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Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment

INTRODUCTION:

Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment - Malignant Mesothelioma is a rare type of cancer where the growth of mesothelial cells (thin layers of tissue) is rapid and is associated with asbestos exposure. Asbestos can be described as a set of six naturally occurring fibrous minerals that are composed of lean needle-like fibers. Exposure to asbestos increases the risk of malignant mesothelioma.

Malignant Mesothelioma is a disease in which cancer cells are found in the form of thin layers of tissues in the pleura, which line the chest cavity and lungs. And the cells can also be found in the form of thin layers of tissues in the peritoneum, which line the abdomen.

Malignant Mesothelioma Treatment

CAUSES AND RISK FACTORS:

The main cause of malignant mesothelioma is the inhaling of microscopic asbestos fibers. These fibers can get into the lungs, damaging the cells, causing mesothelioma. This mesothelioma develops after decades of asbestos exposure.
The main causes or the risk factors are as follows:-

  • 1. Working in the asbestos mining.
  • 2. Working in a high-risk occupation such as construction.
  • 3. Serving on military ships.
  • 4. Disturbing asbestos products during a home renovation.

 

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS:

Some of the signs of malignant mesothelioma are:-

  • • Breath Shortness
  • • Cough
  • • Pain in the rib cage
  • • Pain or swelling in the abdomen
  • • Constipation
  • • Lumps in the body
  • • Weight loss
  • • Easy tiring of the body
  • • Feeling dizzy

 

PROGNOSIS:

The prognosis (chances of recovery) and treatment depends upon the following:

  • • The stage of cancer
  • • The size of the tumor
  • • Patient’s age
  • • The heart condition of the patient
  • • Amount of fluid in the chest
  • • The type of mesothelial cells
  • • Hemoglobin

 

STAGES OF MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA :

The cancer spreads in the body in the following three ways:

  • 1.TISSUE: Cancer spreads by passing into the nearby tissues of the body.
  • 2. LYMPH SYSTEM: Cancer spreads to the lymph system. It travels through the lymph vessels to all the parts of the body.
  • 3. BLOOD: Cancer spreads by getting into the blood of the body. It travels through the blood vessels into the whole body.

Malignant mesothelioma is divided into four stages: STAGE-I, STAGE-II, STAGE-III, STAGE-IV 

STAGE-I: Stage I is divided into IA and IB:

In IA, the cancer is found only on one side of the lining of the chest. On the same side of the lining, the following may also be found:

  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the lungs.
  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the top of the diaphragm.
  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the organs between the lungs.

In IB, cancer is found inside the chest’s lining, and also in the each of the thin layers that cover the lungs, in the organs between the lungs and on top of the diaphragm. On the same side of the lining, the following may also be found:

  • • Lung tissue
  • • Diaphragm
  • • The tissue between the ribs and the inside of the chest's lining
  • • Sac around the heart  
  •  

STAGE-II:

In stage-II, cancer is found inside the lining of the chest wall only on one side. On the same side of the lining, the following may also be found:

  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the lungs
  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the top of the diaphragm
  • • A thin layer of tissues that covers the organs between the lungs

Cancer also spreads into the lymph nodes of the body.

STAGE-III:

Stage-III is divided into stages namely stage IIIA and IIIB. In IIIA, cancer is found inside the chest’s lining and also in the each of the thin layers that cover lungs, in the organs between the lungs and on top of the diaphragm. On the same side of the lining, the following may also be found:

  • • Sac around the heart.
  • • Tissues between the ribs and the inside of the chest’s lining.
  • • Fat between the lungs.

Cancer also spreads to the lymph nodes along the center of the chest on the same side of the tumor of the chest. In IIIB, cancer is found inside the chest’s lining and also in the each of the thin layers that cover the lungs, in the organs between the lungs and on top of the diaphragm on one side of the chest. On the same side of the lining, the following may also be found:

  • • Lung tissue
  • • Diaphragm
  • • The tissue between the ribs and the inside of the chest’s lining
  • • Sac around the heart.
  • • Soft tissues of the chest wall.

The cancer spreads to the lymph nodes above the collarbone on either side of the chest.

STAGE-IV:

In this stage, cancer has spread to the tissues covering the lungs, the peritoneum, the bones, the liver, the lymph nodes, tissues outside the chest and to other parts of the body.

