Saturday, March 07, 2009

Epitheloid Mesothelioma

Epitheloid mesothelioma is the form of mesothelioma that is the least aggressive as compared to other mesothelioma forms. Patients having this form of mesothelioma tend to have more life expectancy. People working in an atmosphere where there is presence of asbestos, are at higher risk of getting the disease. It is due to this that a ban was imposed on asbestos ion construction in the year 1970.

There are three forms of epithelial mesothelioma, namely pleural mesothelioma which is mesothelioma of the lining of the lungs, second form is peritoneal mesothelioma which affects the lining of the abdominal cavity and the third type of mesothelioma is pericardial mesothelioma which is found in the pericardium, i.e. the membrane that cases the heart. Chest pain, fatigue, anemia, shortness of breath are a few symptoms that point towards the disease.

Patients come to know about the problem 30-40 years later. This prolonged latency period of the disease makes it difficult to get it treated because by then the cancer has reached in its second or third form. It is very important for the people who work in such industries where they are exposed to asbestos to get their regular health check up done to rule out any presence of lump or tumor in the linings of lungs or abdominal cavity or heart. However the average life expectancy after the diagnosis of epitheloid mesothelioma is five to six years, which is comparatively more than the life expectancy of sarcomatoid mesothelioma.

Although the life expectancy of just four to five years may seem very short, but studies are on to somehow prolong life expectancy. The use of lasers to kill affected cancerous cells is one such research which has found limited success only in cases where the cancer has been pre diagnosed. Chemotherapy and radiation as a form of treatment have not been found successful for asbestos induced mesothelioma. Only surgery of the affected tissues has been found to give limited increase in life expectancy. That too when the surgery involves removal of the lung, pleura and half the diaphragm. The aim of such a treatment including surgery is only to relieve the pain the patient is undergoing and can only prolong the life of the patient by up to five years. The disease however is always fatal.

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