Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is an aggressive malignant cancer caused by exposure to asbestos. The disease affects linings of the lungs and wall of the chest due to inhalation of the asbestos fibers. In other cases, the surroundings of the heart and abdomen linings are also affected.

A thin membrane surrounding our lungs inside the chest wall is known as the pleura. When asbestos fibers are inhaled, it most affects this membrane. Hence the disease is known as malignant pleural mesothelioma.

Most Common Symptoms of Pleural Mesothelioma Cancer

Pleural Mesothelioma is generally not detected unless it reaches an advanced stage. The most common symptoms are related to breathing.

  • Short breathing
  • Pain during breathing
  • Chest pain
  • Lumps inside chest
  • Night sweat
  • Dry cough

The patient may also feel fatigued, fever, and suffer from weight loss and swollen face and swollen arms.

Stages in Pleural Mesothelioma

Depending upon the behavior of the disorder, doctors have defined four pleural mesothelioma stages.

Stage I – This is the earliest stage where the cancer is only in the lining of the lungs or heart or abdomen. The cancer is not spread beyond lymph nodes.

Stage II – The cancer is spread beyond the lining in the surrounding lymph nodes.

Stage III – In the third stage, the cancer is spread in one side of the body and is spread to surrounding and some distant nodes and/or surrounding organs.

Stage IV – The last and advanced stage of mesothelioma occurs when cancer inflicts both the sides of the body.

Diagnosis and Treatment Options for Pleural Mesothelioma

Malignant pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed using biopsies and scans. The chest area is examined using x-rays and CT scans. MRI and PET scans are also used to diagnose to know the detailed locations of the tumors formed due to mesothelioma.

Pleural Mesothelioma treatment options-

Pleural mesothelioma is generally treated using traditional cancer treatments. Patients in the initial stages have better chances for cure and longer survivals.

Depending upon the development of the disease, the following options are used to treat the condition-

  1. Surgery
  2. Chemotherapy
  3. Radiation therapies
  4. Immuno therapies

Apart from above, photo dynamic therapy, gene therapy, and multi modality therapies are also used to treat pleural mesothelioma cancer.