Presentation on theme: "Mesothelioma Livi Eitzman. What is it? Mesothelioma is lung cancer. The cavities within the body encompassing the chest, abdomen, and heart are surround."— Presentation transcript:
What is it? Mesothelioma is lung cancer. The cavities within the body encompassing the chest, abdomen, and heart are surround by a membrane of cells known as the mesothelium. Mesothelial cells assist in general organ functions. The mesothelium is particularly important to organs that are commonly in motion, such as expansion or contraction of the lungs, stomach, or heart. Lubrication from the mesothelial cells allows free range of motion within the body. The mesothelium of the chest, abdomen, and cardiac cavity are called the pleura Malignancies (cancerous tumors) occurring within the mesothelial membranes are known as mesothelioma. Benign tumors of the mesothelium are known to occur, but are much rarer than the more common malignant cancer.
Causes The primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.. Asbestos is a microscopic and naturally-occurring mineral that lodges in the pleural lining of the lungs and the peritoneal lining of the abdominal cavity. This cancer is much more common in men over the age of 60 which is largely attributed to the industrial exposures within male-dominated industries during wwII, and It can take up to 60 years to develop after exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma in women and children has been found as well. Mesothelioma causes for diagnosis in women and children are mainly attributed to secondary exposure to asbestos, as it was not uncommon for men to bring asbestos back into the home on their body or clothing if proper cleaning facilities were not available on site.
Detecting it Mesothelioma can be a difficult malignancy to diagnose because the symptoms and pathology of the disease closely resemble other respiratory conditions. For this reason, misdiagnosis is not uncommon in mesothelioma patients. Diagnostic surgeries, including a biopsy, will typically be required to determine the type of malignant cells that are present in the body. Typically a body imaging scan, including a magnetic resonance image (MRI) or computer topography (CT scan) will be required to determine the extent and location of the disease. Mesothelioma patients are generally referred by their personal physicians to one of the many renowned mesothelioma doctors called oncologists.
Stages Stage 1 Mesothelioma: In Stage 1 the tumor is localized, there is no lymph node involvement and the cancer has not spread to other organs or tissues. In this case, the cancer is likely restricted to one side of the pleura and surgical removal is possible. Symptoms of this stage usually do not appear until the cancer has progressed. In general, individuals with Stage 1 mesothelioma show no noticeable symptoms of their illness. However, some early indications may be chest or abdominal pain and fatigue. Stage 1 patients had a typical prognosis of 24 months. Stage 2 Mesothelioma: In Stage 2, the tumor is larger and has invaded the lung or diaphragm. Lymph nodes may also be involved. In this case, surgical resection may be possible though the cancer has likely spread to both sides of the pleura. There is a survival average of 16 months. Some Stage 2 patients lived for years after diagnosis. Stage 3 Mesothelioma: In Stage 3, mesothelioma has invaded a single region or area such as the chest wall, esophagus, lymph nodes and surgical resection is generally ruled out as an effective treatment. Stage 4 Mesothelioma: In Stage 4, mesothelioma has invaded multiple regions such as different areas of the chest wall, the diaphragm and/or the pericardium. Lymph glands are also involved and the cancer has spread to other organ tissue and even blood or bone cells. Surgical removal provides no value in this case as the disease has likely metastasized well beyond its origin. There is a 6.9 month life expectancy.
Effect On Body Symptoms of mesothelioma include chest pain, chronic cough, effusions of the chest and abdomen, and the presence of blood in lung fluid.
Possible Treatments There is no reliable cure for this disease. Treatment decisions depend on whether the cancer is localized to the chest or has spread to the chest wall, diaphragm, or lymph nodes, age and overall health, and the center of treatment. As with most solid tumors, doctors turn to surgery, radiation and chemotherapy to manage mesothelioma. Only about 1 in 5 patients with metastatic pleural mesothelioma undergo surgery. There are two main surgeries: pleurectomy/decortication, in which the surgeon tries to remove as much of the tumor from around the lung as possible, and the more radical extrapleural pneumonectomy, in which the lung itself is removed. There is a lot of debate as to which is “best”, most long-term survivors have had surgery, but there is no difference in survival rates between the two surgeries. Part of the reason is that the cancer has often spread to other parts of the body by the time it is diagnosed even if it appears to be confined to the chest. At some point, the management of the disease will shift from trying to cure the disease to trying to keep the patient as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
Possible Cure A pair of scientists at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco has found that a compound derived from marijuana could stop metastasis in many kinds of aggressive cancer, potentially altering the fatality of the disease forever. "What we found was that his Cannabidiol could essentially 'turn off' the cancer cells. The cells stopped spreading and returned to normal." Cannabidiol works with many kinds of aggressive cancers. It is non-psychoactive, does not cause the "high" associated with THC.
Prevention Factory managers and owners can make sure there is no asbestos particles in their factory. This cancer is highly preventable now that scientists know the main cause.
Additional Information Mesothelioma is one the most tragic and horrible of all the cancers. It is one hundred percent fatal and the only way to live longer than an average of a few years is to undergo surgery, particularly removing the cancerous lung. This makes living extremely difficult and traumatic. Many have lost loved ones to this cancer. This is almost entirely due to working in an environment containing asbestos particles and take about 60 years to develop even though detecting it is very difficult since mesothelioma mimics signs of other cancers,
Support Group cancercenter.com is a place where those diagnosed with cancer can chat online about their experiences and share ideas and vent to those that understand.