Mesothelioma Commercial Meme Symptoms, Treatment Stages: Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelial cells. These cells line the body’s cavities and internal organs. When asbestos fibers are inhaled or ingested, the fibers can lodge in the pleura, a thin and delicate membrane that covers and encapsulates the lungs. They can also be lodged in the stomach and other organs. Asbestos fibers cause irritation and create changes in the cells of the pleura, which causes the development of tumors. This is known as pleural mesothelioma, the most common type of mesothelioma. Mesothelioma of the stomach lining is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. Cancer can also develop in other parts of the body. It can also attack the pleura tissue of the heart or the tissues surrounding the testicles. As the disease progresses, cancer cells can metastasize, or spread. As time passes, sleeping and eating becomes more difficult. Even normal activities of daily living can become a challenge.
Cancer can originate in any part of the body. Malignant mesothelioma is called cancer that begins in the lining of certain parts of the body. This cancer occurs more often in the lining of the chest or abdomen (belly). It originates when the cells in the lining grow uncontrollably and outnumber normal cells. This makes it difficult for the body to function the way it should. Cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body. Cancer cells in the lining can sometimes travel to nearby organs and tissues and grow there. When cancer cells spread, what is known as a metastasis occurs. For doctors, cancer cells in the new site are identical to those in the lining. Cancer always bears the name of the place where it originated. Therefore, when mesothelioma in the chest spreads to the spine (or anywhere else), it is still called mesothelioma. It can only be called bone cancer if it has originated from the cells in the bones of the spine.
TYPES OF MESOTHELIOMA
The type of mesothelioma developed by a person depends on the affected primary organ. There are four types of mesothelioma.
•Pleural Mesothelioma: This form of cancer caused by asbestos is found in the outer lining of the lungs, which is known as the mesothelium. This is the most common type of mesothelioma and has been studied much more than any other form of disease.
•Peritoneal mesothelioma: Peritoneal mesothelioma affects the lining of the abdomen. Less than 20 percent of the cases of mesothelioma diagnosed in the United States each year are peritoneal.
•Pericardial Mesothelioma: Pericardial mesothelioma attacks the pericardium or sac tissue that contains the heart and primary veins. Pericardial mesothelioma is equivalent to only one percent of mesothelioma cases.
•Mesothelioma of the vaginal tunic: This type of mesothelioma is found in the tissues surrounding the testicles. It is the rarest form of this disease, and affects less than one percent of all mesothelioma patients.
- Sarcomatoid or fibrous : Sarcomatoid or fibrous tumors are approximately 1 in 10 mesotheliomas.
- Mixed or biphasic : Mixed or biphasic tumors have parts that resemble the other two types. Approximately 3 or 4 out of 10 cases are of this type.
The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are similar to a number of other respiratory diseases. However, anyone with a history of asbestos exposure should be aware of the symptoms and seek medical attention immediately if any of the symptoms occur.
Symptoms commonly associated with pleural mesothelioma include:
• Shortness of breath
• Chest pain
• Pleural effusion
• Persistent cough
• Loss of appetite
Peritoneal mesothelioma patients frequently have the following symptoms:
• Ascites (abdominal fluid accumulation)
• Abdominal pain
• Night sweats
• Severe chest pain
• Strong heart palpitations
• Shortness of breath
• Constant and acute cough
With so few documented cases of this type of cancer, very little is known about the symptoms. However, medical articles detailing specific cases point to a testicular mass as the predominant symptom.
For the diagnosis of mesothelioma it is necessary to distinguish between benign and malignant mesothelial involvement, and between malignant mesothelioma and metastatic carcinoma. For this, immuno-histochemical techniques performed on large biopsies are necessary. Thoracoscopy is the technique of choice, although needle biopsy using real-time imaging techniques can be very useful if there is marked nodular thickening. Radical surgery (pleuropneumonectomy) is unlikely to be truly curative, so the reduction of tumor mass by pleurectomy / decortication, with the association of chemotherapy and radiotherapy to surgery (multimodal therapy), is gaining in favor. When resection is not feasible, chemotherapy is considered, with pleurodesis or placement of a tunneled pleural catheter if control of the pleural effusion is required and radiation therapy is reserved to treat the infiltration of the chest wall. A complete control of pain (which acquires particular prominence in this neoplasia) in specialized units is also essential.
