Find Doctors & Specialists Treating Pleural mesothelioma Caused By Exposure to Asbestos
Pleural mesothelioma is an aggressive, rare cancer often diagnosed in people exposed to a high level of asbestos. It is one of the most common types of mesothelioma. It affects the pleura, a two-layer thin membrane that covers the lungs. The pleura helps and supports the lungs but also produces a lubricating fluid to help the lungs move more smoothly during the breathing process.
Cancer normally forms in one layer of the pleura then spreads to the other layer and further to the diaphragm, chest wall or lungs.
Mesothelioma takes a long time to develop and in the early stages the symptoms are easily mistaken for other ailments, such as pneumonia or asthma. Symptoms may include shortness of breath, chronic cough, chest pain, pleural effusion (excess fluid around lungs) and weight loss. Seeing a specialist is vital if there is also a history of asbestos exposure. In case pleural mesothelioma is suspected, the doctor will look for fluid in the chest.
Various tests are performed to obtain more information about cancer and how far this has spread. These tests may include:
It takes a long time for mesothelioma to develop and when the symptoms start to be noticeable, the cancer is at an advanced stage. If however, diagnosed early, there are available life-sustaining treatments such as surgical resurrection of the cancer that can extend the life of the patient. When pleural mesothelioma is diagnosed in an advanced stage, the treatment options include chemotherapy or radiotherapy or a combination of both. Palliative care is sometimes the only option for people diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma at an advanced stage who are too ill to cope with chemotherapy, radiotherapy or surgery.Prognosis & Survival Rate Calculator