What is Mesothelioma Lung?Mesothelioma lung is a type of lung cancer that originates from the tissues that form the outer layer of the lungs. It is caused by prolonged exposure to asbestos. Mesothelioma usually affects the outer lining of the lungs however it can also affect the outer layer or lining of the abdomen, heart or testicles. It is more common in males than females. It usually develops in people between the ages of 60-80 years. The one-year survival rate after diagnosis is 50%. However, mesothelioma develops gradually within 10-50 years.
Disease CausesMesothelioma of the lung is caused by exposure to a substance called asbestos. When a person inhales asbestos fibres over a long period of time, it can accumulate in the lining of the lungs and cause mesothelioma lung. Exposure to certain radiations or prior radiation therapy is also a risk factor for the development of mesothelioma lung.
Signs and SymptomsThe symptoms of mesothelioma develop gradually; it takes several decades for mesothelioma symptoms to develop after exposure to asbestos. The patient may suffer from the following signs and symptoms. These are
- Persistent dry cough
- Shortness of breath or difficulty in breathing
- Pleural effusion (it is a condition in which excessive fluid accumulates between the lung and its outer membranes)
- Pain in the chest
- Clubbing of nails
DiagnosisThe following diagnostic tests and procedures can be used to make a diagnosis. These are;
- Imaging techniques like Chest X-ray, CT-scan, MRI, and PET scan to see the site, size, and extent of the tumour.
- Tumour biopsy ( lung tumour biopsy to remove a small sample of lung tissue for histopathological examination)
- Sputum cytology
- USG-guided fine needle aspiration cytology