Pericardial Mesothelioma Faq
What is pericardial mesothelioma?
Pericardial Mesothelioma is a rare form of mesothelioma cancer that accounts for approximately 5% of all mesothelioma cases. Cancerous cells build up on the lining of the heart.
What is the cause of pericardial mesothelioma?
Asbestos is the main cause of pericardial mesothelioma. When exposed to asbestos without sufficient protection, dust and fibres from the asbestos are inhaled and become lodged in the lungs. From here they can either pass into the lymphatic system and get transported to the lining of the heart or the fibres can just pass through to the heart over time.
Who is at risk from pericardial mesothelioma?
Those who have worked with asbestos constantly for a period of time without sufficient protection are those at risk. These people include construction workers and those who work in asbestos manufacturing plants. Individuals in contact with those in contact with asbestos are also at risk because asbestos fibres can cling to clothes and hair.
How much exposure to asbestos does it take to have a possibility of getting pericardial mesothelioma?
This varies depending on the concentration of the asbestos dust and fibres in the area but it has been recorded that those who have only been exposed for a couple of months have a chance of obtaining pericardial mesothelioma.
What are the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma?
Common symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma are persistent coughing, coughing up blood, shortness of breath, chest pain and palpitations. Other symptoms that patients may experience are weight loss, nausea and loss of appetite.
What is the latency period of pericardial mesothelioma?
All forms of mesothelioma have an extraordinarily long latency period (amount of time symptoms take to show up after having disease). The latency period is between 30 - 50 years and so pericardial mesothelioma is usually discovered in elderly men who have had pericardial mesothelioma for most of their life but have never known it.
What is the prognosis for pericardial mesothelioma?
This is highly dependent on how early and how aggressively the cancerous cells are treated. If the cancer is treated when it has fully developed and matured then the chances of a patient's survival is very small. The prognosis could be only a couple of months.
Is there any promising research for pericardial mesothelioma?
At the moment, research into pericardial mesothelioma is being conducted all over the USA in research labs and also many pharmaceutical companies are endeavouring to find new drugs for chemotherapy. So far, there is still no cure for mesothelioma although researchers predict that new drugs will soon be discovered.
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma A Deadly Curse Of Asbestos
Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma is a quite uncommon type of cancer caused due to asbestos exposure. While it is difficult to diagnose Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma, it hardly responds to any type of therapy. This is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. The possibility of finding this type of cancer is on the lips and the larynx. However, in certain cases it may affect the oral cavity as well. Like all other forms of mesothelioma cancers, this cancer is a fatal disease and hardly responds to any method of treatment. Even though radiation therapy is recommended for the treatment of these cancerous tumors, but some of them may not be radiosensitive and may defy radiation for treatment.
Diagnosis of Sarcomatoid Mesothelioma:
The differentiation of sarcomatoid mesothelioma from other cell tumors by light microscopy is quite difficult. The role of immunohistochemistry is also not well defined in its diagnosis. Since sarcomatoid mesothelioma is not always cytokeratin-negative, the distinction between it and sarcoma is not always possible. In this context, the doctors undertook a study to investigate the utility of diagnostic immunohistochemistry for distinguishing sarcomatoid mesothelioma from its histological mimics, high-grade sarcoma and pulmonary sarcomatoid carcinoma.
For its study, the researchers stained the mesotheliomas with sarcomatoid components. They assessed the intensity and distribution of staining with the help of a semi quantitative scale. Only tumors with unequivocal staining were considered positive for tabulation. Then they compared the immunophenotypic profiles of these tumors with 24 high-grade sarcomas. The sarcomatoid carcinomas were also stained for thyroid transcription factor-1 (TTF-1).
The study showed that Cytokeratin 5/6 stained most of the epithelioids but the sarcomatoids were rarely stained. On the other hand, Calretinin and thrombomodulin each stained 70% of sarcomatoid. All 10 sarcomatoids were negative for TTF-1. This led to the conclusion that a wide immunophenotypic overlap exists among different sarcomatoids. Cytokeratin and calretinin have the most value in differentiating different sarcomatoids. Clinicopathological data, especially information about the gross appearance of the tumor is quite important for sarcomatoid tumors. Thus, it should be noted and carefully correlated with microscopic and immunohistochemical findings.
Mesothelioma The Largest Man Made Epidemic
Mesothelioma - The largest Man Made Epidemic By Lorraine Kember
It is documented that Australia had the highest per capita use of asbestos in the world from the 1950's until the 1970's. As a tragic consequence, Australia now has the highest per capita incidence of mesothelioma in the world. With more than 500 Australians contracting mesothelioma per year, it is estimated that up to 18,000 Australians will die from this asbestos related cancer by the year 2020.
Despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos, there are many people who have not heard of Mesothelioma. This asbestos related cancer is defined as: a malignant spreading tumor of the mesothelium of the pleura, pericardium, or peritoneum, arising form the inhalation of asbestos fibers.
One of the most baffling and frightening known facts concerning Mesothelioma is that many years may pass, between inhalation of asbestos dust and its deadly legacy of disease; it is not uncommon for four decades or more to pass before symptoms due to asbestos dust inhalation become apparent.
In November 2004, I was an invited speaker at the Global Asbestos Congress 2004, held in Tokyo Japan. Over 800 participants from 40 countries around the world were in attendance. To be a part of such a large gathering of fellow humans, united in a quest to rid the poison of asbestos from our environments was an intensely moving experience. Having lost my husband to mesothelioma I know first hand the suffering this cruel disease places on its innocent victims.
There were many speakers and each told a tale, of pain, death and heartache. We listened, we understood and we ached for the past, present and future victims of the killer asbestos and its legacy of mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases. We listened and we were shocked and angered to learn that despite the growing awareness of the dangers of asbestos and the increasing incidence of asbestos related disease, there remains some countries who are mining asbestos with little or no regard for their workers or people who will come into contact with asbestos products.
Asbestos disease Association member's world wide are working tirelessly and fighting almost insurmountable odds to ban asbestos from all countries of the world. It is a sobering and frightening fact, that even if we were successful in this quest, the legacy of asbestos related diseases will continue for five decades.
The Asbestos Disease Awareness Organization (ADAO) continues to raise public awareness about the dangers of asbestos exposure and the incurable and often deadly asbestos related diseases. ADAO is quickly expanding and uniting veterans, fire-fighters, shipbuilders, teachers and thousands of other innocent people around the world. Asbestos Awareness leads to education, prevention, new treatments and ultimately a cure.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Is A Rare Type Of Cancer
that affects the lining of the abdomen. It occurs in the tissues lining the abdominal cavity that contain a fluid that enables the organs to move and work properly. It is a cancer, which is associated with asbestos exposure, a mineral belonging to the amphibole group used in making fireproof articles. Asbestos exposure can cause severe health complications.
Peritoneal mesothelioma is sometimes also referred as diffuse peritoneal mesothelioma, as this is the place where the cancer spreads out. Among asbestos related diseases, peritoneal mesothelioma is the most common cancer.
Peritoneal mesothelioma can prove fatal in many circumstances if proper diagnosis and treatment is not done. The latency period is very long [ten to fifty years] and most of the time it is diagnosed when the disease is well spread into the body. Mesothelioma can affect any part and organ of the body if not detected on time.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma Symptoms
The symptoms may not appear soon after exposure to asbestos. It may take a long latency period and symptoms may be clear after a long time.
Mesothelioma Information Knowing About The Disease Is Our Own Right
Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer induced by exposure to asbestos. It affects the mesothelium, a protective sac that covers most of the internal organs of the human body and nearly takes 10-50 years to develop. In the nascent stage of Mesothelioma attack, the pleura or peritoneum are affected and then it gradually spreads to the other parts of the body. Mesothelioma is also termed as 'malignant' mesothelioma where the lining of the chest, the abdomen and the heart are attacked. There are two types of mesothelioma, one being Pleural mesothelioma (lung cancer) and the other being Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdominal cancer).
How you can get affected of Mesothelioma
The inhaling of the fine airborne asbestos dust and fibers causes mesothelioma. It is a proven fact, as 70% to 80% of the case histories of patients state that asbestos exposure in factories or industries leads to mesothelioma. Hence all those working in construction based jobs like shipyards, boilermakers, insulators etc. are susceptible to this fatal disease.
The first step to cure of this disease is to find out all the relevant symptoms. But because of the long latency period of mesothelioma, the symptoms come into play even after 30-50 years since the contraction of the disease. Moreover, the symptoms are not conclusive, and are common to most other diseases. This is why the mesothelioma tests are imperative from the doctor's point of view.
The three most prominent symptoms of Mesothelioma are excruciating pain whilst breathing or coughing, breathing problems and a persistent cough, which could even, lead to bleeding. In addition, tiredness, loss of appetite, loss of weight are some of the other symptoms. Amongst some of the very rare symptoms, husky voice, problem in swallowing, swelling of the face and pain around the rib area are considered.
It is a daunting task to diagnose the victims of mesothelioma. Normally the average age of the victims at diagnosis is around 50 to 70 years. Surprisingly, the white Americans are victimized more than the African Americans. At the time diagnosis begins, the disease had already spread and seems invincible. A victim would normally survive for only one year when the disease becomes quite ominous. However, the survival time of the patient can be stretched to almost two years if the disease is detected early and given proper treatment.