Diagnosis of malignant pleural mesothelioma requires making the distinction between benign mesothelial hyperplasia and true mesothelioma, and between malignant mesothelioma and metastatic pleural adenocarcinoma. This involves immunohisto-chemical techniques applied on large biopsy specimens, and thoracoscopy is the best choice for obtaining them. Real-time image-guided needle biopsy can also be very helpful in presence of marked nodular pleural thickening. Radical surgery (ie, extrapleural pneumonectomy) is unlikely to cure completely the patient, and cyto-reduction surgery with preservation of the underlying lung (pleurectomy / decortication), with addition of chemo and radiation therapy (muiltimodal treatment) is gaining adepts in the last few years. When surgery is not ugly at all, early chemotherapy -with pleurodesis or placement of a indwelling pleural catheter (to control the effusion if necessary) – is advisable. Radiation therapy should be reserved to treat chest wall infiltration in those cases, and complete control of pain in specialized units is also essential in those patients.
The approach to mesothelioma, the most common malignant pleural tumor, is currently facing several difficulties. In addition to its low incidence, which restricts the therapeutic possibilities, its diagnosis is complex: it may seem like a primary tumor or metastasis.
The treatment of mesothelioma, the malignant pleural tumor par excellence, is not established or fully defined, since it is not a very frequent disease and, in addition, there is a useful chemotherapy, but that lacks total guarantees of cure, DM Victoria has indicated Villena, from the Pulmonology Service of the Hospital 12 de Octubre, who along with Yat-Wah Pun Tam, from the Thoracic Surgery Service of the La Princesa Hospital, both in Madrid, has directed the I International Symposium of Mesothelioma, held in Madrid.
The 12 de Octubre Hospital has extensive experience in addressing mesothelioma because it is a national reference center for this tumor. However, and despite the fact that epidemiological studies show an increase in incidence, the number of cases is still low. The latest data from a study conducted in Spain has estimated an incidence of 4 cases per one hundred thousand inhabitants, intermediate rate with respect to EU countries since countries such as France or Great Britain, for example, have a greater number of cases due to greater contact with asbestos, one of the minerals responsible for its appearance.
Prognosis and therapy
According to Villena, in addition to not having a specific treatment, the diagnosis of mesothelioma is not easy either. “Mesothelial cells are mottled in their morphology and the pathologist often has difficulty discerning whether it is a mesothelioma or metastasis that has been installed in the pleura. The problem is, therefore, to differentiate whether it is metastasis or tumor primary pleural The correct differentiation is therefore essential to establish the prognosis and treatment. There are cases of patients from whom anatomopathological samples are sent to establish a confirmation diagnosis. ” In Spain, the majority of patients affected by mesothelioma are elderly, given that the latency time of the disease is between 20-40 years. The therapeutic choice is complex because there are no randomized studies that show that there are better options than others given the low incidence of those affected. Precisely, for the control of cases, the Pleural Mesothelioma Study Group coordinated by Villena and Pun Tam created the National Mesothelioma Registry two years ago, with the participation of 52 Spanish hospitals. “When possible, triple therapy is recommended: surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy. In most cases, mesothelioma is not surgical because of the patient’s age or because the tumor is already too widespread, very frequent.” Chemotherapy with cisplatin plus pemetrexate scheme, therefore, is the standard treatment that has also been observed to slightly prolong survival.
“The data from an international multicenter study have shown that this scheme, a treatment that has been installed for about five years, is the one that prolongs survival by about three months, as well as decreasing tumor mass.” On future biological lines of research, Villena has explained that there are works with interferon gamma and TNF, as well as local gene therapy. With all it was possible to reduce the tumor mass, but not to increase survival, so its use has not been implemented in the clinic.
Long latency period
Although some others exist histologically in the pleural cavity, mesothelioma is the quintessential pleural tumor. It is malignant and rare, although its incidence is increasing in recent years in almost all countries, including Spain. Asbestos or asbestos is its main risk factor. However, it is not ruled out that there are other elements, such as radiotherapy, since contact or exposure to this substance has not been evident in some of the affected patients, Victoria Villena explained.
Currently, handling or contact with asbestos is prohibited by the EU. Thus, it is suggested that cases of mesothelioma are related to contact in previous years, taking into account that their latency or development time is very long: between 20 and 40 years after contact with asbestos. On other occasions, and according to professionals, the risk does not come from the workplace but the material is in certain places or buildings, which can also facilitate the exposure and development of the disease.
Causes of Mesothelioma
- Researchers have found several factors that increase a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma, but it is still unclear how these factors can cause this cancer.
- Cancer including mesotheliomas occurs when body cells suffer DNA damage. DNA makes up our genes in each of our cells and contains instructions on how cells should function. Some genes have instructions for controlling when the body’s cells will grow and divide into new cells. Changes in these genes can cause cells to grow out of control, which can lead to cancer.
