Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is usually caused by the extensive or prolonged exposure to asbestos. The cancer itself attacks the lining of the human body’s internal organs, known as the mesothelium.
However, mesothelioma will usually be concentrated on the lungs or the heart. Mesothelioma is often times found in the pleura, or the outer lining of the lungs.
On the other hand, it is not uncommon for the disease to also be located around the pericardium, which is the protective sac that lines the heart.
1. Mesothelioma will usually develop in people that have been involved in work or labor that has an environment where asbestos is present. The asbestos particles will be inhaled into the lungs, which over time can cause lung related complications and possibly mesothelioma.
2. The one aspect about mesothelioma is that it is a type of lung cancer which is not associated with the smoking of tobacco products. However, smoking can certainly increase the chances of other types of complications and cancers to develop over time.
3. Mesothelioma has the unfortunate circumstance of often times not being detected until several decades after the initial exposure to asbestos. In many cases, symptoms do not appear or become prominent well after twenty years in many cases.
4. Furthermore, the symptoms associated with mesothelioma may often times be mistaken for other issues, particularly infections of the lungs. Peritoneal mesothelioma, along with the associated lung incapacitations, will often times be accompanied with weight loss and abdominal swelling. The latter will occur due to fluid building up in the abdominal cavity.
5. In the case that mesothelioma has spread to other parts of the body, an overall pain, fatigue, and swelling may occur. In severe cases, mesothelioma can lead to tumors forming, and thus, metastasizing to other parts of the body.
6. However, these types of tumors will also not cause symptoms until the later stages. Along with abdominal pain and irregular bowel function, jaundice, low blood sugar, and ascites can develop.
7. Even though mesothelioma tumors can metastasize, they usually are only one found in one side of the lungs and does not spread to the bones or brain.
8. Mesothelioma has been almost concurrently associated with asbestos ever since the early 20th century. Workers that had consistent exposure to asbestos material were particularly at danger of developing mesothelioma and other lung-related illnesses and diseases.
9. Asbestos was a material that was predominantly used in various aspects of industry and subsequent products, particularly cement, textiles, and forms of insulation. Laborers that handle such material during such era may have been exposed to the chemical, and thus, put at danger for developing mesothelioma and other related diseases.
10. Asbestos has been an issue that has been addressed by the government, placing certain regulations in place that not only prohibit its use, but will also demand the removal of asbestos material from existing buildings and structures.
11. Aside from being a health concern, asbestos and mesothelioma have been the center of various court cases and lawsuits, where those affected by the disease sought compensation for health damages incurred as a result of being exposed to the chemical.