Mesothelioma Lung Cancer
Often referred to as mesothelioma lung cancer, this is something of a misnomer. Mesothelioma is a cancer of the soft tissue coating that surrounds and lubricates internal organs such as the lungs, heart, and abdominal cavity.
The reason many people refer to this condition as mesothelioma lung cancer is that about 70 percent of these cancers start in the pleura, the lining surrounding the lungs or in the lining of the chest cavity.
Lung carcinoma has been directly linked to environmental risks such as smoking. Mesothelioma is different in that the primary environmental risk appears to be asbestos exposure, generally in the work place. Smoking does not clearly link to mesothelioma.
Asbestos is mineral used to make heat-resistant fabrics and other materials. The first mining and commercial use of asbestos was recorded in the late 1800s. Since then it has been used in everything from building materials to brake pads. The risk of mesothelioma goes up dramatically for anyone in mining or manufacturing that involves asbestos.
Construction crews, particularly those engages in Navy shipbuilding or in commercial building demolition prior to the regulation of asbestos have some of the highest disease rates. Rates of mesothelioma seem directly linked to the length and intensity of exposure, but cases have been recorded just from incidental exposure to asbestos dust in family members of people working in high-asbestos environments.
Familial mesothelioma contributed to establishing clean-room precautions in asbestos work areas.? Shower-out or full change requirements for asbestos removal crews and people working in the few industries still making use of asbestos helps minimize residual contact for friends and family.
Treatment of Mesothelioma
Mesotheliaoma treatment follows a different course than other lung and thoracic carcinomas. Surgery is a common first step in treatment, often removing a full lung if the lining is sufficiently impinged by the cancer. Both external and internal radiation treatments often are part of the overall oncology treatment plan. Finally, chemotherapy is used to target and kill the fast growing cancer cells.
There are also a number of clinical trials ongoing to expand the treatment options for mesothelioma, lung cancer, and many other thoracic cancers.
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