Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

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What’s Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is cancer which attacks the mesothelium, that’s the thin layer of tissue covering the various internal organs of the body. Many organs which have a mesothelium contain the lungs (pleura), stomach (abdomen), heart (pericardial), and testicles (teticular). Mesothelioma is an aggressive kind of cancer, although it’s rare.

There are four types of mesothelioma cancer in Many organs, specifically:

  1. Mesothelioma pleura (pleural plaques mesothelioma), which is cancer that attacks the lining of the mesothelium of their lungs (pleura). This is the type that happens most often.
  2. Mesothelioma peritoneum (peritoneal mesothelioma), specificial mesothelioma at the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).
  3. Mesothelioma pericardium (pericardial mesothelioma), namely mesothelioma which attacks the protective layer of the organ.
  4. Mesothelioma testis (testicular mesothelioma), specifically mesothelioma which attacks the protective coating of the testes or testicles.

There’s a benign tumor in the chest known as a solitary fibrous tumor that is sometimes called benign mesothelioma. This condition is not contained in the mesothelioma, which will be discussed.

Asbestos dust vulnerability is often linked with this Mesothelioma cancer. Asbestos can be in the kind of roofing boards, minerals, fibers, and various asbestos products which could lead to dust that can then be inhaled by people along with the air. This happens a lot in industrial, construction, and woodworking environments.

Facts About Mesothelioma

This disease is more common in Caucasoid and Hispanic descent. It is more common in men, which is thought to be related to work and habits. The main risk factors are asbestos and cigarette smoke. Before 1970, asbestos was widely used in the building and shipbuilding industry. The distance from asbestosis symptoms stages to mesothelioma cells ranges from 35-40 years.

mesothelioma smoking

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that occurs in mesothelial cells; which is a type of cell lining the surface of body cavities such as the chest cavity (pleura), abdominal cavity (peritoneum), and heart cavity (pericardium).

Like other cells in the body, mesothelial cells can grow abnormally into tumors which, although they can be benign, are mostly malignant to become cancerous; so that mesothelium cancer is usually called a single word with the name mesothelioma only. In this article, we will discuss more mesothelioma that occurs in the chest cavity (pleural mesothelioma), because it is the most common case of mesothelioma.

Mesothelium Network

Before we discuss further mesothelioma, let’s first clarify the mesothelium tissue.
Mesothelium consists of 2 layers, namely the outer and inner layers. The inner layer covering the organs, and the outer layer that attaches to the inside of the body cavity.

In this outer layer, some cells produce and secrete a small amount of lubricating fluid to lubricate between the two layers so that the organs can move smoothly in the body cavity.
Cancer cells most often occur in the inner lining, the lining that attaches to organs.

Location of Occurrence of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma can occur in the mesothelium tissue as described above with the following incidence :

  1. The mesothelium in the chest cavity is known as pleural mesothelioma, with an incidence of 75%
  2. The mesothelium in the abdominal cavity is known as Peritoneal Mesothelioma, with an incidence of 10-20%
  3. The mesothelium in the cavity of the heart is known as Pericardial Mesothelioma, with an incidence of 1%
  4. In the mesothelium in the scrotum, this is known as Testicular Mesothelioma, with an incidence below 1%.
rare type of mesothelioma

In this article, we will only discuss pleural mesothelioma because it is the most frequent case.

Mesothelioma Symptoms

Mesothelioma symptoms develop gradually, and it usually takes 20-30 years for symptoms to arise. Patients may have no symptoms when mesothelioma cells are in an early stage. However, over time, cancer cells may grow and press on nerves or other organs, causing symptoms. Mesothelioma signs and symptoms vary depending on the location of the cancer cells. Mesothelioma most commonly affects the mesothelium of their lungs (called pleural mesothelioma).