TREATMENT OPTIONS FOR MALIGNANT MESOTHELIOMA

For the patients suffering from malignant mesothelioma, different kinds of treatments are available. The standard treatments given to the patients are of four types:

  • • Surgery
  • • Radiation therapy
  • • Chemotherapy.
  • • Targeted therapy.

Mesothelioma causes the collection of fluids near the chest area & leads to various unbearable problems. The different symptoms of Malignant Mesothelioma are breathing trouble, coughing, pain in the abdomen, weight loss, constipation, blood vomiting & clot formation. Trouble breathing.

Tests for detection of Malignant Mesothelioma

The following tests differentiate between lung cancer and malignant mesothelioma:
Physical Examination: A scan of the body for checking symptoms of health, & diseases, such as lumps or anything else that seems unusual. A history of the patient’s health habits, exposure to asbestos, and past illnesses and treatments will also be taken.

Chest Examination: It is done through X-Ray. All organs and chest area are studied by it. X-Ray pass through the patient organs and diagnosis him/her. 

CT Scan: A way that creates a combination of many pictures of the chest and abdomen, taken from different views. The images are made through a PC attached to an X-Ray setup. 

Biopsy Report: It consists of removing tissues from the peritoneum to be view through a microscope by a specialist to notice for signs of cancer. 

 

Factors affecting the treatment

It depends on the following factors:

      • (a) The condition of cancer.
      • (b) The range of the tumour.
      • (c) If the tumour can be by-passed by surgery.
      • (d) The amount of fluid in the chest.
      • (e) Age of patient.
      • (f) Activities are undertaken by the patient.
      • (g) The patient's case history, including lung and heart health.
      • (h) The range of mesothelioma cells and how they are perceived under a microscope.
      • (i) The number of WBC and what is the Haemoglobin in blood.
      • (j) Is the patient male or female.

 

Types of Treatment Options

(a) Surgery

Patients diagnosed with stage-I(early stage of mesothelioma) get the most benefit from the surgery. It offers them the best chance of living their lives the most. This removes the tumor of the chest area lining and gives them a better life. The most common surgical methods used are as under:

· WIDE LOCAL EXCISION: This is a kind of surgery where the tumor is removed along with some healthy tissues around it.
· PLEURECTOMY AND DECORTICATION: This removes the lining of the chest and parts covering the lungs along the outer surface of the lungs.
· EXTRAPLEURAL PNEUMONECTOMY: This removes the one whole lung and part of the lining of the chest, diaphragm, and sac around the heart.
· PLEURODESIS: A surgical process where chemicals are used to make scars between the layers of pleura. The fluid is first drained from the space, and chemicals are put into space.

After being given the treatment of surgery, some patients are treated with chemotherapy and radiation therapy also. This is given to reduce the risk of cancer occurring again.

(b) Radiation Therapy

Radiation therapy controls symptoms when surgery is not an option for the cancer patient. It helps to control chest pain and eases discomfort. It is a treatment which uses high energy rays called X-rays or other types of radiations to kill cancer. The two types of radiation therapy are:

· A system utilizes outside the human body to supply the radiations to cancer cells, so which is called External Radiation Treatment.

· A radioactive substance sealed in needles, cables, etc. that can be directly transferred to or close to the cancer cells that are called Internal Radiation Therapy.

(c) Chemotherapy

Chemotherapy is a cancer treatment which uses a drug to stop the growth of cancer cells, either by killing them or by stopping them from being multiplied. When chemotherapy is given through nose or veins, the drugs enter into the bloodstream that reaches the cancer cells in the whole body.

The way the chemotherapy is given depends upon the stage of cancer the patient is surviving through.

(d) Targeted Therapy

This is a type of treatment that uses drugs or other substances to attack and kill the cancer cells. It usually causes less harm to the patient’s body as compared to radiation therapy or chemotherapy. A monoclonal antibody is a type of targeted therapy that uses antibodies generated by one immune system mobile. These radicals identify the compounds which help the cancer cells to develop. They're given by infusion.

The method that chemotherapy is used depends on the type and stage of the disease being treated.

New types of treatments, like biological therapy, are also given to mesothelioma patients.

Related more information source : https://www.cancer.gov




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