Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the thin tissue that lines many of the internal organs. It is usually related to exposure to asbestos, and most commonly affects the tissue surrounding the lungs (pleura). Other, more rare types of mesothelioma can affect tissue in the abdomen (peritoneal mesothelioma), around the heart, and around the testicles. Cancer is a disease in which cells in the body grow out of control.
Mesothelioma is a cancer that forms in the thin tissue that lines many of the internal organs, known as mesothelium. Three out of four cases of mesothelioma begin in the chest cavity, but it can also start in the abdominal cavity and around the heart. Signs and symptoms of mesothelioma may include difficulty breathing due to fluid surrounding the lung, swelling of the abdomen, pain in the chest wall, coughing, tiredness, and weight loss. These symptoms usually appear slowly.
Inheritance of a mutant copy of the BAP1 gene has been linked to a higher risk of developing mesothelioma, as well as ocular (uveal) and skin melanomas, carcinomas of the kidney, skin (basal cell) and other organs, and benign melanocytic skin tumors. When talking about a patient's prognosis, mesothelioma doctors may also mention life expectancy and survival rates as related terms. Therapeutic management of people with mesothelioma may require the coordinated efforts of a team of medical professionals, such as medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons, and other specialists (depending on the site of the primary tumor). Crocidolite fibers are most commonly associated with mesothelioma in humans.
There are numerous tests and panels available to diagnose mesothelioma, but no single test is perfect for distinguishing it from carcinoma or even benign from malignant. The exact incidence or prevalence of mesothelioma is unknown, but it certainly accounts for less than 1% of all forms of cancer. Although mesothelioma is generally resistant to curative treatment with radiation therapy alone, palliative treatment regimens are sometimes used to relieve symptoms resulting from tumor growth, such as blockage of a major blood vessel. The standard first-line chemotherapy treatment for patients with mesothelioma is cisplatin or carboplatin with pemetrexed.
If you are looking for support for mesothelioma, contact our patient advocates at (85) 404-4592.Calling this number connects you to a patient advocate at The Mesothelioma Center, the nation's most trusted mesothelioma resource.