Mesothelioma of the gut (pleura) has the following symptoms:

  1. Persistent cough accompanied by excruciating pain.
  2. Shortness of breath because of fluid buildup in the lungs, to be exact from the pleural cavity, that is the space between the two pleural layers that line the blood vessels.
  3. Chest pain, fatigue, hoarseness, and difficulty difficulties
  4. An unusual bulge in the tissue supporting the skin of their chest.
  5. Weight loss for no apparent reason.
  6. Fever accompanied by perspiration, particularly at night.
  7. Excessive tiredness.
  8. Swelling and deformation of the palms (clubbing).
  9. A lump appears on the tissue under the surface of the chest region.
mesothelioma end of life

Mesothelioma of the gut (peritoneal) has the following symptoms:

  1. Nausea
  2. Pain in the stomach
  3. Swelling in the abdominal region
  4. A bulge appears in the gut.
  5. Anemia
  6. Hypoglycemia
  7. Fever and
  8. Diarrhea or constipation.
  9. Loss of desire.
  10. Weight loss drastically.
  11. Diseases of bowel movements and urination.

Mesothelioma of the heart (pericardium) has the following symptoms:

  1. Arrhythmia or palpitations
  2. Chest pain,
  3. Cough,
  4. Difficulty breathing, and
  5. Fever or sweats especially at night

Mesothelioma of the testicles (testicular) has the following symptoms:

  1. Swelling or the look of a bulge at the testicular area

Mesothelioma of the heart (pericardium) and testicles (testicular) is a type of mesothelioma that’s quite rare.

Learn More About Multiple Sclerosis

Mesothelioma symptoms are non-specific and may result from other problems.
Therefore, see a physician immediately if that you experience the symptoms above, especially if you have a history of asbestos exposure.

Causes and Factors of Mesothelioma Risk

mesothelioma blogspot

The exact cause of mesothelioma is unknown; however, the main risk factor for mesothelioma is always associated with asbestos or better known as asbestos exposure or mesothelioma exposure.
This disease was relatively rare before the commercial use of asbestos began.

Asbestos is a mineral that is widely used as a building construction material such as for making brakes, floors, roofs, and insulation, because of its heat resistance and fire resistance.
Several other risk factors are male, age> 65 years and the environment exposed to asbestos.

Asbestos fibers can enter the lining of the organs, causing inflammation, and over time forming cancer. The use of asbestos has been officially banned since 1999.

When asbestos is destroyed, whether during the mining process or renovating buildings, it will produce fiber or fine dust. Asbestos fine fiber is very easily inhaled, then enters and settles in the body’s organs, especially the lungs.

Ingested asbestos fibers can also move through the lymphatic system, settle, and infect cells in the lining of the abdominal cavity (peritoneum).

Asbestos exposure can also affect the function of the reproductive organs and heart. However, it is not certain the process of its spread because it is scarce.

In general, several factors increase the risk of mesothelioma, namely:

  1. Work environments that are prone to asbestos exposure, such as mineral mines, construction sites, the automotive industry, power plants, the textile industry and steel factories.
  2. Residing in an old building or an environment where the soil contains asbestos.
  3. Having family members who work in an environment prone to asbestos exposure.
    Asbestos can stick to skin and clothes so that asbestos can be carried into the home or other environment.
  4. Have a history of mesothelioma or genetic disorders that increase the risk of cancer.

Apart from asbestos, several mesothelioma other causes factors can increase the risk of mesothelioma, although they are rare. Among these is exposure to the mineral erionite, exposure to radiation from the chemical thorium dioxide used in mesothelioma X-rays until the 1950s, and infected with the simian virus (SV 40) and several types of chemical chemicals in paint, and so on).

Mesothelioma Diagnosis

mesothelioma exposure

The physician will suspect a patient has mesothelioma if there are asbestos symptoms, that can be verified by a physical examination. To Find out the identification of a patient suffering from mesothelioma, if there are symptoms, The health care provider will run a set of healthcare interviews or anamnesis, and a physical examination corroborates that.

