Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is almost always the result of exposure to the carcinogen asbestos. This disease attacks the special cells that line the various cavities of your body, such as your chest or abdomen. The most common type of mesothelioma affects the lining of the lungs. This is called pleural mesothelioma.
Sadly, studies have found that only about 5% of people with pleural mesothelioma live five years or longer beyond their initial diagnosis. This is because pleural mesothelioma is typically very difficult to detect, and the cancer has often already spread by the time doctors find it.
How Pleural Mesothelioma Progresses
The chest and abdominal cavities are lined by a membrane called the mesothelium. To prevent friction between your organs and your body cavity, the mesothelium secretes a lubricating fluid. Mesothelioma occurs when these mesothelium cells become cancerous and grow uncontrollably, creating tumors.
Because the lymph system absorbs the fluid produced by the mesothelium, cancerous cells that come from this lining can quickly spread to other areas of your body. This is because the lymphatic system produces a fluid that flows throughout the body, which can also carry mutated cells.
Treating Pleural Mesothelioma
People diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma have a much better prognosis if the disease is caught early. Following diagnosis, you have several treatment options, such as:
- Participation in a clinical study
In many cases, doctors will perform a combination of some of these treatment options to best serve your needs.
Receiving a pleural mesothelioma diagnosis is very difficult for affected people and their families. If you need more information to help you understand and face your cancer, please fill out the contact form located at the top of the page today.