3d2266f5df484d1a91a42edc1b411da6 Learn about Mesothelioma | Causes and symptoms Cancer Therapies Council 2023

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Learn about Mesothelioma | Causes and symptoms Cancer Therapies Council 2023

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What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the mesothelial cells that line most organs. Mainly he has two types of mesothelioma. pleura and peritoneum.

Rarely, mesothelioma forms in the pericardium, the lining of the heart. This is called pericardial mesothelioma. More rarely, mesothelioma forms in the lining around the testicle (testicular mesothelioma).

By 2022, he estimates that more than 900 people will be diagnosed with mesothelioma. The average age at diagnosis he is 75 years old.

pleural mesothelioma

This is a type of cancer that begins in the membrane that covers the lungs. It forms in the chest and affects the lining of the lungs, but it is not lung cancer and is treated differently than lung cancer.

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of mesothelioma, accounting for about 90% of all mesothelioma.

peritoneal mesothelioma

The other major type is peritoneal mesothelioma, which accounts for approximately 10% of cases. It starts in the epigastric lining.

Mesothelioma symptoms
The main symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are:

  • difficulty breathing

  • chest pain

  • shoulder and upper arm pain

  • sensitive skin

  • anorexia and/or weight loss

  • loss of energy

persistent cough or change in usual cough

Excessive sweating, especially at night.

Early signs of pleural mesothelioma are similar to other conditions and diseases, but if you think you've been exposed to asbestos, talk to your doctor.

Mesothelioma symptoms

The main symptoms of peritoneal mesothelioma are:

  • swelling or pain in the abdomen

  • loss of appetite

  • nausea and/or vomiting

  • fever or night sweats

  • Bowel or urinary problems.

Less commonly, mesothelioma forms in the membranes surrounding the heart or reproductive organs. A growth is formed, which gradually grows and spreads around. Rarely, mesothelioma occurs in more than one place.

Causes of mesothelioma

Asbestos exposure is the only recognized risk factor for mesothelioma.It can take many years (20 to 60 years) after asbestos exposure for mesothelioma to develop.

People who may have been exposed to asbestos at work include builders, plumbers, electricians, welders, asbestos miners, auto industry workers, and textile workers.

Mesothelioma may be related to previous radiation therapy to the chest.

Diagnosis of mesothelioma

Tests to diagnose mesothelioma may include the following:

Blood test

Blood tests can check your general health and how your blood cells, liver, and kidneys are working.


X-rays can help identify lung abnormalities, pleural thickening, or fluid between the lungs and chest wall. X-rays can also help identify fluid in the abdomen.

CT scan

A CT (computed tomography) scan produces a three-dimensional image of him in several organs simultaneously and can also scan the chest lymph nodes. A CT scan can also be used to see if mesothelioma has spread to other areas.


A biopsy is the removal of a sample of pleural or abdominal tissue for examination under a microscope. This is the main procedure used to diagnose pleural mesothelioma and can be done in two ways. Alternatively, via a CT-guided core biopsy performed under local anesthesia using a needle guided by a CT scan.

Drainage of fluid from the pleura

This can be done to relieve symptoms of shortness of breath caused by leakage of the pleura into the pleural space (called pleural effusion) and, in some cases, to diagnose pleural mesothelioma. People with peritoneal mesothelioma may have fluid in the abdomen (called ascites), causing swelling and pain.

An ultrasound scan is used to guide the doctor to drain fluid from the chest wall through needles inserted into the chest cavity or abdomen. A sample of the fluid is then sent to a pathologist for testing.

Mesothelioma can be difficult to diagnose because

the cells resemble other types of cancer cells. Combining the body fluid sample results with information from his X-rays and CT scans provides an acceptable level of diagnostic certainty.

If mesothelioma is diagnosed, more tests are usually done to find out if the disease has spread to other parts of the body, such as a CT scan. FDG-positron emission tomography (FDG-PET); mediastinoscopy (used to examine and sample lymph nodes in the middle chest); or endobronchial ultrasound (EBUS).

After Diagnosing Mesothelioma

When you comprehend that you have cancer, you could witness shock, upset, social phobia, or ambiguity.. These are normal reactions. It may be helpful to discuss treatment options with your doctor, family members, and friends. Ask for as much information as you deem necessary. How much you want to be involved in decision-making about treatment is up to you.

Treatment of mesothelioma

There is currently no cure for mesothelioma, but aggressive treatment is recommended for some people. This includes chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery, or a combination of these treatments. For some people, it helps control the disease longer.

