Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that occurs mainly in the mesothelium, the protective layer that surrounds the organs and the interior of the body. It results from exposure to asbestos. Most people who are exposed to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma because it has a shorter latency period than other forms of cancer.
Asbestos is a form of mineral that has been used for many years to make insulation, ropes, wires, pipes, pipes and the like. It can be found in many commercial and residential products today. When someone comes into contact with asbestos, it is absorbed into the body through the skin or inhaled. Asbestos fibers, which are very fine and break down quickly in the air, are the cause of asbestos-related diseases.
When mesothelioma is diagnosed, most patients are actually suffering from the first or second stages of this disease and not asymptomatic of their earlier childhood tumors. They may only find out they have cancer after they have already had surgery to remove some of the affected tissues. In most cases, the cancer is present for many years before it actually shows up on the surface of the skin.
The cancer usually spreads rapidly around the body parts where it is first diagnosed. In many cases, tumors are found on the lung, chest, abdomen lining, among others. These larger body parts can easily absorb the majority of the asbestos particles that reach the lungs and other major organs.
Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops slowly. Early detection and treatment are important for survival rates. However, treatment is not just a matter of waiting until the cancer has progressed to a point where it is fatal.
In addition to chemotherapy and radiation therapy, mesothelioma patients must also take steps to avoid the development of secondary cancers. Secondary cancers occur when there is another type of cancer that has already spread to the body parts that were exposed to asbestos. Although the primary tumor has already been removed, there is a chance that the cancer will spread to other areas.
The earlier the disease progresses, the more aggressive the treatment should be. If the disease has not yet progressed, radiation therapy combined with chemotherapy and/or targeted therapy is a good option. Surgery is sometimes done if mesothelioma is detected at an advanced stage.
Although survival rates are quite high, mesothelioma patients may lose a portion of their life expectancy because the disease takes a long time to develop. The earlier the cancer is detected, the better the chances are of surviving the disease. It is important for patients to get regular exams and biopsies, which can detect any type of cancer at an early stage.
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