In the United States, the incidence of malignant mesothelioma accounts for approximately 3% of all types of cancer diagnosed in a year.
This type of asbestos cancer is about four times more common in men than in women. The main reason for this is that usually men work in heavy environments where they are exposed to asbestos.
All forms of mesothelioma, except for benign mesothelioma which can sometimes be cured, are always fatal.
Life expectancy for patients with malignant mesothelioma is generally considered less than one year after diagnosis, but a patient’s prognosis is influenced by many factors, such as how early the cancer is diagnosed and how aggressively it is treated.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive asbestos cancer affecting the mesothelium membrane cells and makes the cancer cells to divide rapidly. This leads to thickening of the membrane, flow structure and the formation of tumors. This can cause difficulty breathing, nausea, fatigue and many other concerns.
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos. This occurs when fibers are inhaled or ingested causing at first inflammation. Asbestos dust deposits in the organism, mainly in the lungs, but also many different organs, including the throat, , stomach, testicles and heart.
Asbestos is a natural fibre often used in construction industry, but not only. Awareness need to be raised regarding the usage of this fibre, because as explained above, it is highly dangerous.
Medical literature emphasises four types of mesothelioma: four of them are malign, and one of them benign.
Pleural mesothelioma: This type of mesothelioma develops in the lungs, in an area known as the pleura. It is the most often encountered type of asbestos cancer, about two thirds of all cases of mesothelioma are pleural mesothelioma.
Peritoneal mesothelioma: responsible for almost one third of all cancers from asbestos, this form of mesothelioma develops in the abdomen, in an area known as the peritoneal membrane.
Pericardial mesothelioma: This form of mesothelioma develops in the the heart, in a zone known as the pericardium. Of all cases, pericardial mesothelioma represent only a small part.
Mesothelioma testis: Testicular mesothelioma develops in the tunica vaginalis; it is the rarest form of asbestos cancer.