Mesothelioma FactsMesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in the mesothelium. The mesothelium is composed of visceral and parietal membranes that surround organs and body cavities, such as the lungs or abdomen. Visceral membrane immediately surrounds the organ, and the parietal membrane is a bag covering the visceral membrane. There is a lubricating fluid between the membranes that make up the mesothelium. This fluid helps organs move easily between the surrounding structures. In the case of the lung, it helps to reduce friction between the wall of the lung and chest during normal breathing lung develops.
Here are more facts about mesothelioma:
There are various types of mesothelioma
In the abdomen it is called peritoneal mesothelioma; on the lungs, it is called pleural mesothelioma; and if it develops on the heart, pericardial mesothelioma.
It grows mainly on the lungs:
The most common place for mesothelioma is to develop on the lungs. About two-thirds of all cases of mesothelioma develop in the pleural mesothelium. This mesothelioma on the lungs is called malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM). Other cases develop in the peritoneal mesothelium in the abdomen. A tumor in the abdominal mesothelium is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Rarely, mesothelioma occurs in other mesothelial tissues such as the heart or reproductive organs.
There may be other causes:
Although asbestos is the main cause of mesothelioma, up to 30-50% of all cases are not linked clearly to previous exposure to asbestos. Other possible reasons include prior exposure to radiation or certain closely related to asbestos minerals found in the soil. Smoking has not been shown to be a cause of mesothelioma. However, if a smoker was also exposed to asbestos, greatly increases her risk of developing other types of lung cancer.
It has a long development time:
It has a long latency period, meaning that the symptoms do not develop 20-50 years after environmental exposure. The average age at which symptoms usually begin to appear is aged about 60 years.
It occurs more in men than in women:
Mesothelioma affects men three times more often than women in the United States. Presence gradually increases with age. In other parts of the world where exposure is primarily from other environmental sources, such as Turkey, mesothelioma occurs about equally in men and women.
It is a rare disease:
An estimated 3 000 to 4 000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed each year in the United States. In other countries, the number of cases varies. Overall, the number of cases reported each year seems to increase.
Doctors and researchers are seeking and working hard to find solutions for a cure for mesothelioma, but has not yet found any.