But to be certain, imaging evaluations will need to get carried out. Some others are:

  1. Mesothelioma X-rays, to discover any abnormalities, like thickening in the lining of their lungs, fluid from the pelvic cavity, or changes in lung form.
  2. CT Scan, to confirm the chest and stomach region and discover signs of cancer, ascertain the area of cancer, and assess if cancer has spread into other organs.
  3. PET (Positron Emission Tomography). Evaluation using chemicals containing radioactive molecules that are injected into your system to find a thorough image of the tissue that’s suspected of getting cancer cells.
  4. MRI, to receive a more thorough image of this tissue to ascertain the location of this tumor.

Additionally, the Physician can also indicate Additional evaluations in the Kind of:

  • Evaluation of fluid samples. If the patient has a buildup of fluid within the body associated with mesothelioma, then the health care provider is going to take a fluid sample using a needle inserted through the skin to the region where the fluid is situated. Moreover, the fluid is going to be examined in the lab to detect the presence of cancer cells.  There Are Lots of Kinds of tissue and fluid sample evaluations, namely:
    • Thoracentesis, carrying fluid samples at the thoracic cavity region.
    • Paracentesis, carrying fluid from the abdominal cavity.
    • Pericardiocentesis, taking fluid from the lining (membrane) around the center.
  • Biopsy, specifically the process of removing tissue samples from particular body parts for later investigation in the lab.  There Are Lots of Kinds of biopsy assessments, specifically:
    • Needle biopsy. This type of biopsy uses a long needle inserted through the skin into the chest or abdominal cavity to take a tissue sample.
    • Thoracoscopy, laparoscopy, and mediastinoscopyThis kind of biopsy utilizes an elastic tube with a camera and specific surgical instruments that are inserted via a couple of small incisions to have a tissue sample. The type of procedure for removing the sample generally depends on the area of the body that is being examined, namely:
      • Thoracoscopy, to check the distance between the lungs and the chest wall.
      • Laparoscopy, to Inspect the interior of the abdominal muscles.
      • Mediastinoscopy, to Inspect the Region around the center.
    • Biopsy throughout the operation. For some states, your health care provider will conduct an invasive process to have a larger tissue sample to create a diagnosis. Occasionally, the physician will also perform a method to remove the whole tumor if at all possible. There are two kinds of biopsy procedures through operation, namely:
      • Thoracotomy that is a form of biopsy that’s done through open operation on the torso.
      • Laparotomy that is a form of biopsy that’s done through open operation on the stomach.
    • Bronchoscopic biopsy A method to remove a tissue sample having a long, thin elastic tube that’s inserted via the neck to examine the lymph nodes.

Mesothelioma Stage

sarcomatoid mesothelioma life expectancy

Based on the amount of spread, mesothelioma is divided into four phases. This staging permits doctors to spot the development of cancer cells in the body and determine the treatment measures to be carried out.

The four stages of mesothelioma are:

  1. Stage 1: The tumor remains local, which is only in one area of ​​the human body, and mesothelioma cells have not spread to other organs or tissues.
    Surgery is done to remove the tumor. The life expectancy of patients diagnosed with stage 1 mesothelioma is 21 months or more.
  2. Stage 2: The size of the tumor is bigger, and mesothelioma cells begin to spread to neighboring places.
    Surgical removal of the tumor can nevertheless be done, although the results are not very effective.
    The life expectancy for mesothelioma phase 2 patients is 19 weeks or not.
  3. Stage 3: Mesothelioma cells have spread into surrounding organs.
    Surgery is no more effective because some cancer cells have spread into other places. The life expectancy of stage 3 mesothelioma patients is about 16 months.
  4. Stage 4: Mesothelioma cells have spread to various areas across the body via the bloodstream.
    Treatment that’s still in the study period will be offered to patients to expand the patient’s odds of life.
    The life expectancy of mesothelioma patients is extremely low, which will be roughly 12 months.

