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Mesothelioma Questions & Answers

Mesothelioma Awareness Day

What is mesothelioma asbestos cancer?

Mesothelioma is a rare cancer that is caused when a person inhales or ingests asbestos fibers. It develops in the mesothelium, which is a tissue membrane that lines the chest cavity, abdominal cavity, lungs, and other internal organs. Because the disease’s only known cause is asbestos, mesothelioma is sometimes called the asbestos cancer.

Lung Cancer Vs. Mesothelioma

Is mesothelioma the same as lung cancer?

People may confuse malignant mesothelioma with lung cancer. However, these are two separate types of cancer. Lung cancer is a carcinoma that affects the lung itself.

Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the mesothelium tissue that lines the lungs, chest cavity, and other organs in the body. Exposure to asbestos can cause both types of cancer, but it is the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma.

How Do You Get Mesothelioma?

The only known cause of mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos. In the Navy, many veterans were exposed to asbestos-containing products on ships and in shipyards. Veterans who inhaled or ingested microscopic asbestos fibers while working with or around these products are at risk of developing mesothelioma, a devastating cancer that most often forms in the lining of the chest cavity, lungs, and abdomen.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma and served in the Navy, please contact Belluck & Fox today to learn how we can help you pursue the financial compensation you need to get the top-notch treatment you deserve. Help is available now.

Asbestosis Vs. Mesothelioma

What is asbestosis disease?

Asbestosis disease is a chronic lung condition that is caused by inhaling asbestos fibers.

The asbestos fibers lodge in tiny sacs in the lungs, known as alveoli. Symptoms of asbestosis include shortness of breath, tightness and pain in the chest, chronic cough, loss of appetite, weight loss, and clubbing of fingers and toes.

Treatment can include use of an oxygen tube or mask, pulmonary rehabilitation exercises, or a lung transplant in extreme cases.

Are asbestosis and mesothelioma the same?

No. Although both of these diseases, along with lung cancer, are associated with exposure to asbestos, they are not the same.

Asbestosis is a chronic lung disease, not a cancer. It is caused by inhalation of asbestos fibers, which can get stuck in the small sacs in the lungs. Having asbestosis can increase a patient’s chances for developing asbestos-related lung cancer.

Malignant mesothelioma is a cancer. It affects the mesothelium tissue, which lines the lungs and chest wall, as well as the abdominal cavity, heart, and testicles. Malignant mesothelioma is caused by the inhalation or ingestion of asbestos fibers, which lodge in the mesothelium tissue.

Is mesothelioma curable?

Is mesothelioma curable? Unfortunately, there is no cure for malignant mesothelioma. However, there are many palliative treatments available that can help ease a patient’s pain and possibly extend his or her life expectancy. In addition, researchers are always exploring new drugs and treatment options that provide hope for a cure in the future.

Is mesothelioma the same as lung cancer?

People may confuse malignant mesothelioma with lung cancer. However, these are two separate types of cancer. Lung cancer is a carcinoma that affects the lung itself. Mesothelioma is a cancer that attacks the mesothelium tissue that lines the lungs, chest cavity, and other organs in the body. Exposure to asbestos can cause both types of cancer, but it is the only known cause of malignant mesothelioma.

What Is A Mesothelium?

The mesothelium is the membrane that surrounds many of the body’s vital organs. This membrane secretes a lubricating fluid that provides easy movement of the organs within the body.

This is where the cancer develops when asbestos is inhaled or ingested. When the mesothelium becomes cancerous, it is called mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-O-muh) is an aggressive cancer in the lining of the lungs or abdomen. If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you may be entitled to financial compensation from the companies that were responsible for your asbestos exposure.

There can be multiple forms of the cancer when it affects the mesothelium.

The form is determined by the location in which the tumor begins, known as its origin site, and the type of cells that the tumor invades, known as its histological subtype. Each type may require a different treatment.

Is a malignant tumor curable?

In some cases, doctors may be able to remove a malignant tumor and attempt to kill off any remaining cancer cells with chemotherapy and radiation. However, even if the surgery and treatment are successful, that does not mean a patient is “cured.” The tumor can come back. Particularly in the case of mesothelioma, complete eradication of the cancer is not possible.

Can smoking cause or increase my chances of getting mesothelioma?

No. Cigarette smoking has no known causative effect on pleural mesothelioma. However, if you are a smoker, one of the best things you can do for your health now is to stop smoking.

Researchers have found that people who continue to smoke after a cancer diagnosis may have more pain than patients who have never smoked. In addition, the American Society of Clinical Oncology reports that smoking may reduce the effectiveness of cancer treatment.

Patients who continue to smoke and undergo surgery may have an increased risk of heart and lung complications, including increased problems from general anesthesia. Smoking is also known to impede wound healing and may increase the risk of wound infection.

When does mesothelioma develop?

Malignant mesothelioma can develop 15 to 60 years after a person was exposed to asbestos. Because the latency period for the disease is so long, many people do not immediately connect their symptoms to their asbestos exposure. However, it is important for anyone who has been exposed to asbestos to tell the doctor immediately if he or she is experiencing any symptoms indicating lung disease.

Can mesothelioma be inherited?

No, malignant mesothelioma cannot be inherited, and it is not contagious. However, family members could have been exposed to asbestos secondhand (known as take-home asbestos) when those who worked with the material accidentally brought fibers home on clothing or uniforms. Secondhand exposure to asbestos can cause mesothelioma.

Is mesothelioma always malignant?

Benign (or noncancerous) tumors can develop in the mesothelium tissue lining. However, these tumors are not the result of asbestos exposure, and they can be removed with a positive prognosis for the patient. Unfortunately, though, the large majority of mesothelioma cases are malignant. Benign cases are extremely rare.

What is the difference between asbestos and mesothelioma?

Asbestos refers to a group of six fibrous minerals that occur naturally in the environment. These minerals have been used in many industrial and household products over the years. Asbestos is considered a dangerous carcinogen, which means it is a cause of cancer. Mesothelioma is a type of cancer caused by asbestos exposure.

Can a benign tumor turn into cancer?

Benign tumors, if not removed, are usually carefully monitored for changes that may indicate they have turned cancerous. For people who have had a benign mesothelioma tumor removed, there is a risk that the tumor could come back as cancer.

Can Smoking Cause Mesothelioma?

Asbestos is the only known cause of mesothelioma. If you are a smoker who has been diagnosed with mesothelioma, your doctor will urge you to quit immediately.

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Last Modified: April 17, 2019

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