Lung mesothelioma is a lethal medical situation arising from the infection of mesothelium by asbestos fibers. It is a rare form of cancer that affects people who had been in continuous contact with asbestos, either at homes or workplace. Medical science describes the disease as a rare cancerous growth affecting the mesothelial tissues that surrounds our vital organs as a protective cover. Three different types of this cancer, the pleural, peritoneal and pericardial, have been identified and named according to the areas they inhabit.
Mesothelium is a protective membrane found around vital organs like abdomen, lungs and heart. It helps in proper functioning of the organs too, albeit indirectly. Asbestos particles, after entering this lining, cause abnormal cell function, causing cancerous growths. In most incidents, it takes decades for the disease to show up and this prolonged latency is a limiting and disruptive factor affecting diagnosis and treatment.
Lung cancer and lung mesothelioma are totally different types of cancers with the former affecting the inside of the lung while the latter inhibits its protective covering called mesothelioma. The outcome of the disease is so far not too happy and many of the affected die within 24 months after diagnosis. Like all cancers, mesothelioma is also divided into four categories according to its severity. Many patients have been treated successfully due to timely detection, but in most cases detection occurs only too late for hope.
Invariably, the villain of the entire episode is the so-called wonder material, asbestos. This is a silicate mineral which has several positive qualities like resistance to heat and electric shocks, aptitude to endure chemical reactions etc and as such, was used for wide ranging industrial purposes. But the workers who labored around the material became unwitting prey to the harmful effects of the material, which came to fore only in recent years.
The emphasis these days is to employ proper precautions while handing the material and to provide ample compensation to those who suffered for no fault of theirs. In addition, experiments and field trials are on to find better cure for lung mesothelioma because cure from existing therapies have not been at desired levels.