- Asbestos exposure is the main cause of mesothelioma. After their fibers are inhaled, they reach the pleura where they can damage the mesothelial cells. This leads to inflammation and scarring which can alter cells and their DNA resulting in uncontrolled and uncontrolled cell growth. If ingested, these fibers can reach the abdominal cavity, where they play an important role in the etiology of peritoneal mesothelioma. But most people exposed to asbestos do not develop mesothelioma.
- Radiotherapy treatments for other cancers have been related to mesothelioma in some studies. Radiation can damage cell DNA, leading to uncontrolled cell growth.
Prolonged exposure to asbestos is the biggest risk factor. Asbestos is a fire resistant material. This used to be commonly found in vinyl for roofs, ceilings and insulation, cement and car brakes. Although many asbestos workers smoked, experts do not believe that smoking itself is a cause of this condition. This affects men more often than women. The average age of diagnosis is 60 years. Most people seem to develop the condition approximately 30 years after being in contact with asbestos.
In general, cancer begins when a series of changes (mutations) occur in the DNA of a cell. The DNA contains instructions that tell the cell what functions it should perform. Mutations tell the cell to grow and multiply out of control. Abnormal cells accumulate and form a tumor. It is not clear what causes the initial genetic mutations that produce mesothelioma, although researchers have identified factors that may increase the risk. Cancer cases are likely to form due to an interaction between many factors, such as inherited disorders, the environment, health status and lifestyle choices.
Risk Factors for Mesothelioma
A risk factor is something that affects your chance of getting a disease like cancer. Different types of cancer have different risk factors. Some like smoking, for example, can be controlled; however others not, for example age and family history. Although risk factors may influence cancer development, most do not directly cause cancer. Some people with various risk factors will never develop cancer, while others without known risk factors may do so.
Having a risk factor or even several does not mean that you will have the disease. Many people who get the disease may not be subject to any known risk factors. If a person with mesothelioma is at risk, it is often very difficult to know how much this factor may have contributed to the development of the disease.
Factors that may increase a person’s risk of developing mesothelioma:
• Asbestos. The main risk factor for mesothelioma is asbestos exposure. In fact, most cases of mesothelioma are linked to occupational exposure to asbestos. The risk of developing mesothelioma is related to the amount of asbestos to which a person has been exposed and the length of exposure. People exposed when young, over a longer period of time, and at higher levels are more likely to get this cancer. Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop, the time between the first exposure to asbestos and the diagnosis of mesothelioma can be between 20 and 50 years. Unfortunately, the risk of mesothelioma does not decrease over time after asbestos exposure ceases.
• Zeolites. Zeolites are minerals chemically related to asbestos, one example is erionite, which is common in soil.
• Exposure to ionizing radiation. Although the risk of developing mesothelioma is higher in patients treated with radiotherapy, this cancer rarely occurs rarely in these patients.
• SV40 virus. Some studies suggest the possibility that SV40 virus infection may increase the risk of developing mesothelioma. However, as yet, it is not known whether SV40 is responsible for some mesotheliomas. This subject is still under study.
• Age. The risk of mesothelioma increases with age, it is rare in people under 45 years. About 75% of people with mesothelioma are over 65 years old.
• Genre. This disease is more common in men than women, probably due to occupational exposure to asbestos.
• Genetic alterations. A mutation or alteration in the BAP1 gene may be hereditary and has been associated with mesothelioma. However, mutations in this gene are rare.
Most people who have been exposed to asbestos never suffer from mesothelioma. This indicates that there may be other factors involved in determining if someone gets mesothelioma. For example, you could inherit a predisposition to cancer or some other disease could increase the risk.
The factors that can increase the risk of mesothelioma are the following:
- Personal history of asbestos exposure. If you were directly exposed to asbestos fibers at work or at home, the risk of having mesothelioma is quite high.
- Live with a person who works with asbestos. People who are exposed to asbestos can take the fibers in their skin and clothing to their home. Exposure to these lost fibers for many years can put other people in the home at risk of mesothelioma. People who work with high levels of asbestos can reduce the risk of bringing asbestos fibers to the home if they shower and if they change their clothes before leaving work.
- Family history of mesothelioma. If your father, brother or son has mesothelioma, you may have a higher risk of suffering from this disease.
- Chest radiotherapy. If you have received radiation therapy for cancer in the chest, you may have an increased risk of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Frequently Asked Questions
How is Mesothelioma Diagnosed:
When mesothelioma is detected early, there are more treatment options, which allows for a better quality of life. However, diagnosing mesothelioma is difficult, especially if your family doctor or pulmonary specialist is not familiar with asbestos-related diseases. Many patients have symptoms of weakening for months before they are adequately diagnosed and treatment begins.
