Pleural mesothelioma is the most diagnosed form of mesothelioma and is over 60 percent of all cases of mesothelioma discovered in the United States yearly. Pleural mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the lungs and chest cavity, called the pleura. The pleural has two parts: the parietal and visceral pleura. The parietal pleura lines the chest wall and diaphragm while the visceral pleura lines the lungs. The liquid between these two membranes allows them to rub against each other as the lungs expand and contract without friction while breathing.
Asbestos fibers get into the smallest passageways of the lungs and then into the pleura. When they get there, a chemical reaction causes cancerous cells to form. As the cells begin to multiply and deform, the pleural lining expands and more fluid than needed accumulates. Pleural thickening takes up space in this cavity and makes breathing difficult, which is the first symptom for pleural mesothelioma. The fluid that once lubricated this cavity to allow smooth movement between the lungs and other organs, now causes increased pressure, making breathing harder and harder. This extra liquid can be seen in X-rays, and is called pleural effusion. Pleural mesothelioma, like other types of mesothelioma, can be hard to discover. If you are known of previous asbestos exposure, you should to inform your doctor so that mesothelioma symptoms can be correctly identified. Like all other types of mesothelioma, pleural mesothelioma usually has a long latency period. It usually takes years or even decades after asbestos exposure for the cancer to be discovered, but not all the time.
When a patient is diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma, the next thing to do is to talk about treatment options with their mesothelioma doctor. Recent scientific research has made significant breakthroughs with the treatment of pleural mesothelioma patients and more options are now available for managing the disease and supporting improved comfort. New patients will have many questions about the treatment available that would be best for them, especially new treatments and therapies on the market.
The new developments with new drugs and detection techniques are making it better for patients’ diagnosed pleural mesothelioma. Because pleural mesothelioma is the more common type of the mesothelioma, there is lots of research and knowledge about this kind of mesothelioma available for a treatment plan. Most pleural mesothelioma victims have a few options like surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Usually, the patient has two or more of these treatments.