Mesothelioma Lung Cancer Is Dangerous, But Curable If Detected In Time
Posted May 03 2010 10:46pm
Lung cancer and mesothelioma are as different from one another as chalk and cheese. Lung cancer is caused by a multitude of reasons and smoking is one of them. But mesothelioma lung cancer is caused exclusively by exposure to asbestos particles. The disease covers the protective layer of the pleural cavity, the mesothelium. Unfortunately, the cancer has a long gestation period and symptoms come up only after the infection spreads all over. This results in many deaths that could have been avoided.
The cancer is comparatively rare and as such, most of our cancer hospitals and doctors lack the requisite means and knowledge for treatment. In the United States, less than 3000 mesothelioma cases are diagnosed yearly. This cancer is considered as an occupational danger because it is the workers of factories or asbestos mines who usually get affected.
The particles of asbestos settles down in the mesothelium and destroy its cells. The cancerous cells spreads and the situation become very acute for the patient in a few years. The total inexistence of any notable symptoms till the final stages of infection further compounds the matter and causes many avoidable deaths.
If detected and treated at the initial stages itself, mesothelioma lung cancer can be cured. But most cases of this cancer are detected when severe symptoms start showing up after many decades of asbestos infection. Doctors classify the cancer into four levels depending on how far the infection has spread. The initial stage, that is level one, can be treated through surgery. The next level require much more aggressive treatments like surgery combined with medicines and radiation therapy. Medicated treatment, medically called chemotherapy, helps prevent the spread and recurrence of cancerous growth, but has several painful side effects. Radiotherapy uses high energy or particle beams to kill off the harmful cells.
The next levels, the third and fourth stages, are life threatening and the prognosis of very bleak in such cases. But physicians try to assuage pain and help the dying patient to lead a more comfortable life by resorting to palliative cures. Mesothelioma lung cancer patients can claim for monetary compensation too from those responsible for it. The amounts, which may be substantial in some cases, help cover all treatment expenses and assist the patient and his family members to survive unpleasant fiscal state at home.