When you visit the doctor because you have symptoms, your medical team will use various tests and procedures to determine the cause of your discomfort. The doctor will start asking you about your symptoms and when you started presenting them. It is important that you tell your doctor that you were exposed to asbestos if you suspect you have mesothelioma. Your doctor should have a broad understanding of your history to help you ensure an appropriate diagnosis.
DIAGNOSTIC IMAGING TECHNOLOGIES
Many technologies are available to allow doctors to visualize organs and tissues, in addition to detecting the presence of fluids or tumors. Imaging technologies help your doctor not only to diagnose a mesothelioma, but also to determine a treatment plan and monitor your response to treatments.
X-ray images – Due to the prevalence of the machines and their relatively low cost, X-rays are usually the first test performed on many patients. X-rays do not have sufficient resolution to identify the cancer, but they can indicate the presence of a pleural effusion or indicate the existence of a malignant tumor in the lungs or in the pleura.
Computed tomography (CT) – A CT scan uses X-rays and computers to produce more sophisticated and detailed images of the inside of the body than conventional X-rays. CT is considered the best standard of imaging tests for a diagnosis.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – Magnetic resonance imaging uses a strong magnetic field and radio waves to scan the body. MRI provides contrast images of soft tissues much better than CT and is often used for planning the stages of treatment and surgery.
Positron emission tomography (PET) – Positron emission tomography measures functional and metabolic activity in the body. PET scans are most commonly used to identify the presence of distant metastases.
PET-CT (Positron Emission Tomography, Integrated CT) – TED-CT is a state-of-the-art imaging technique that combines PET and CT scans in a single machine. This allows doctors to accurately record the functional images of the PET with the anatomical images of the CT to provide a more complete understanding of the individual disease status of the patient.
Thoracentesis – Fluid is drained from the pleural area and lungs and tested for the presence of cancer cells. This procedure is performed when a patient has a pleural effusion, or fluid in the lungs.
Torascopy – A tissue sample from a pleural or pericardial tumor can be obtained during a thoracoscopy. A thoracoscope is an instrument similar to a telescope that connects to a video camera. It is inserted through a small incision in the chest, along with small surgical tools. The doctor can observe the tumor through a thoracoscope and can use special tools to take a tissue biopsy.
Laparoscopy – A laparoscopy allows the doctor to observe and obtain a biopsy of a peritoneal tumor. In this procedure, a flexible tube is attached to a video camera that is inserted into the abdominal cavity through small incisions.
Bronchoscopy – In a bronchoscopy, the doctor inserts a flexible and illuminated tube through the trachea into the bronchi to verify the presence of masses in the airways. At the same time, the doctor can remove small samples of abnormal tissue for later tests.
Mediastinoscopy – During a mediastinoscopy, the doctor inserts a lighted tube below the patient’s sternum, at the level of the neck and moves it down into the chest. The doctor can look at the lymph nodes and take tissue samples to check for cancer.
Stages of Mesothelioma:
Staging is a method to assess the progress of cancer in a patient. Mesothelioma and the extent to which it has developed are observed, in addition to whether it is possible to spread to other parts of the body. Since pleural mesothelioma occurs most frequently and is the most studied, it is the only mesothelioma for which there is a staging classification. Several medical approaches are used to determine the staging of mesothelioma, including X-rays, CT and MRI scans. The progression, spread and spread of cancer during the mesothelioma stage, and also determines the treatment and approach that should be given to the patient.
There are three recognized clinical staging systems to assess the extent and extent of pleural mesothelioma: The Butchart System, the TNM staging, and the Brigham System. The Butchart System has been the standard staging method for most types of cancer, including mesothelioma. The TNM staging system is beginning to be used by major cancer centers as a more accurate method to specifically evaluate mesothelioma. The Brigham System is one of the most modern methods for staging mesothelioma. The system used in the past for the staging of mesothelioma is the Butchart System. This system is mainly based on the extension of the primary tumor mass, and divides mesotheliomas into stages I to IV. Many doctors still use this system.
Stage I: Mesothelioma is present within the right pleura or the left pleura, and may also involve the lung, pericardium, or diaphragm (the muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen) on the same side.
Stage II: Mesothelioma invades the chest wall or involves the esophagus (passage of food that connects the throat to the stomach), the heart, or the pleura on both sides. Lymph nodes in the chest may also be involved.
