The main cause that determines the development of mesothelioma is working in areas that involve processing of asbestos direct exposure to asbestos and asbestos dust.
Mesothelioma symptoms include difficulty in breathing due to pleurisy, a sharp pain in the chest, achexia, increased abdominal girth and pain due to ascites and weight loss. Symptoms or signs may not be evident until 20-50 years after asbestos exposure.
Screening can diagnose mesothelioma faster than conventional methods for improving thus the survival rate of patients. Osteopotina serum may be useful in screening patients exposed to asbestos.
The diagnose can can be made based on X-rays and CT scan and confirmed by microscopic tests and biospy. All these methods are very accurate. Thoracoscopy may be used to get samples of the tissue. It consists of the introduction of special substances to annihilate the pleural space, avoiding the concentration of fluid and pressure on the lung.
Prognosis in case of this deasease is not al all encouraging, even though little hope was brought about by chemotherapy and multimodal therapy. Early treatment for malignant mesothelioma gives the patient the chance to prolong life, but the cure is very rare. Malignant mesothelioma can often cause methastases in different parts of the body. Histological subtype and patient’s age, also general health help to improve prognosis.
Causes and risk factors
The main risk factor for the occurrence of malignant mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos, which may be due to work place, and may vary as duration and intensity of exposure. However, many cases occur among individuals with occupational exposure and very little due to domestic exposure.
Prolonged and intense exposure to asbestos occurs to miners, workers in the building materials industry, textile industry, automobile industry, rafunery workers and others. Permissible limit is 0. 1 fibre/cc/8 hours.
Another form of exposure is inhalation of asbestos in the environment, especially in geological structures in some areas of Anatolia, Corsica, Cyprus, Greece or Africa. Malignant mesothelioma incidence is higher in those with continuous exposure than those with occasional exposure. The mechanism by which asbestos fibers cause diffuse malignant mesothelioma is not yet known. Exposure to asbestos can also cause asbestosis and pneumoconiosis, diseases which have no cure and significantly influence on life expectancy. However, cancer from asbestos is the most serious disorder, with the most rapid development and fewer chances to live a normal life after diagnosis.
Persons who were diagnosed with malignant mesothelioma should be informed that they can address to mesothelioma lawyers in case the disease was caused by work conditions.