Mesothelioma is a very deadly form of cancer. There are three different types of mesothelioma. The first is pleural mesothelioma. It is a cancer that grows in the lining of the lungs. This cancer in the lungs can cause many serious side-effects. These side effects include hoarseness, a lack of breath, a buildup of fluid in the lungs, sharp chest pains, coughing up of blood, a loss of muscle function, and extreme swelling.
The two less common kinds of mesothelioma are peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma. Peritoneal mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the abdomen. Symptoms of this cancer include intense stomach pain, unnatural weight loss, ruptures of the abdomen, vomiting, and a build of fluid in the abdomen. Pericardial mesothelioma is a cancer that affects the lining of the heart. Symptoms of this disease include a lack of breath and sharp chest pains.
Causes of Mesothelioma
Mesothelioma is caused by an exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a kind of material that is created through the amalgamation of several different minerals with fiber like structures. For a time, asbestos had many uses and was a very popular material in the construction of buildings and many different products. It was used because asbestos has a very strong resistance to heat.
In the 1960’s, however, the extreme negative effects that exposure to asbestos can have on an individual’s health were discovered and publicized. Of these negative side effects, occurrences of mesothelioma were certainly some of the most serious.
Exposure to Asbestos
Exactly how asbestos causes mesothelioma has yet to be fully explained. A number of competing theories have been introduced by scientists to account for this causation. One theory states that asbestos fibers may scar certain cells in the lining of organs of the body, eventually leading to cancer.
Another popular theory states that asbestos fibers have properties that can change the normal structure of cells in the body. The theory states that the fibers can corrupt the natural ability of these cells to divide at a healthy rate. This new unnatural cell division produces cancer.
What is not disputed, however, is the fact that exposure to asbestos causes every form of mesothelioma. This much has been proven scientifically by a staggering amount of evidence.
Who Is at Risk for Developing Mesothelioma?
Studies have shown that certain individuals are at a higher risk of developing mesothelioma than others. One such group of people is individuals who have been exposed high amounts of radiation. Even people exposed to radiation who cannot recollect being exposed to asbestos have developed the cancer.
Tobacco Use and Mesothelioma
It has been proven that smoking does not cause mesothelioma. However, smoking can damage the lungs. When the lungs are damaged by smoking, they have less ability to stave off the negative effects of asbestos exposure including mesothelioma. For this reason, smokers also have a high risk of suffering from the cancer.