Stage III: Mesothelioma has penetrated through the diaphragm into the peritoneum (lining of the abdominal cavity). Lymph nodes beyond those found in the chest may also be involved.
Stage IV: There is evidence of distant metastases (they spread through the bloodstream to other organs).
TNM STAGING SYSTEM
Another staging system has recently been developed by the International Group of Interest in Mesothelioma and has been approved by the Joint American Committee on Cancer (AJCC). This is a TNM system, similar to the staging systems used for most other types of cancer. T means tumor (its size and how much it has spread to nearby organs), N means spread to lymph nodes and M It means metastasis (spread to distant organs). In TNM staging, information about the tumor, lymph nodes and metastasis is combined in a process called stage grouping to assign a stage described by Roman numerals I through IV. The main centers for the treatment of cancer are beginning to use this system instead of the Butchart staging, since it more accurately represents the extent of the tumor.
Stage I: Mesothelioma involves the right or left pleura that lines the chest. It has only spread to the outer lining of the lung in, at most, a couple of small spots. It has not yet spread to the lymph nodes.
Stage II: Mesothelioma involves the right pleura or the left pleura that lines the chest and has spread from the lining of the chest to 1) the outer lining of the lungs, 2) to the diaphragm or 3) to the lung itself.
Stage III: Mesothelioma involves right or left pleura that lines the chest and has extended to 1) the first layer of the chest wall, 2) the fatty part of the mediastinum, 3) to a single place in the chest wall, 4) to the outer layer that covers the heart or 5) to the lymph nodes anywhere on the same side of the chest.
Stage IV: Mesothelioma involves right or left pleura that lines the chest and has spread 1) to the chest wall, either to the muscle or ribs, 2) through the diaphragm, 3) to any organ contained in the mediastinum (esophagus, trachea, thymus, blood vessels), 4) in the spine, 5) through the pleura on the other side of the chest, 6) through the lining of the heart or in the heart itself , 7) in the brachial plexus (nerves leading to the arm), 8) in the lymph nodes outside that side of the chest, or 9) it has spread to other organs through the bloodstream.
THE BRIGHAM SYSTEM
The Brigham System is the last system and determines the stages of mesothelioma according to resectability (the ability to remove it surgically) and lymph node involvement.
Stage I: Surgically removable tumor without lymph node spread
Stage II: Surgically removable tumor with lymph node involvement
Stage III: tumor not surgically removable because it extends into the chest wall, to the heart, through the diaphragm or in the peritoneum (the abdominal lining). Lymph nodes outside the chest may or may not have the disease in them.
Stage IV: The disease has spread to other parts of the body
Your doctors may use one or more of the above classification systems to assess the extent of mesothelioma and identify appropriate treatment options.
Mesothelioma is an aggressive disease that often requires an equally aggressive treatment strategy. However, mesothelioma is resistant to many standard cancer treatments, which makes it a difficult disease to manage. Very often the treatment plan consists of chemotherapy. For patients who are candidates, surgery and radiation are also used in a multimodal approach. Patients should work closely with their medical team to develop a treatment plan that fits their needs and treatment goals.
Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, treatment strategies are referred to as curative or palliative in their intention. Curative treatments try to cure or control the disease, while palliative care is geared towards relieving symptoms and keeping the patient comfortable and surrounded by loved ones without treating the cancer itself.
MESOTHELIOMA TREATMENT OPTIONS INCLUDE:
Surgery. Not all patients are good candidates for surgery. In addition to the general health of the patient, the stage and type of disease help determine the decision of the oncologist to operate. The two main curative surgeries for patients with mesothelioma are pleurectomy or decortication and extrapleural pneumonectomy (PPE).
Pleurectomy or decortication (P / D). This surgery is sometimes referred to as “lung salvage” surgery. The surgery involves removing the diseased membrane that lines the lungs and visible mesothelioma tumors to save the lung.
Extrapleural pneumonectomy (PPE). PPE is the alternative to P / D for patients with pleural mesothelioma. This surgery is considered a more radical procedure that involves the removal of a lung, the diseased lining of the thoracic cavity and the heart, and a portion of the diaphragm.
Palliative surgical procedures focus on relieving symptoms that are affecting the patient’s quality of life, but they do not focus on curing cancer. Cytoreduction pleurectomy and pleurodesis are two procedures that are often used in combination to improve a patient’s breathing. Pleurectomy relieves pressure on the lungs by extracting cancer cells from the pleura. Next, a pleurodesis is performed to fuse the pleura and limit the accumulation of fluid.
