Mesothelioma is cancer in the mesothelium or the thin layer of tissue that covers and protects your internal organs. Usually, cancer starts in the mesothelium of the lungs followed by the mesothelium in the abdomen. This type of cancer is uncommon and it is of progressive form.
Mesothelioma is divided by experts into 3 forms based on what organ cancer started.
– Pleural Mesothelioma
This is the most common type of mesothelioma. It is caused by asbestos fiber inhalation.
– Peritoneal Mesothelioma
It is caused by inhaled or swallowed asbestos fibers. It is trapped in the lining of the abdomen or peritoneum hence the name.
– Pericardial Mesothelioma
This form of mesothelioma is very rare. Asbestos can sometimes get trapped in the lining around the cavity of the heart.
Almost 80-90% of mesothelioma forms in the pleural cavity of the lungs.
The signs and symptoms of mesothelioma as any type of cancer often resemble the symptoms of other diseases. However, some of the following symptoms are seen in individuals with mesothelioma. It includes:
- Chest pain
- Difficulty of breathing
- Effusion or fluid buildup in the lungs
- Ascites or fluid buildup in the abdomen
- Loss of weight
Mesothelioma has a poor prognosis but treatment is still applied and sometimes individuals do get cured. Treatment for mesothelioma is the same as with any cancer.
– Surgery. This is applicable to individuals with early-stage mesothelioma. The tumor is surgically removed. Depending on the location of the tumor, removal of the mesothelial lining may be necessary, including one or more of the lymph nodes or part of an organ or all of it.
– Chemotherapy. This treatment will attack the cancer cells. Chemotherapy is often used in conjunction with the surgery. This will kill all remaining mesothelioma cells that the surgeon was unable to remove.
– Radiation Therapy. Radiation is often used before a surgery. This is used to shrink the growth or tumor for easy removal.
If you think you are suffering from Mesothelioma you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Mesothelioma as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).