Her two types of mesothelioma are treated differently.

chemical treatment

Chemotherapy drugs are aimed at destroying cancer cells while doing minimal damage to healthy cells. Chemotherapeutic agents most commonly used to treat pleural mesothelioma include pemetrexed and cisplatin or carboplatin. Chemotherapy for pleural mesothelioma aims to extend life and shrink the cancer, as well as improve quality of life.

Chemotherapy may be used alone or before or after

surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma.

Chemotherapy is given directly to the abdomen of people with peritoneal mesothelioma.

Radiation therapy (radiation therapy)

Radiation therapy, which uses x-rays to kill or damage cancer cells (also called radiation therapy), can be used in different ways for different stages of pleural mesothelioma. For example, it can relieve symptoms such as pain caused by a tumor, or it can be given after chemotherapy or surgery to help kill any remaining cancer cells.

Radiation therapy is rarely used to treat peritoneal mesothelioma, but it may be used to relieve pain and to kill any cancer cells left after surgery or chemotherapy.


There are two main types of surgery that are considered for aggressively treating pleural mesothelioma. Alternatively, pleurectomy with pulmonary dissection (PD) to remove the pleura and as much disease as possible.

Surgery for peritoneal mesothelioma is possible if the cancer has not spread. In this operation, called a peritonectomy, the surgeon removes the part of the peritoneum where the mesothelioma is growing.

trimodality therapy

Trimodality therapy uses a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and major surgery. Used to treat some mesothelioma patients.

treatment of symptoms

The major objective of treatment when mesothelioma is revealed at an advanced stage is to manage symptoms and keep them being under control as workable.

Treatment includes surgery to improve shortness

of breath caused by fluid buildup. VATS (video-assisted thoracoscopic surgery) removes a portion of the chest wall and lung lining. During the procedure, sterile talcum powder is injected into the chest cavity, causing inflammation and closing the chest cavity to prevent fluid from accumulating again.

A more extensive laparotomy may be done to drain

fluid from the lungs and relieve chest pain. An indwelling pleural drain can be used for those who are not suitable for VATS or open surgery. This allows the fluid to drain once or twice a week, depending on how quickly the fluid accumulates again.

The treatment team will discuss with the patient

appropriate treatment options to help with other symptoms such as insomnia, pain, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss.

palliative care

In some cases of mesothelioma, your health care team may discuss palliative care. Palliative care aims to improve quality of life by relieving cancer symptoms.

In addition to slowing the spread of mesothelioma, palliative treatments can relieve pain and help manage other symptoms. Treatment includes radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or other drug therapy.

treatment team

Depending on the treatment, the treatment team may consist of different health care professionals, such as:

GP (General Practitioner) - Manages general health conditions and works with specialists to coordinate treatment.

Radiologists - interpret diagnostic scans (including CT, MRI and PET scans).

Respiratory Physician - Investigates symptoms, participates in diagnosis, and determines initial treatment options.

Interventional radiologists - use imaging scans (CT, MRI, ultrasound) to guide needles and other instruments to remove tissue for diagnosis.

pathologist - examines cells and tissues under a microscope

Thoracic (chest) surgeon - Diagnoses and performs surgery on cancers and other diseases of the lungs and chest.

Medical oncologist - Prescribes and coordinates courses of chemotherapy.

Radiation oncologist - Prescribes and coordinates radiation therapy.

Palliative Care Team - Helps control symptoms, help maintain quality of life, and provides a variety of support services.

Cancer Nurses - Assist with treatment and provide information and support during treatment.

Other relevant health professionals, such as social workers, pharmacists, and counselors.

Screening for mesothelioma

There are currently no national mesothelioma screening programs available in Australia.

prevention of mesothelioma

Reducing your exposure to asbestos, whether at work or at home, is the most likely way to reduce your risk of mesothelioma. Australia has a code of conduct on asbestos management and management: www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au

Mesothelioma Prognosis

Doctors cannot predict the exact course of the disease because it depends on the individual's circumstances. However, your doctor may give you a prognosis, possible outcome of the disease, based on the type of mesothelioma, test results, tumor growth rate, age, fitness, and medical history.

In general, the earlier cancer is found, the better the prognosis. However, mesothelioma is often diagnosed at an advanced stage, and early symptoms are often not noticed. Advanced cancer is more difficult to treat successfully, but it is possible to keep the disease under control for months or years, and relief of symptoms can improve quality of life.