Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a cancer of mesothelium, protective lining; covering the body’s organs internally, and is resulted from asbestos. It is also referred to as Malignant Mesothelioma. Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer.

Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral having heat resistant and chemical inertness properties. It has been found that prolonged exposure (inhalation) to asbestos fibers results in the inflammation of the lungs. This inflammation of the lungs is known as Asbestosis.

Mesothelioma may develop spontaneously without any apparent link to exposure. But in most cases it has been found that the risk of mesothelioma is increased with some geologic minerals such as zeolite (silicate mineral) and other fibrous minerals like Libbhy amphibole.

History:

Mesothelioma is in study since 1870 but it is considered as a distinct cancer since 1960. 

From where Mesothelioma arises:

Mesothelioma arises from the parietal or peritoneal pleural epithelium or subepithelium. (Parietal means relating to the walls of any hollow organ or part. Peritoneal means a smooth transparent membrane lining and backing over the surfaces of the internal organs. Epithelium means a thin layer of tightly packed cells lining the internal cavities.) 

Usually the starting point of mesothelioma is lungs but it can be started from abdomen or certain other organs.

Treatment strategies:

For advanced mesothelioma treatmet, combination chemotherapy is found to be the best. The combination of cisplatin and pemetrexed is found to be one of the treatment of choice.

References and further reading:

Scagliotti, G. V. et. al. (2007). Advances in diagnosis and treatment of malignant pleural mesothelioma. Oncology Reviews, 1(2), 91-102.

Yarborough, C. M. (2006). Chrysotile as a cause of Mesothelioma: An assessmet based on Epidemiology. Critical Reviews in Toxicology, 36, 165-187.

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