessels. Pleural mesothelioma is very common in males, but it is less common in females.
Mesothelioma causes can be avoided by limiting exposure to asbestos. An individual who has been exposed to asbestos in the workplace or an individual who lives in a building where asbestos is present should stop working with asbestos immediately. Avoiding asbestos in homes is one way to protect yourself from developing mesothelioma.