Malignant Mesothelioma

Malignant mesothelioma - Cancer tumor that has developed from the tissue that lines the surface of the chest, abdominal cavity or heart (pericardium) There are three types of malignant mesothelioma: epithelioid, which has the best prognosis, sarcomatoid, and mixed type.

Most of mesothelioma occurs in the chest cavity and are called pleural mesotheliomas. In 10-20% of the tumor develops in the abdominal cavity - mesothelioma of the peritoneum. Pericardial mesothelioma is very rare.

Exposure to asbestos is the major risk factor for mesothelioma. The risk of developing mesothelioma depends on the intensity and duration of exposure to asbestos. Prolonged contact at a young age greatly increases the risk of mesothelioma. Smoking by itself has no effect on the increase in the incidence of mesothelioma, but the combination of smoking and asbestos exposure significantly increases the risk of lung cancer.

Tumor for a long time may be asymptomatic and therefore often detected in late stages, which adversely affects the prognosis of the disease. The median survival of patients is usually only 1-2 years.

Early symptoms of mesothelioma are not specific. These patients are often ignored or taken for expression of the usual non-neoplastic diseases. Most patients with mesothelioma symptoms appear within 2-3 months prior to the detection of the tumor.

In some patients the symptoms can persist for 6 months or more. 50% of patients with pleural mesothelioma noted pain in the chest on the side or the back. Many patients complain of shortness of breath. In some cases, there is difficulty swallowing, cough, sweating, weakness, weight loss and fever. Almost all found pleurisy, fluid in the pleural cavity.

Other symptoms can point to hoarseness, coughing up blood, swelling of the face and upper extremities.

In patients with peritoneal mesothelioma can be abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss. Some patients may receive the fluid in the abdomen (ascites) and / or swelling.


Surgical treatment of mesothelioma

The operation can be performed as a palliative or therapeutic purposes. Under palliative operation meant surgery, with which you can eliminate or reduce pain or discomfort caused by tumor growth-plevroektomiya (removing the pleura), thoracentesis (removal of fluid from the pleural cavity), etc. Such operations are used when it is impossible to remove the tumor because of the prevalence of the process or the serious condition of the patient. Patients in a satisfactory condition, a localized tumor, radical operations, ie complete removal of mesothelioma.

Radiotherapy Mesothelioma

External irradiation in patients with mesothelioma is used most often. With internal radiation radioactive material is supplied directly to the tumor.

This type of radiation therapy is used as the primary method of treatment for patients in critical condition, when they can not move a serious operation. Auxiliary radiation therapy is administered after nonradical operations to destroy the remaining cancer cells.

Palliative irradiation is used to relieve symptoms caused by tumor growth: shortness of breath, pain, bleeding and difficulty swallowing.

Mesothelioma Chemotherapy

In the treatment of patients with malignant mesothelioma chemotherapy drugs can be administered not only intravenously, but intrapleural and intraperitoneally (into the abdominal cavity).

Depending on the stage of the tumor, chemotherapy may be as basic or secondary treatment. Moreover, chemotherapy is used only as a palliative, giving only a temporary effect.

Of anticancer drugs used: doxorubicin, cisplatin, methotrexate, vinorelbine, and others in various combinations.

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