What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a rare and fatal form of cancer in the lining of certain organs. Victims of mesothelioma develop dangerous tumors in the mesothelium (lining) of their lungs (pleural mesothelioma), abdomen (peritoneal), heart (pericardial), or testicles (testicular).
This devastating disease is caused by exposure to asbestos, a material that was used in many industries and household products until recent decades. Mesothelioma can take anywhere from 30-50 years to develop, so if you have been affected by asbestos exposure, you might not show symptoms yet. If you have reason to believe you have been exposed to asbestos, contact a doctor immediately.
The most common form of mesothelioma is pleural (located in the lining of the lungs) and affects 75% of victims. 20% of mesothelioma patients are diagnosed with peritoneal cancer (affecting the lining of the abdomen), while pericardial and testicular mesothelioma are much more rare.
What is Asbestos?
Asbestos is a harmful fiber that has been used as a heat retardant in various materials since the 1800’s. In the 1970’s, scientific studies revealed the dangers of exposure to asbestos and mining, milling, and use of the material declined. However, asbestos is still present in factories, shipyards, buildings, and countless household items.
It is a known fact that mesothelioma is directly caused by exposure to asbestos. If an individual inhales or ingests asbestos fibers, they will become lodged in the organ lining (mesothelium) of the lungs, abdomen, or heart. This leads to irritation and inflammation of the area, which often leads to the development of scar tissue and/or tumors.
Mesothelioma is a rare and deadly cancer, and it can take up to 50 years for serious symptoms to appear. If you have reason to believe you were exposed to asbestos it is important to contact a doctor immediately. The earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the better your chances of survival and treatment.