Medical Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer that is rare and cannot be cured until now. Treatment is carried out to control or reduce the symptoms experienced and extend the patient’s chance of life. The treatment step is generally determined based on several factors.

The factors that determine the stage of treatment are:

  1. Age and overall health condition of the patient.
  2. Type and location of mesothelioma.
  3. Stage or spread of cancer cells in the body.
  4. Size of mesothelioma

Based on the above considerations, there are several Medical Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment steps that your doctor may recommend.

The Medical Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment steps that your doctor may recommend are:

  1. Chemotherapy, treatment with anticancer drugs to destroy or inhibit the growth of cancer cells that cannot be removed through surgery. Chemotherapy can be done before or after surgery to shrink the tumor, make it easier to remove the tumor and reduce the risk of cancer coming back.
  2. Radiation therapy (radiotherapy), therapeutic treatment with mesothelioma X-rays and proton rays that are focused on certain areas of the body. Radiotherapy is usually done after a patient has undergone a surgical procedure to remove any remaining cancer cells. This treatment therapy is also done to reduce the symptoms of advanced cancer when surgery is not possible.
  3. Operations. Surgery is performed when mesothelioma is still at an early stage. There are several choices of actions the doctor may take during surgery. Among others are:
  • Removal of as many cancer cells as possible from the patient’s body. This action can support the treatment of patients with radiotherapy to reduce pain and inhibit cancer growth.
  • The Suction of fluids due to fluid buildup in the chest area that can interfere with breathing. This is done by inserting a catheter tube into the chest to suck out the fluid. The doctor can also inject a drug to seal the pleural cavity so that fluid cannot accumulate again. This action is known as pleurodesis.
  • Removal of tissue around the abdominal cavity, ribs, or lungs affected by cancer cells.
  • Removal of the affected lung organ and the surrounding tissue. This procedure is usually followed by radiotherapy.
  1. Multimodality therapy. This therapy is a combination of three or more steps of treatment, for example, surgery, postoperative chemotherapy and radiation therapy to increase the success rate of treatment.
  2. The research stage. The doctor will inform the patient about the treatment method, which is still in the research stage.
    However, the patient’s chances of recovery are not known with certainty, so it needs to be considered carefully.
    On the other hand, this treatment method can increase the chance for doctors to learn more about mesothelioma treatment.
    Several treatment methods are still in the research stage that patients can do, namely:
  • Biological therapy – uses the patient’s immune system to fight cancer, also known as immunotherapy.
  • Mesothelioma gene therapy – changes the genes contained in cancer cells to stop the disease.
  • Targeted therapy – using drugs to attack abnormalities/ abnormalities that occur in cancer cells.
  1. Supportive treatment. This treatment can help sufferers control the signs and symptoms of mesothelioma, such as:
  • Breathing exercises, to control breathing when sufferers experience symptoms of difficulty breathing.
  • Body relaxation exercises to reduce respiratory muscle tension so that sufferers can breathe easier.

Alternative Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

alternative mesothelioma treatment

There are no alternative treatments that have been shown to help treat mesothelioma cancer.
But complementary and alternative medicine can help control signs and symptoms. So, consult a doctor to determine the right treatment.

Mesothelioma is a disease that causes pressure in the chest, which makes you feel as if you are always running out of breath. Your doctor may suggest using supplemental oxygen or taking medication to make you more comfortable. Combining doctor-recommended treatments with complementary and alternative medicine may help you feel better.

Alternative Mesothelioma Treatment that can help with shortness of breath include:

  1. Acupuncture. This therapy uses thin needles that are inserted at precise points into the skin.
  2. Physiotherapy. A physical therapist can teach you breathing techniques to use when you feel short of breath. Using this technique can help you feel more in control of your breathing.
  3. Relaxation exercises. Tension and relaxation of different muscles can help you feel more comfortable and breathe easier.
    Your doctor may refer you to a therapist who can teach you relaxation exercises so that you can practice them yourself.

