Mesothelioma, A Rare Lung Cancer

Mesothelioma, A Rare Lung Cancer

Mesothelioma is a cancer of the mesothelium-the sac lining the internal body cavities. The lining around the lungs is called the pleural and in the abdomen it is known as the peritoneum.Although sometimes referred to as “asbestos lung cancer”, mesothelioma is not the same as lung cancer. Lung cancers occur inside the lung itself; mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the lung. Mesothelioma is rare, striking fewer than 3000 Americans per year.About 2000 people in the UK are diagnosed with mesothelioma each year.

There are three recognized types of mesothelioma.

1.Pleural mesothelioma

2.Peritonial mesothelioma

3.Pericardial mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.

Asbestos is the most common cause of mesothelioma. Up to nine out of ten cases of mesothelioma are caused by exposure to asbestos. Asbestos is a natural mineral, mined from rock found in many countries. It is made up of tiny fibres that are as strong as steel but can be woven like cotton and are highly resistant to heat and chemicals.
During the 1960s the first definite link between mesothelioma and asbestos was made. In the past asbestos was imported to the UK in large quantities. It was used in construction, ship-building and in household appliances. Asbestos was very widely used in insulation materials, such as amosite insulation board, and building materials, including asbestos cement.
When asbestos is disturbed or damaged, it releases tiny fibres that can be breathed into the lungs. Asbestos fibres are very fine and, when breathed in, they can make their way into the smallest airways of the lung, so they cannot be breathed or coughed out. Once the fibres are in the lungs, the body’s defense mechanism tries to break them down and remove them, which leads to inflammation in the lung tissue.
The asbestos fibres can also penetrate through the lung tissue to settle in the pleura (the membrane around the lung). Over many years they can cause mesothelioma or other lung diseases to develop.

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Article from articlesbase.com

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