Pleural Mesothelioma and How To Detect It

Pleural mesothelioma and how to detect it

Pleural mesothelioma is the form of mesothelioma that affects the linings of the lung which is also called the pleura. People often mistake pleural mesothelioma to be a kind of lung cancer. Mesothelioma is a malignance that affects the protective membrane surrounding the lungs and not the organ itself. Of course with advanced stages, it does affect the functioning of the organ but it is not the same as lung cancer. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common kind of mesothelioma that victims experience. The other two kinds are peritoneal mesothelioma and pericardial mesothelioma – in the first it affects the lining of the abdomen and in the second it affects the lining of the chest.

Pleural mesothelioma is sometimes referred to as asbestos lung cancer which is not absolutely incorrect since in most cases of mesothelioma, it stems from the unprotected exposure of an individual to extreme amounts of asbestos. Still it should be remembered that a cancer which does not originate in the lung cannot be called as a form of lung cancer. It is a different issue if it develops into a further stage and affects the organ. Pleural mesothelioma as stated before happens due to inhaling asbestos fibers which sediment along the lining of the lungs and over a considerable period of time begins to show symptoms and cause problems to the individual which eventually gets diagnosed as a malignant disease – namely pleural mesothelioma.

Pleural mesothelioma often shows multiple tumours which grow along the outise surface of the lining of the lungs. Normally, the outer lining is more affected than the inner lining. In records, it has been noted that the right lung has a slight more chance of contracting pleural mesothelioma than the left lung and this is because the right lung is biologically larger and thus offers a bigger pleural surface than the left one. Also it has been observed that the lungs on the lower side contain more tumours than those on the upper side and this is often credited to the force of gravity which causes the asbestos fibers to settle down in a certain way.

As patients are diagnosed with mesothelioma only in its later stages, the size of the tumours is usually very large and if they are left undiagnosed they eventually cause complete blockage of the lungs. These tumours if left unattended can also begin to affect other organs of the body including the abdomen and heart as well as the circulatory system. However not all tumours that grow in the pleura are related to pleural mesothelioma.

The symptoms of pleural mesothelioma are difficult to spot as they are like those that we experience for very simple diseases. These include shortness of breath, chest pains, cough, sudden weight loss etc. But if you suspect there are chances that you might be suffering from pleural mesothelioma because you have been subject to inhaling asbestos at some point of time in your life, visit a doctor immediately and get yourself thoroughly checked because there are major chances that you might be suffering from mesothelioma and not even be aware of it.



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