Mesothelioma is a form of cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It is generally contracted from exposure to asbestos at work.
The cells affected by this cancer are the mesothelial cells which cover the outer surface of the body’s internal organs. Mesothelioma can be found on the lungs, the heart or the abdomen.
Regrettably, there is currently no cure for mesothelioma. Those diagnosed with the disease generally only have a short time to live. There are mesothelioma treatmentsthat can add time to the victims life. Doctors will determine whether surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy might be desirable. However, mesothelioma is understood to be a terminal illness. Mesothelioma causes are well understood. Unfortunately, lasting cures do not exist.
Types of Mesothelioma
There are three kinds of mesothelioma: Pleural Mesothelioma and Peritoneal Mesothelioma are the most common. The third form of mesothelioma is called Pericardial Mesothelioma, but it is extremely rare.
Pleural Mesothelioma: Pleural Mesothelioma is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers into the lungs. It is the most common form of the disease. The cancer develops on the pleura (lining) of the lungs, with this form of cancer, breathing becomes extremely difficult and painful. The overwhelming majority of mesothelioma claims are for Pleural Mesothelioma.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma is not as common as pleural mesothelioma but it too is caused by contact with asbestos. The cancer develops on the lining of the peritoneum (abdomen) which prevents it from properly lubricating the organs in the abdomen
Causes of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is caused by breathing in asbestos dust. In most cases, the exposure to asbestos occurs at work in places such as shipyards, building sites, power stations, railway workshops and other factories where men were employed for decades.
Mesothelioma can form from even low levels of exposure to asbestos or where the exposure took place over a relatively short period of time.
At this time, it is believed that fiberglass does NOT cause mesothelioma, although some believe it could cause lung cancer and a number of other diseases. Many have wondered about this.
Many women who have been diagnosed with mesothelioma have developed it from contact with the clothing of their male relatives who have worked in asbestos related industries. Some were directly exposed at work, and others by simply living close by to a factory that releases asbestos fibers and dust into the surrounding environment