What is Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural mesothelioma is a type of cancer that develops in the outer protective layer of the lungs called pleura as a result of prolonged exposure to asbestosis. Asbestos is a type of silicate mineral. Asbestos exposure occurs when microscopic asbestos fibres are released into the air. Deadly mineral dust can remain in the air for several hours, making people vulnerable to inhaling asbestos.
Disease Etiology (Causes)
Asbestos fibres are released into the air if mishandled or damaged. Without proper precautions, anyone in an asbestos-contaminated area can inhale these fine dust particles, which enter and settle into the pleural space and can cause pleural mesothelioma. The pleural space or pleural cavity is the space between the lung and its outer protective layer. This space is filled with pleural fluid, which helps to avoid friction as the lungs expand during breathing.
It is more common in people who work in mines, electricians, demolition workers, plumbers, pipefitters, home remodelers, and people who are in close contact with them.
Signs and Symptoms
The patient may have the following signs and symptoms. These are;
- Pain in the lower region of back or pain in the chest
- Persistent cough
- Shortness of breath ( suffocation or difficulty in breathing)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Edema ( swelling) of face and arms
- Voice hoarseness
- Dysphagia ( difficulty in swallowing solid or liquid food)
Diagnosis and Treatment
Diagnosis can be made by collecting a complete medical history, especially in the workplace and exposure history, and through diagnostic tests and procedures. 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)
- USG guided fine needle aspiration cytology
- Thoracocentesis (it is a procedure used to remove a sample of fluid or air from the pleural cavity for diagnosis or to select a treatment method with a syringe and needle).
Treatment options include surgery, Chemotherapy, Radiotherapy, targeted therapy, and immunotherapy. Surgery is the main option; the main surgical options are extrapleural pneumonectomy and pleurectomy/decortication. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy should be considered in advance cases of cancer.
What Support can we Give for Pleural Mesothelioma?
Pleural Mesothelioma is a rare cancer, meaning it is not as well known as other forms of cancer. Without a Ribbon is an Australian organisation that provides support for individuals who suffer from rare cancers. So, we provide a designated platform for Warriors to obtain information specific to their Rare Cancer. We also provide annual opportunities for our Warriors to meet and learn from each other. If you suffer from rare cancer such as Pleural Mesothelioma, we can help and support you through your journey thanks to the generous donations we receive. Click the link below to sign up and become a Warrior today!
You can help us with your donation:
Without a Ribbon is a charity that works hard to aid those who suffer from rare cancers. You can help our cause in a variety of ways:
Donations — Without a Ribbon is grateful when we receive every donation. Giving to Without a Ribbon helps us to provide ongoing support, organise the annual gathering and subsidise the costs of our Warriors attending these conferences.
Sponsorship — If you wish to sponsor our charity, please contact us using this form.
Volunteering — We are always looking for volunteers to help with different aspects of running our charity. So, if you are looking for volunteer work, please feel free to contact us.