Mesothelioma is a form of cancer that is almost always caused by previous exposure to asbestos. In this disease, malignant cells develop in the mesothelium, a protective lining that covers most of the body's internal organs. Its most common site is the pleura (outer lining of the lungs and internal chest wall), but it may also occur in the peritoneum (the lining of the abdominal cavity), the heart, the pericardium (a sac that surrounds the
Mesothelioma is linked with the inhalation or swallowing of asbestose, thus people in certain occupations are more liable to develope mesothelioma along with other diseases caused by asbestose such as asbestosis (which is a chroinic lung diseas) and lung cancer.
Mesothelioma can occur in other areas than the lungs such as the pericardium (the sac lining your heard) and the peritonium (the one lining abdominal viscera).
Symptoms and Signs:
The signs and symptoms vary acording to the site of the disease, but symptoms begin to appear after 10-20 years of exposure to asbestose, symptoms of pleura mesothelioma (mesothelioma in the outer lining of the lungs) include:
- Shortness of breath.
- Pain in the chest.
- Cough with or without blood.
Incidence of the disease:
Still defined as a rare disease although the rates of mesothelioma has increased in the past 20 years. 20,000 cases of mesothelioma are diagnosed in the U.S. every year.
Exposure to Asbestose:
Asbestose is now prohibited by laws in some countries. Soem industries where Asbestose is used include : Cement, brake lining, textiles and insulation of roofs, buildings. The workers at these industries are highly exposed to Asbestose.
Asbestosis and Mesothelioma had become a legal issue and a source of many court cases and compensations have been paid to large numbers of people affected by Asbestose exposure.