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What Is Mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is rare and on frequent occasions, work-related. It affects the mesotehlium, which is the name of the membrane covering most of the body's internal organs. It usually starts in the lungs and spreads outward from there. Most people have seen comercials on television advertising for a mesothelioma law firm that will defend a victim of this type of cancer, but until they have first-hand experience with the disease, they know very little about it. In most cases, the disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, so there are also cases in which a person has lived with asbestos in their home and developed the disease.

The disease appears in tumor form which an be either benign or malignant. Most of the time treatment includes chemotherapy, radiation, or surgery, or a combination of the three. When the disease is benign, it is called fibroma. Most medical pracitioners believe that fibroma, the benign version of the disease, does not have a connection to asbestos exposure. Though some might believe smoking might lead to a lung-related cancer such as this, there is no evidence for this being the case.

To better understand how the disease affects the body, you must first know that the membrane affected consists of two layers of cells. There is one layer that surrounds the organ and another that forms a layer or sac around that. The membrane produces fluid which is supposed to lubricate between the two layers and allow organs that need to move to do so without creating friction against other organs or parts of the body.

Symptoms of the disease vary from person to person, depending on which part of the body is affected. Accumulation of fluid is a common symptom of the disease, which leads to shortness of breath and pain in the ribcage area. If a person is experiencing weight loss, stomach pain, lumps in their abdomen or abdominal swelling, there is a chance the disease is centered in that area, which is the second most common area affected after the lungs. Other common symptoms of the disease include fever, issues with blood clotting, bowel obstruction and anemia. Like all cancers, there is a possibility this will spread. Symptoms the disease has spread include swelling of the face or neck, pain of any kind and trouble swallowing.

In addition to affecting those who have worked with asbestos, there is some evidence that those living with the workers are also affected. This is because asbestos dust settles on clothing and is transported home. If someone is washing the clothing or near the dust particles, it is likely they will be inhaled. Over time, this leads to an internal build-up and the reaction is often devastating. Most people who work in dangerous environments with asbestos remove their clothing before entering their home so nobody else is affected by the particles. However, if a worker does not realize they are being exposed or is unaware of the danger, there is a chance this precaution will not be taken.

By: Stewart Wrighter

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  1. Asbestos poisoning also called as asbestosis is an interstitial pulmonary fibrosis that is caused by asbestos exposure. When asbestos containing materials break down or disturbed, its microscopic fibers become airborne that can easily be inhaled or swallowed and can cause serious health concerns in the long run.


  2. Hi.. Admin, thanks for your informative comment