What Is Mesothelioma?
"What is mesothelioma?" is a serious question in America. Mesothelioma is a dangerous cancer that is difficult to detect and poorly receptive to therapies. Before we understand what is mesothelioma it is necessary to understand what are the causes of mesothelioma. Malignant mesothelioma is the most severe of all asbestos-related diseases. Inhalation of asbestos particles is the only known cause for vulnerability to mesothelioma cancers. People who worked in asbestos related industries are vulnerable to mesothelioma and other asbestos related diseases.
An understanding of what is mesothelioma will be more candid after we have an understanding of mesothelioma. They are a layer of specialized cells called mesothelium cells that shape the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, and the cavity around the heart. These cells also cover the outer surface of most internal organs. The tissue formed by these cells is called mesothelium. The mesothelium protects the organs by producing a special lubricating fluid that allows organs to move around. For example, this fluid makes it easier for the lungs to move inside the chest during the process of breathing.
What Are the Different Types of Mesothelioma?
The mesothelium of the chest, abdomen and heart is pleura, peritoneum pericardium, respectively. The cancers of pleura, peritoneum, and pericardium are called pleural mesothelioma, peritoneal mesothelioma, and pericardial mesothelioma respectively.
Tumors of the mesothelium can be non cancerous as well as malignant (cancerous). A malignant tumor of the mesothelium is what the medical professionals name as malignant mesothelioma. Mesothelioma was recognized as a tumor of the pleura, peritoneum and pericardium in the late 1700's. In 1960, its association with asbestos exposure was recognized. The first report linking mesothelioma to asbestos exposure was written by J.C.Wagner, and described 32 cases of workers in the "Asbestos Hills" in South Africa.
What is the Prevalence of Mesothelioma?
The incidence of mesothelioma in the United States remains relatively low, with 14 cases occurring per million people per year. Despite these numbers, the noticed threefold increase in mesothelioma in males between 1970 and 1984, is directly associated with environmental and occupational exposure to asbestos, mostly in areas of asbestos product plants and shipbuilding facilities. However, sixty years old are more prone to it but it has been described in women and early childhood as well. The cause of the disease remains unknown in these, but there is some evidence of possible asbestos contact for some of these cases as well.
About the Author: Kirsten Hawkins is a asbestos and mesothelioma specialist from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.asbestosblog.org/ for information on asbestos reform, mesothelioma lawsuit news, and more.