Chemotherapy. Chemotherapy is one of the primary treatment modalities for mesothelioma. In chemotherapy, it consists of a strong medicine used to kill cancer cells, it is administered through an infusion in cycles over a period of several months. Unfortunately, chemotherapy drugs do not distinguish between normal and cancer cells, and they also kill healthy cells. As a result, patients who undergo chemotherapy commonly experience side effects, including anemia, nausea or any other digestive disturbance, and hair loss. The most common chemotherapy treatment for mesothelioma is the combination of Alimta (pemetrexed), which was approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. in 2004, and cisplatin,
Radiation. Radiation therapy uses high-energy ionizing radiation to kill cancer cells. Ionizing radiation changes the structure of DNA in cells, thus inhibiting growth and division. Radiation is used in most cases of mesothelioma. However, the location of malignant cells is difficult, resulting in damage to healthy cells. The side effects of radiation are similar to those of chemotherapy and include hair loss, digestive problems, and anemia. Recent advances in the use of proton therapy, which uses a beam of protons to radiate tumors, instead of X-ray beams used in conventional radiation therapy, allow doctors to target tumors more accurately deeply seated,
Clinical trials. According to the National Institute of Health, clinical trials are the fundamental part of all medical advances. Clinical trials serve to discover better ways to treat, prevent, diagnose and understand human diseases. They provide mesothelioma researchers with critical information necessary to allow patients to transfer their results from the laboratory. For some patients with mesothelioma, clinical trials offer the opportunity to try a treatment that would not otherwise be available. There are benefits and risks of participating in clinical trials. In the US, clinical trials are closely monitored and executed according to strict guidelines. The National Institute of Health explains that clinical research funded by the federal government has safety measures to protect participants. The decision to participate in a clinical trial is the patient’s personal choice, and the benefits and risks should be carefully considered. Patients with mesothelioma are encouraged to work closely with their doctors to determine the best treatment plan for their needs. The treatment plan that you and your doctor develop will depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the disease, and your overall health. Patients with mesothelioma are encouraged to work closely with their doctors to determine the best treatment plan for their needs. The treatment plan that you and your doctor develop will depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the disease, and your overall health. Patients with mesothelioma are encouraged to work closely with their doctors to determine the best treatment plan for their needs. The treatment plan that you and your doctor develop will depend on several factors, including the type and stage of the disease, and your overall health. Novel Therapies New therapies, such as gene therapy, photodynamic therapy, and vaccines are showing certain promises in the treatment of mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma Other Treatment Options:
While there is currently no known cure for malignant mesothelioma, treatments such as surgery, chemotherapy and radiation are the most common. Your doctor will recommend a treatment or combination of therapies that are best for your situation. The course of treatment will depend on a number of factors, including the location of the disease, the stage of the disease, its age, its general state of health and its preferences. The information provided through this website is for your information only, and should not replace a complete medical diagnosis.
TRADITIONAL TREATMENT OPTIONS
There are three traditional types of treatment for patients with malignant mesothelioma:
Surgery (physical removal of cancer)
Chemotherapy (use of drugs to fight cancer)
Radiation therapy (use of high-dose x-rays to kill cancer cells)
Doctors usually use two or more of these treatment courses together to provide the maximum chance of success. This “multimodal” approach presents the greatest promise for the survival of patients with malignant mesothelioma. Trimodal therapy, in which all three modalities are used, is considered the most effective and aggressive approach.
There are several types of surgeries used to treat mesothelioma and the type and stage of the disease will determine the type of surgery. Mesothelioma tumors are generally large and difficult to eliminate completely, so surgery is usually combined with other cancer treatments to ensure the best results in tumor destruction.
In general, there are two types of surgical methods for the treatment of mesothelioma:
Palliative procedures: are those that treat the symptoms of mesothelioma, providing relief for the patient, without aggressively treating the disease itself.
Chest Drainage Tube and Pleurodesis
The goal of chemical pleurodesis is to cause irritation between the two layers that cover the lung. This irritation causes an obliteration of the space between the layers where the fluid accumulates, and also prevents the fluid from being able to accumulate there. There are a variety of agents that can be used including talc and bleomycin. Since the pleural space is closed, fluids are drained out of the chest cavity by using a chest tube.
shunt Pleuroperitoneal shunt has been used in patients in whom chemical pleurodesis, chemotherapy or radiotherapy has failed. Pleuroperitoneal shunt may provide effective palliative treatment in patients with a trapped lung or in whom the treatment has failed. Potentially curative options: these are medical procedures that attempt to eliminate all macroscopic disease with “curative intent”. The residual microscopic disease cells are then removed through adjuvant therapy.
