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What is Mesothelioma?

What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a very rare cancer that in a nutshell will develop in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is the protective lining that cover's a good portion of your body's internal organs. There is no standarized screening for this form of cancer, but there are ways for doctors to screen for it, which is done if you or your physician suspect that you may have mesothelioma.

Causes

  • asbestos and glass particles being inhaled over time
  • inhaling fine dust and fibers over time
  • living near an asbestos mine

Symptoms

  • shortness of breath
  • chest pain
  • weight loss
  • fluid in the lungs and coughing

What is asbestos?
Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral, it was used for decades in buildings as a fireproof material. The reason why it's so fireproof is due to the material naturally being fibrous which gives it a natural flame retardant property. It's also good at making buildings more sound proof and a great electrical insulator.

The problem with asbestos is when it becomes airborne, the tiny fibers at the microscopic level resemble tiny hooks. These fibers can get caught in the lunch when inhaled and can lead to respiratory conditions such as mesothelioma.

Types and Stages
Stage I - right or left pleura, lung, or diaphragm
Stage II - spread from pleura to nearby lymph nodes near the lungs
Stage III - in chest wall, esophagus, ribs and muscles
Stage IV - fully spread to lymph nodes in the chest

Treatment
Treatment involves everything from chemotherapy to radiation to surgery. The type and level of treatment is dependent on the severity and stage of cancer in one's body.

There are also a lot of legal issues that can arise from people who have mesothelioma, this is due to the fact that this form of cancer is mostly attributed to environmental issues. Such as a construction worker removing asbestos, or somebody living near a mine that puts pollutants in the air that can cause this cancer to appear in people living nearby.