Discover the Signs and Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that develops in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a tissue that is the most dense part of the body. It is composed of the pleura and the mesothelial cells, which are found in the bone, cartilage, and peritoneum.
Mesothelium is found in the peritoneum and the pleura. The pleura is a membrane that is present in the abdominal cavity. It is composed of soft tissues and gives protection to the internal organs such as the heart, lungs, and intestines. However, this membrane does not provide protection to the stomach from food.
The peritoneum acts as a defense mechanism against bacteria and viruses but at the same time provides a barrier against excessive influx of white blood cells that can cause infection. However, due to its composition, it also lacks resistance against invasive diseases such as cancer. Mesothelioma occurs when the white blood cells invade the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is basically a form of cancer because it is able to survive in a thin membrane. These white blood cells damage the mesothelium and the pleura.
When there is an invasion of these white blood cells, they usually form a tumor on the abdomen, chest, or both. However, peritoneal mesothelioma is generally found in the abdomen. This type of mesothelioma is more commonly diagnosed during the initial stages and thus is easier to remove.
In addition to peritoneal mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is another form of cancer that can develop in the pleura. This type of cancer mostly develops in the pleura. Therefore, it is also called pleural mesothelioma.
In pleural mesothelioma, the malignant cancer is generally discovered through a CT scan, ultrasound, or MRI. Mesothelioma has been known to be more prevalent in women than men. Although this is true, men can also develop this cancer.
While the symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma may vary depending on the location of the tumor, most patients have five to ten similar symptoms. Most of the symptoms include shortness of breath, chest pain, chest swelling, difficulty breathing, weight loss, and pain. Some symptoms may be felt only once, while others may be present over the course of a week. The symptoms may change on a regular basis as well.
Tumors can be detected by looking for lump or swellings on the abdominal region, the chest, the pelvic region, the neck, the back, or on the back of the hand or arm. In the case of peritoneal mesothelioma, there are two possible methods of detection; the skin biopsy and a CT scan.
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