Pleurectomy or decortication
A Pleurectomy or decortication is a surgical procedure where the pleura, the membrane that lines the lungs and the thoracic cavity, is removed, without removing the entire lung. This treatment option is usually performed in patients with early stages of mesothelioma.
Extra-pleural pneumonectomy (PPE)
PPE is the removal of the pleura, diaphragm, pericardium, and the entire lung that are affected by the tumor. PPE is considered a radical therapy and most surgeons do not perform it frequently, patients are referred to centers specialized in these treatments. Both previous “potentially curative” procedures are normally used in combination with other treatment options (multimodal therapy).
Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells and can be used as a primary treatment for mesothelioma, or it can be used as part of a multi-modal approach. Chemotherapy is known as a systemic treatment because the medication is introduced into the patient’s bloodstream and travels through the body killing cancer cells. Medications can be given as pills, or injected into the body through a needle.
In addition to killing cancer cells, chemotherapy drugs work to restrict uncontrolled proliferation of abnormal cancer cells, preventing them from dividing and multiplying. Chemotherapy is not considered a “curative” approach to the treatment of mesothelioma and instead focuses on reducing existing tumors (usually before surgery, neoadjuvant therapy), controlling the spread of cancer cells, and the removal of residual cancer cells after surgery (adjuvant therapy). To effectively treat mesothelioma, More than one drug can be used in chemotherapy. Depending on the medications, the amount taken and the period of treatment, there may be side effects. Historically, doxorubicin has been the most widely used single-drug chemotherapy drug. Other newer drugs, including gemcitabine, cisplatin, carboplatin, epirubicin, cyclophosphamide, ifosfamide, vinorelbine, paclitaxel, and methotrexate, are now often preferred and usually given in different combinations.
Radiation therapy uses high-energy x-rays to help destroy cancer cells and reduce tumors. The radiation can come from outside the body from a machine (external radiation) or from radioactive materials placed directly in or around the cancer cells through thin plastic tubes (internal or implant radiation).
In pleural mesothelioma, it is difficult to radiate tumor tissue successfully without damaging nearby organs, such as the lungs, heart and liver. However, radiation therapy can be very effective in relieving pain in certain situations. Factors that can affect the use of radiation therapy include the volume of the tumor and how close it is to the vital organs.
Mesothelioma NONTRADITIONAL TREATMENTS
Photodynamic therapy destroys cancer cells through the use of light energy and can also be effective when combined with surgery. Although this treatment is in the experimental stage for mesothelioma, it has shown promising results in the treatment of other types of cancer. In the procedure, the patient receives a photosensitizer (a drug that makes cells sensitive to specific wavelengths of light), which accumulates in cancer cells but not in healthy cells. Once the cells have been sensitized, fiber optic cables are placed in the body (usually through open chest surgery) so that the correct frequency of light can be focused on the tumor.
It is a new treatment, currently in clinical trials. This approach allows treatment to be directed towards tumors, instead of destroying healthy cells, which is the negative aspect of traditional chemotherapy. In gene therapy, cancer is treated by altering genetic defects that allow a tumor to develop. A “suicide gene” is inserted directly into the tumor, which makes the cells sensitive to a normally ineffective drug. The drug is then administered to newly sensitized cancer cells and destroys the cells while leaving healthy cells unharmed.
Immunotherapy (or biological therapy) treats cancer by using the immune system itself to fight cancer cells. Another name that is often applied to this therapy is biological response modifiers (MRB). Although not yet available, promising clinical studies for immunotherapy are underway.
Type of injuries can be asbestos cause:
When a person breathes asbestos, the fibers can lodge in the lungs. Once there, they can cause scars. Asbestos fibers can also cause mesothelioma and lung cancer.
Specific types of diseases associated with asbestos exposure include:
The asbestos can cause scarring of the lungs and the lining of the lungs . These scars are known as asbestosis or interstitial fibrosis. If sufficient scarring occurs, it can affect the elasticity of the lungs and hinder their ability to exchange gases. As a result, an inadequate intake of oxygen in the blood occurs. This deficiency leads to lack of air. Over time, respiratory capacity decreases and in some cases it becomes fatal . Asbestosis, like other diseases caused by asbestos, is a latent disease, it takes 10 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos for a person to get sick.
There is no known cure for asbestosis .