There are many factors, which determine the treatment of Mesothelioma viz., stage of the disease, location of the cancer, patient's age and general health. Surgeries, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy are amongst the basic treatments for Mesothelioma. In the recent past, treatments like removal of the pleural fluid to relieve pain and control breathlessness are being used. Apart from medication, there are a few helpful techniques that can help relieve pain and stress. These involve a balanced diet preferably prescribed by a general physician or a dietitian, conservation of energy on self-initiative as well as therapies such as aromatherapy, relaxation and massage.
In the inference, it would be worthwhile to mention that Mesothelioma is a dreadful disease and its spread can only be shunned if you are willing to know more about the disease. Then again you should also make sure that you take precautionary measures by piecing together all the information that you have garnered today.
Mesothelioma Symptoms Of Mesothelioma Cancer
There are various symptoms of Mesothelioma cancer, but sometimes they don't appear until 30 to 50 years after exposure to asbestos, hence the importance of following the series of recommendations for prevention of asbestos-related diseases among asbestos workers.
The most common Mesothelioma symptoms are shortness of breath and pain in the chest. These symptoms occur due to a buildup of fluid in the pleura, what is known as Pleural Mesothelioma. However the symptoms of Peritoneal Mesothelioma include weight loss, abdominal pain and swelling due to an accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity.
Peritoneal mesothelioma may include other uncomfortable symptoms too, such as bowel obstruction, blood clotting abnormalities, anemia and fever.
However these symptoms can appear before if malignant cancerous cells have spread beyond the mesothelium to other parts of the body, and other symptoms such as trouble swallowing, pain, and swelling of the neck or face may appear.
Mesothelioma or other less serious conditions may caused these symptoms, therefore the importance of going to a doctor if you feel any of these symptoms, because only an expert like him can make a correct diagnosis.
Mesothelioma cancer rate has increased over the past 20 years and although this disease is not as common as other cancer pathologies, the number of new diagnosed cases in the United States has risen up to 2,000 per year.
According to experts the major risk factor for developing Mesothelioma lies in working with asbestos, so if you are a asbestos worker remember following the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration recommendations in order to reduce your risk.
Next Article: Mesothelioma Diagnosis
What Is Pericardial Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is a cancer of the epithelium that lines the lungs, the abdomen, or the heart. Pericardial Mesothelioma is the cancer of the lining of the heart, known as the pericardium, hence the name pericardial mesothelioma.
This rare form of mesothelioma accounts for small percentage of all cases, roughly 5%. The pericardium has an extrememly important role as it protects the heart from any damage. Should an individual become afflicted with this cancer, they should take it very seriously and seek specialized medical attention. If left untreated during the early stages of diagnosis, it can become a terminal illness with a very low survival rate.
As with all forms of mesothelioma, pericardial mesothelioma is caused by inhaling asbestos. Those who are most at risk are construction workers and asbestos manufacturers. The wearing of a protective mask can help to minimize the inhalation of asbestos dust in to the lungs (since the asbestos fibres get lodged in the lungs). If you have noticed, the majority of workers aren't properly protected when working on construction sites - even in industrialized nations such as the United States. One would expect to see otherwise, thinking that companies follow OSHA directives. That isn't the case all the time.
During the middle of the 20th century (roughly between 1950-1970) asbestos was one of the most popular building materials, and scores of young men were exposed to it. Now, in the 21st century (some 50 years later - the latency period of pericardial mesothelioma), these young men who are now over 60 years of age are beginning to exhibit the symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma. As a result, multi-million dollar lawsuits are being filed against the companies that employed them.
The problem with pericardial mesothelioma is that its symptoms only start appearing in the cancer's latest stages, making it even more difficult to treat. The main symptoms are shortness of breath, palpitations, chest pains and a persistent cough. Other symptoms of pericardial mesothelioma include nausea, weight loss and loss of appetite. Another problem with these symptoms is that they are similar to those of pneumonia (shortness of breath), and this tends to lead to the wrong treatment being administered to an individual afflicted with pericardial mesothelioma.
Treatment options for pericardial mesothelioma include chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, and dual therapy. The survival rate is extremely low, and it is important to stress that one's chances of healing are increased should treatment commence in the early stages of diagnosis.
Mesothelioma in itself is one of the deadliest diseases ever to have been discovered by mankind. Medically, Mesothelioma as a word itself means a tumor that is more likely to transform in a fast proliferating cancer which affects the mesothelial cells of an organ, which form the protective thin covering over the organs like heart, lungs and abdomen.
