Pleural Mesothelioma - Mesothelioma of Pleura

Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that affects the pleural sac that surrounds the lungs, and is caused by exposure to asbestos. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma with estimated 75% of all mesothelioma cases being of this form.

Description of the Pleura:

The pleura is a sac which contains the lungs and also a thin membrane called the mesothelium which secretes a fluid that enables the lungs to expand and contract during breathing. Inhaling asbestos causes a build-up of fibers inside the lungs, and due to the microscopic size and sharpness of the fibers it is possible for them to penetrate the walls of the lung and enter the pleural cavity. As they migrate from the lung into the pleural cavity, the sharp strands shred and mutilate the mesothelium, destroying it and potentially causing cancer.

Thickening of the Pleural Fluid and Cancerous Tumors.

Once asbestos fibers invade the pleural cavity, cancerous tumors may develop which thicken the pleural fluid and inhibit proper lung movement. Tumors can also constrict the lungs and press on the ribcage or other organs resulting in agonizing pain. Also, because the lungs are responsible for re-oxygenating blood, should the cancer advance directly into the lungs it is possible for the cancerous cells to spread into other parts of the body through the bloodstream.

Pleural mesothelioma is often confused with less serious or deadly diseases such as:
  • Pneumonia
  • Common Cold
  • Whooping cough
  • The Flu
  • Laryngitis
  • Bruised/Broken Ribs due to chest pain
  • Sometimes there are no symptoms at all
Mesothelium Mutatation and Asbestos.

Scientists and doctors are do not know why asbestos fibers cause the mesothelium to mutate into cancer, but as more asbestos cases are reported, doctors are learning more and more about this devastating condition. It is believed that even one single fiber can begin the cascade of events that cause mesothelioma.

Diagnosis of Pleural Mesothelioma.

Although there is no cure for mesothelioma, early diagnosis provides doctors the opportunity to relieve a great deal of suffering, and prolong and improve many patients’ lives.  These avenues of treatment depend on the extent of the condition and the progession of the disease.

Development of Pleural Mesothelioma: 

Because the time it takes for the asbestos particle to turn cancerous is very great - sometimes between 30 to 40 years - it can be difficult to spot. Most cases of pleural mesothelioma develop in the sac that contains the lungs.

Common treatments for Pleural Mesothelioma include:
  • Surgery: Surgeons can remove all or part of the lung to excise tumors or prevent their spread.  In some occasions fluid needs to be drained from the lungs, or in extreme cases the entire lung needs to be removed.
  • Radiation: Cancer is often treated with high doses of radiation.  This treatment uses high energy waves to kill cancerous cells, but unfortunately it also kills healthy cells and causes a number of peripheral health problems.
  • Chemotherapy: Strong anti-cancer drugs are pumped directly into the tumors or taken orally can inhibit their growth and spread, but these drugs can also cause severe health problems in other bodily systems.
Affects of Pleural Mesothelioma:

Make sure that if you or someone you love has developed pleural mesothelioma, you owe it to yourself to take action.  The asbestos industry allegedly knew of the dangers of their product, but rather than take action to prevent serious harm they hid this information from their workers and the public until the damage had been done.  Now, thousands of people hurt by this deception are coming forward to collect compensation for their pain and suffering, and you could be the next person to receive restitution for their condition.  Let us help you.  Contact us today.

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Pleural Mesothelioma description, facts and thickening pleural fluid diagnosis page updated on 1/11/2012