Mesothelioma is one of the most dangerous forms of cancel known to man. The reason behind its characterization is in the manner of which it develops. Mesothelioma is caused from exposure to asbestos particles. During this exposure, the asbestos particles become logged deep down into the lungs and set of a slow chemical reaction. This reaction causes the tissues to develop into cancerous cells that restrict the movement of the chest cavity. The danger behind mesothelioma is that during its incubation, its symptoms are the same as other simple respiratory ailments. This period sometimes takes up to thirty to forty years at which stage it is irreversible.
Before giving a diagnosis on mesothelioma, we must first understand the different types of mesothelioma. There are three types of mesothelioma. The type of mesothelioma is determined by what part of the chest cavity the disease affects. Pleural mesothelioma attacks the lining of the lungs while peritoneal mesothelioma attacks the lining of the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma affects the lining around the heart. With this understanding, you will be able to understand the terms used by your doctor during the diagnosis.
The most reliable method of the diagnosis of mesothelioma is through a process known as tissue biopsy. During a tissue biopsy, tissue sample is extracted from the respiratory cavity and taken to a lab for testing. The biopsy can be achieved by four methods. The first method known as a bronchoscope biopsy involves the insertion of a bronchoscope though the mouth or nose, through the windpipe and into the lungs to remove the required lung tissue. The second known as a needle biopsy involves the insertion through the walls of the chest to remove the lung tissue. This method is used when the abnormal tissue is close to the chest walls. The third method, known as open biopsy involves the surgeon making an incision between the rib cage to remove a sample of the affected tissue. The final method uses a method known as video assisted thorascopic surgery. This involves passing a thorascope through the chest cavity to remove a sample of the tissue from the lung. The sample is examined for the formation of cancerous cells and based on the location of where it was removed, the type of mesothelioma determined.
The symptoms of mesothelioma during its development stages are similar to that of pneumonia and other bronchiole illnesses. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, it would not hurt to get a second opinion from other medical specialists such as those at the National Cancer Institute. This action should not be deemed offensive by any well thinking doctor because the treatment process for mesothelioma is both expensive and physically stressing on patients.
Once you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you have to start looking out for tell-tail signs of the disease worsening. Mesothelioma Patients will experience shortness of breath, chest pains, persistent coughing and swelling in the abdomen. Always keep a close relationship with your doctor who will conduct continuous analysis and track the development or regression of the disease.