Asbestos can also be lodged in the lining of the lungs, it is commonly known as the pleura and in the abdomen it is known as peritoneum. These fibers can cause a type of cancer known as mesothelioma. The only known cause of mesothelioma is asbestos.The mesothelioma appears at the least 10 years after exposure to asbestos . In some cases, a person exposed to asbestos 60 years ago can be diagnosed with mesothelioma.
Asbestos can also cause lung cancer. A non-smoking person may develop cancer due to asbestos exposure. If you smoked in the past or smoke today, and have been diagnosed with lung cancer, asbestos may be a cause of your cancer. For smokers, asbestos and tobacco act together, which greatly increases the risk of lung cancer. The combination of being a smoker and asbestos can increase the risk of developing lung cancer. Lung cancer can be treated, depending on its severity and the individual’s medical history.
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Other types of cancer
Asbestos has also been associated with many other types of cancer, including throat cancer and cancer in the stomach area.
Asbestos can cause plaques and calcification that form on the outside of the pleura of the lungs.
What professions and occupations are in contact with asbestos?
There is a wide variety of professions and jobs that were exposed to asbestos dust. It is not only the workers who worked directly with asbestos and asbestos products who are suffering from asbestos diseases such as asbestosis, lung cancer and mesothelioma. The victims include workers who worked nearby or lived with people who were exposed to asbestos. Since asbestos dust is suspended in the air and may be invisible, the fibers travel along the workplace and expose all workers at the location. In a single sweep, millions and millions of asbestos fibers can be released to anyone’s breathing zone nearby. During the course of his career, a worker can breathe several million fibers, some of which can lodge in the lungs and cause injuries.
Some of the occupations that are typically associated with the onset of mesothelioma and other diseases caused by asbestos include:
- Pipe coater
- Brake mechanics
- Car mechanics
- Mill builders
- Merchant Marine Sailors
- Cement finishers
- Foundry workers
- Roof Fitters
- Marine Yard Workers
- Paper industry workers
- Automotive mechanics
- Lattice way planner
- Sheet metal workers
- Crane operators
- Aircraft mechanics
- Steam Pipe Couplers
- Masonry workers
- Plant workers
- Power Plant Workers
- Railway workers
- Maintenance workers
- Paper mill workers
These are just some of the occupations involved. If you have been diagnosed with a disease caused by asbestos (lung cancer, mesothelioma or asbestosis), contact Belluck & Fox, LLP to assess your demand.
What is asbestos:
The asbestos is a mineral used in some building materials and insulation . Asbestos mines worldwide, many of them in Canada, produced more than 250 million tons of asbestos for use in the United States between 1890 and 1970. Asbestos was added to a variety of products, including insulation products , car brakes, fireproof products, pipe lining, cements, refractory materials, joints, tiles and joint compounds.
Since 1920 the companies that manufactured these products knew the dangers of asbestos. However, asbestos was sold and used widely without warnings until the 1980s. Asbestos products are not yet banned in the United States and other countries, but they are no longer widely used. There were alternative materials that could have been used instead of asbestos.
During the installation, repair, maintenance, renovation and removal of asbestos materials, the products were cut, scraped, sanded and otherwise altered. Some materials, such as cements, were mixed at work sites using raw asbestos fibers. These processes produced dust, which was inhaled by the workers who worked with and around this material. Dust from these products also traveled through buildings, factories and ships, and remained suspended in the air for weeks. When they were swept, these materials were suspended again in the air, where they were breathed again by workers nearby.
A large number of workers were exposed to asbestos , including shipyard workers, factory workers, plumbers, chapters, plumbers, workers, machinists, mechanics, power plant workers, and electricians. A cloud of dust generated from asbestos products can contain millions or billions of fibers, and even a small amount of asbestos can cause lung damage. Injuries can also be caused to people who wash their family members’ clothes after returning home from work and to people who use asbestos products in their homes, such as tiles.
Often, people do not immediately remember how they were exposed to asbestos, and they may believe they never had exposure to asbestos. Frequently, a careful review of a person’s life history and work history reveals exposures to asbestos products that were not previously apparent.
What will happen after treatment?
You will feel satisfaction when completing the treatment. However, it is difficult not to worry about the return of cancer. Even when cancer never comes back, people worry about it. After treatment, you will need to see your doctor for several years. Be sure to go to all these follow-up visits for tests, blood tests and perhaps other tests that may indicate if the mesothelioma has returned.
Coping with cancer and dealing with treatment can be difficult, but it may also be time for new changes in your life. You probably want to know how you can contribute to improving your health. Call us or talk to your cancer care team to find out what you can do to feel better.
You cannot change the fact of having cancer. What can change is the way you will live the rest of your life by making healthy decisions and feeling as good as possible.