Mesothelioma is another type of cancer that is said to develop from a layer of tissue that envelops the internal organs. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the lining of the lungs together with the chest walls. This type of cancer commonly affects the lining of the abdomen and on rare occasions, affects also the sac surrounding the heart or the sac surrounding the testis may be affected.

Symptoms of Mesothelioma

Common symptoms of mesothelioma that affects the membranes lining the thorax and enveloping the lungs are:

  • Difficulties in breathing due to fluid around the lung,
  • Chest wall pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Increased cough
  • Feeling dizzy at all times
  • Loss of weight.

Research shows 80% of mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. This infectious disease occurs among people who work in asbestos mines, hence, in 2013, approximately 125 million people across the globe were exposed to asbestos in their various places of work.

Research also shows that washing the clothes of someone who works in asbestos mines also increases the risk of being infected. Other factors include genetics and infection with the simian virus 40. The diagnosis may be suspected based on chest X-ray and CT scan findings and is confirmed by either examining fluid produced by cancer or by a tissue biopsy.

Prevention/Treatment of Mesothelioma

Prevention of mesothelioma spins around in-exposure to asbestos.

Treatment of this type of cancer includes

  • Surgery
  • Radiation therapy
  • Chemotherapy.

A procedure known as pleurodesis, which involves using substances such as talc to scar together the membranes lining the thorax and enveloping the lungs (pleura), may be used to prevent more fluid from building up around the lungs.

In 2015, the ratio of people who lived with this type of cancer and people who died with this cancer was about 60,800:32,000. Rates of mesothelioma vary in different areas of the world. Rates are higher in Australia, the United Kingdom, and lower in Japan. It occurs in about 3,000 people per year in the United States. It occurs more often in males than in females. Rates of disease have increased since the 1950s. Diagnosis typically occurs after the age of 65 and most deaths occur around 70 years old. The disease was rare before the commercial use of asbestos.