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Since the late eighteenth century, mesothelioma has been recognized as a tumor of the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium. Mesothelioma is generally a type of cancer found in male adults. It is a rare, therefore to see diagnosis in patients under twenty. Yet childhood malignant mesothelioma exists and requires a bit of investigation on the part of medical and social researchers. Since the cancer is linked to asbestos exposure, there was an exponential amount of diagnoses in the 1960s-1970s, presumably because of the timeline following severe exposure, or prolonged, low-dose exposure to asbestos and its latency period.
If and when malignant mesothelioma inhibits a child's body, it becomes especially destructive. Statistically, the median survival rate is eight months to a year for patients. However, sometimes when the tumor is localized, malignant hepatic cysts with mesothelial differentiation could exercise an idle state of biologic behavior similar to that of low-grade neoplasia or papillary mesothelioma in adults. This latter circumstance would be less aggressive to the body.
A layer of specialized cells called mesothelial cells lines the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the cavity around the heart. These cells also cover the outer surface of most internal organs. The tissue formed by these cells is called mesothelium.
As aforementioned, the mesothelium lines the heart (pericardium, in a sac-like shape), chest cavity and lungs (pleura), and abdominal (pericardial) areas. Mesothelium helps protect the organs by producing a special lubricating fluid that allows organs to move around. For example, this fluid facilitates the lungs' movement inside the chest while breathing.
Mesothelium tumors can be malignant (cancerous) or benign (noncancerous). A malignant tumor of this type is cancerous and is therefore referred to as malignant mesothelioma, or simply mesothelioma.
While mesothelioma is usually found in middle-aged men, it has been documented in women and children as well. While the affirmative cause of the disease is not completely clear in these latter two groups, there is certain evidence of possible inadvertent asbestos exposure. For example, washing clothes that have been contaminated by asbestos can lead to symptoms, as well as utilizing asbestos-laden cement, living or working in the buildings, etc. Contamination is airborne through fiber and dust; therefore, it is very hazardous to the body.
The three types of malignant mesothelioma from most treatable to most severe are: epithelioid, biphasic, and sarcomatoid. Approximately 50-70% of mesothelioma are epithelioid, the accessible type. This type has the better outlook for survival more so than the sarcomatoid type (which makes up 7-20%), and the biphasic type (which composes 20-35% of mesothelioma cases). Treatment for all three types is the same.
About 75% percent of mesothelioma cases begin in the chest cavity. This is the pleural mesothelioma. Another 10-20% begin in the abdomen. This is called peritoneal mesothelioma. Pericardial mesothelioma, which begins in the cavity around the heart, is highly atypical. There is the possible case in which the layer covering a male's testicles becomes a pouch of peritoneum into the scrotum, though mesothelioma to this affect is highly unlikely.
According to a national cancer website, www.cancer.gov, malignant mesothelioma can be localized or advanced. The difference lies in movement of the tumor. Localized mesothelioma is found in one place in the body. Advanced mesothelioma spreads, or metastasizes from the original infected site in the body. For spatial reasons, it is more accessible to treat localized mesothelioma than advanced mesothelioma.
There are also prime indicators of mesothelioma as the cancer progresses in stages. Knowing which stage a patient's tumor is in at the time of diagnosis is crucial to effective treatment. Stage one is localized mesothelioma in which the cancer has been discovered in one or more static lined areas (either around the lungs, diaphragm, or heart). Stage two is advanced mesothelioma, in which the cancer spreads beyond the linings. For example, in this stage the cancer can now be found in the lymph nodes within the chest, while in stage one the cancerous cells inhabit the fluid lining.
The third stage of malignant mesothelioma is advanced mesothelioma where in tumor growth spreads into the organs themselves, as many as (if not all) these areas: the diaphragm, the chest wall, the center of the chest, and the heart. In the final and fourth stage, advanced mesothelioma is in a state of dispersion throughout the body in distant metastasis. Cancerous cells spread to organs and tissues far from their site of origin in the pleural, peritoneal, or pericardial mesothelium.
As with all cancers, it is best to detect mesothelioma in stage one to initiate forceful, proactive medical attention as soon as possible. If anyone has any reason for suspicion of contamination, a doctor should be consulted immediately for a biopsy and additional medical advice.
These patients receive palliative and curative surgery. Mesothelioma symptom is treated by palliative surgery but it doesn't treat the disease in an aggressive way. Thoracoscopy and Pleurodesis, Pleuroperitoneal shunt, chest tube drainage and Pleurodesis. 'Pleurectomy' is one more palliative treatment that is applied for the pleural and peritoneal effusions drainage.
"Curative intent" is performed along with Curative Surgical Procedures. They are aimed at gross disease elimination by keeping in mind the fact that the probability of that microscopic disease to be affected is very low.
Another therapy, applied in combination with primary therapy, Adjuvant therapy, is mostly targeted at residual disease removal. Early stages of mesothelioma cancers are treated by Pleurectomy or Decortication procedures for Pleural Mesothelioma. There are four therapies that are carried out with the extrapleural pneumonectomy, which are: immunotherapy, chemotherapy, photodynamic therapy or gene therapy.
The entire or almost all gross or visible tumor is eliminated in the peritoneal cavity by Cytoreductive surgery done for Peritoneal mesothelioma.
Chemotherapy is known as the cancer treatment through the usage of chemicals as medicine of anticancer or chemotherapy that is applied for the elimination or terminate cancer cells reproduction. The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) has recently approved a new medicine, Alimta (pemetrxed), to be used along with Cisplatin for the purpose of curing malignant pleural mesothelioma-infected patients. Alimta acts by blocking the enzymes that are obligatory DNA copying as well as cells duplication. Vitamin B12 and Folic acid are also added to this medicine in order to make the side effects like skin rash less likely to occur.
The principle of Radiation therapy is applying high-energetic penetrating beams or particle streams that are called radiation. Radiation is sometimes used in an aggressive way along with palliatively or surgery while curing mesothelioma for its symptoms regulation.
Recurrent mesothelioma is generally treated by agents and procedures (agents or procedures) that were not enabled during the previous attempt of the treatment. Neither the survival nor the long-term symptoms controlling has been improved by applying any standard approaches of treatment.
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