Mesothelioma as the title shows is a cancer type, quite rare, which attacks the mesothelium. The mesothelium is a thin membrane, which forms the lining of some of the body cavities: the pleura (in the thoracic cavity), the peritoneum (in the abdominal cavity) and the pericardium (the fibroserous sac that encloses the heart) and the tunica vaginalis (serous membrane covering the front and sides of the testis and epididymis).
The mesothelium is of two kinds: visceral mesothelium, covering the internal organs and parietal mesothelium, the layer covering the body walls.
Mesothelioma is caused by a longer exposure to asbestos, which is a naturally occurring silicate mineral. If one inhale this mineral and it is exposed to it long enough, it causes severe illnesses.
Some of the general mesothelioma symptoms are as follows:
* Shortness of breath
* Chest pain
* Weight loss
* Abdominal swelling and pain
The three main mesothelioma types are:
* Benign Mesothelioma
* Peritoneal Mesothelioma
* Pleural Mesothelioma
Other rarely occurring mesothelioma types: epithelial, pericardial, biphasic, cystic, multicystic, liver, brain, papillary, sarcomatoid, adenocarcinoma, desmoplastic and testicular mesothelioma.
There are three main ways to treat mesothelioma cancer: surgery, chemotherapy and radiation. During surgery the cancer cells are removed, after surgery mesothelioma doctors usually use radiation therapy and chemotherapy. The combination of these three methods usually helps extending life for five more years at most of the patients. There are available additional treatments as well such as anti-angiogenesis drugs, gene therapy, immunotherapy, intraoperative photodynamic therapy and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation therapy.