The most usual and ordinary form of mesothelioma, is Pleural mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer that originates within the mesothelium (mesothelium is a thin membrane or lining of the human bodies organs). With this unique form of cancerous condition, pleural mesothelioma, a cancer will form within the lining of the parties lungs; this lining is known as the pleura (pleural membrane). The fibers contained within the substance asbestos causes pleural mesothelioma when consumed through the inhaling of these fibers. It is extremely difficult for the body to reject these fibers as they work themselves to the area of your pleural membrane, once they have been inhaled. These asbestos fibers can develop changes within the pleural membrane cells over a lengthy course of time, usually within 20 years or more. Changes to the membrane usually consist of scarring over the lengthy term in the development of tumors.
As the pleural cells begin to turn cancerous, they will continually divide, developing the buildup of fluid through the layers of the pleural membrane, thereby continuously limiting the capacity of the lungs.
The patient that is a victim of pleural mesothelioma will most likely have an inferior prognosis since it is usually diagnosed after it has been present for a very long period of time. However, if by chance the diagnosis is early enough, patients life expectancy and prognosis can be significantly improved.
Mesothelioma of the Lung
There are two layers in which the pleura is made up of. Both these layers protect and support the lungs and cavity of the chest. There is an inner layer and an outer layer. There is an outer layer also known as the parietal layer consists of a lining that covers the whole chest cavity along with its diaphragm. Then there is an inner layer, also called the visceral layer, which is a lining that, in turn, covers your lungs. Although Pleural Mesothelioma generally forms within only one of the layers, it has been known to metastasize and begin to develop within both layers. When this situation occurs in the cancer begins to spread to distant locations, the patient’s prognosis will become much weaker.
Just as in any form of mesothelioma cancer, Pleural mesothelioma is developed by initial exposure to asbestos once this exposure has been initiated a toxic fibers from the asbestos lodged within the spaces that exist between each mesothelial cell.
The Symptoms Of Pleural Mesothelioma
Once the mesothelial cells become cancerous due to the asbestos fibers becoming trapped in the body, they will abnormally divide, which will then result in the pleural membrane becoming thicker. The thickening of the membrane will cause a condition known as pleural effusion, which is the building up of fluid. This fluid as it accumulates will cause the lungs and respiratory system experience a buildup of pressure. As the lungs and respiratory system are placed under pressure, the normal breathing process becomes more and more restricted. The general symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are hugely inhibited by these occurrences and may consist of the following list which we found on this site about pleural mesothelioma:
1. Continual dry cough
2. Coughing up blood (hemoptysis)
3. Becomes difficult to swallow (dysphagia)
4. Shortness of breath (dyspnea)
5. Pain when breathing or continual pain within chest and rib area
6. Presence of lumps beneath the skin in the chest area
7. Fever and sweats during the night
8. Sudden weight loss
9. Becoming tired and fatigued
The Diagnosis Of Pleural Mesothelioma
As is with any type or form of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma is not an easy cancer to diagnose since most symptoms are not generally apparent until a lengthy time after your original exposure to the asbestos has occurred. Also many of the symptoms that occur in pleural mesothelioma are the same for many other illnesses thus making it very easily to mistake mesothelioma for less damaging disease like pneumonia or influenza.
In addition to the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma based on the symptoms listed, other diagnostic exams to properly confirm that this cancerous condition is present need to be implemented. Once a patient’s medical abstract. History has been reviewed and a physical exam completed, image testing will be completed on the patient. These imaging tests may consist of x-rays and CT scans in order to positively identify all locations of the cancer. Biopsies or tests of fluids and tissue will also be taken to positively identify a form of cancer being dealt with. If a confirmed diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma is made through these tests and biopsies a treatment approach can now be mapped out.