Whatever is the verbal definition given out to this deadly disease, but those can never for sure weigh the deadliness of this fatal disease. It is an absolutely fatal disease which has taken many a people into its deadly grip. The maximum period of survival after the disease has been diagnosed, has come to the most of a year or two. It is worse form of cancer which is not curable. However, recent studies have suggested that if the disease can be diagnosed at a very early stage then the life of the individual who gets affected by this deadly disease, can be stretched till at the most of 5 years. The treatment of this disease is very expensive but the treatment doesn't assure life but a few more days, to procure the huge lump-sum required for the treatment, people also file lawsuits to cover the huge incurring expenses for the treatment.
The main cause of mesothelioma has been detected as to the prolonged exposure to asbestos. Most of the patients that have been diagnosed with the disease, had acquired the disease cause of prolonged exposure to asbestos. The statistics of the mesothelioma patients has revealed the connection between the asbestos and the dangerous cancer syndrome.
And usually this disease is found to affect people and workers who work in industries. Usually, industries use asbestos as an imperative input for carrying on different processes; it is being used in factories, automobile, shipyard and construction. Direct exposure to loose asbestos fibers can develop the symptoms of mesothelioma, but the infected cells can remain dormant in the body for a long period of about 15-20 years.
But the worst par of the disease is the fact that this disease generally gets detected in older days i.e. at the age of 50-60 years and also mostly in the last stage. Thereby, reducing the chances of the individual's recovery. So this is very necessary that people who are likely to take in much asbestos particles should be scanned regularly for any symptoms of mesothelioma.
Government policies have empowered the mesothelioma patients to claim for compensation. They can file lawsuits with the help of their attorneys for claiming such compensation. The mesothelioma victims can sue the company in which he had been employed into, for not being socially rational, but being more inclined towards the flowing profits, and not undertaking any steps to slacken the use of asbestos or using in a more protective way which has resulted in endangering the lives of the employees.
10 Options In Treating Mesothelioma
As with any cancer, treatment for Mesothelioma depends on the location of the cancer, the progression of the disease, the age as well as state of health of the patient.
It is the oncologist who specializes in the disease who will decide on the line of treatment. The disease is difficult to treat and in most cases the prognosis is poor. Treatment options include:
1.If the diagnosis is done in the early stages surgery may be recommended to remove all cancerous tissues. This means thoracoscopy, VATS or video assisted thoracic surgery, mediastinoscopy (used for staging), or laproscopy. Often, doctors will advise palliative procedures like chest tube drainage and pleurodesis, thoracoscopy and pleurodesis, pleuroperitonial shunt, or pleurectomy, which treat the symptoms of mesothelioma rather than the disease.
2.Radiation is prescribed aggressively for mesothelioma patients and is often given in combination with surgery or in order to control symptoms, palliatively. Research on using radiation therapy using implants or UV light therapy is in progress as traditional radiation therapy damages surrounding healthy tissue.
3.Chemotherapy is an option and around 12-20% of patients respond to the drugs. Anti-cancer drugs destroy cancer cells and prevent their spread. In mesothelioma, chemotherapy is not considered to be curative. The aim is to prevent spread of the disease; shrink the tumor prior to surgery, known as neoadjuvant therapy; to annihilate any remains of the tumor in the body post surgery; and to relieve pain and other discomfort, palliative chemotherapy. Experts recommend prescribing premetrexed along with cisplastin. These drugs have shown positive results and this is now standard care for Mesothelioma not treatable by surgery.
4.Biological therapy using interleukin 2.
5.Immunotherapy where the body's own immune system is stimulated to fight the disease. Biological response modifiers, BRMs, are used in treatment. These enhance the functions of the immune system; regulate metabolic reactions that promote growth of cancers; alter cancer cell division; block or reverse processes that lead to formation of cancers; and prevent spread of cancer.
6.Gene therapy, where attempts are made to correct the gene sequence that causes the cancer. This is of two kinds, replacement gene therapy and knockout gene therapy.
7.Administration of lovastatin, a cholesterol lowering drug.
8.Photodynamic treatment where a photosensitive medication is activated using a laser. This is done during the surgical removal of cancerous tissues.
9.Draining of fluid in the chest or abdominal cavity followed by introduction of medications into the cavity to prevent fluid accumulation is done for patients who have uncontrolled fluid accumulation and intense discomfort stemming from it.
10.Combination therapy or Trimodal therapy which means surgery accompanied by radiation and chemotherapy.
Often, complementary medicines are also used. Termed to be holistic this kind of treatment focuses on a patient's physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well being.
In the case of Mesothelioma which is untreatable one can opt for clinical trials of new treatments that are in progress in several research laboratories and centers. The best advice on the line of treatment would be that recommended by the oncologist or physician.
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