Prevention of Mesothelioma

The main preventive measure for mesothelioma that can be taken is to avoid contact with anything that contains asbestos symptoms. Because this is the main cause of mesothelioma.

The following types of construction work are vulnerable to asbestos symptoms exposure:

  • Bricklaying
  • Bulldozer operator
  • Carpenter
  • Crane and hoist operators
  • Demolition and demolition of buildings
  • Drywall installation (plaster walls, gypsum partition)
  • Pipe installation
  • Installation of the roof of the building
  • Ceramic or tile installation
  • Painting the walls
asbestos mesothelioma symptoms

If you work in an environment that is at high risk of asbestos exposure, then follow the safety regulations set by the company.
Among others are:

  1. Use personal protective equipment, especially masks, while in work areas that are prone to asbestos exposure.
  2. Dispose of the remaining asbestos material in a safe place and does not endanger the surrounding environment.
  3. Do not bring home clothes and shoes that you used while working.
  4. Routinely check the body, especially the lungs.

Also, several things can be done to reduce the risk of mesothelioma, namely:

  1. Perform regular health checks to detect symptoms or signs of diseases related to asbestos, such as asbestosis.
  2. Stop smoking. Smoking does not directly cause mesothelioma, but smoking is a trigger factor and can increase the risk of various types of cancer, including mesothelioma.
  3. Learn and follow the instructions regarding safe asbestos handling in the surrounding environment. Do not move material containing asbestos carelessly.

Time to visit a Doctor for Mesothelioma Cancer Treatment

best mesothelioma doctor

When to Consult a Doctor?

If you have mesothelioma risk factors, one of which is asbestos exposure and has respiratory problems and coughing for a long time, immediately consult a doctor. To perform an examination, you can immediately make an appointment with a preferred doctor at the hospital according to your domicile here.

What should be prepared before consulting a doctor?

If the doctor suspects mesothelioma, you can be referred to a cancer specialist. Prepare a list of questions to make the visit more effective. For mesothelioma, here are basic questions to ask.

What is the main cause of the symptoms?
What type of cancer do I have?
What stage has my cancer entered?
How far has my mesothelioma spread?
What tests do I need?
Are there any treatment options for me?

What did the doctor do during the consultation?

The doctor will ask some questions to make a better diagnosis. The following questions may be asked:

Since when have you experienced these symptoms?
Have your symptoms been continuous or occasional?
How severe are the symptoms?
What improved conditions?
What makes the condition worse?

Mesothelioma Causes, Signs and Symptoms Video


Mesothelioma, which is increasing worldwide, which can result in the death of hundreds to thousands of humans should be given moral support strong and serious research should be done. Also, mesothelioma is very expensive.

Thus this article that reviews mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is an aggressive and difficult to treat cancer, so you are encouraged to be vigilant and try to prevent it. May you always be healthy.

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Main References:

Mott, FE. (2012). Mesothelioma: A Review. The Ochsner Journal, 12(1), pp. 70-79.
Weder, W. Opitz, I. (2012). Multimodality Therapy for Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma. Annals of Cardiothoracic Surgery, 1(4), pp. 502-507.
American Cancer Society (2016). Malignant Mesothelioma.
American Lung Association (2018). Mesothelioma.
Cancer Research UK (2018). About Cancer. Mesothelioma.
CancerNet (2017). Mesothelioma: Treatment Options.
Whitmer, M. Asbestos (2018). Mesothelioma.
Selby, K. Asbestos (2018). Mesothelioma Stages.

Other References:

Anonymous. 2019. Mesothelioma. (Accessed January 14, 2020).
Anonymous. 2019. Mesothelioma. (Accessed January 14, 2020).
Mayo Clinic Staff. 2019. Mesothelioma. (Accessed January 14, 2020).
Molinari, Linda. Without Year. Types of Mesothelioma. (Accessed January 14, 2020).

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