Saturday, May 22, 2010

Mesothelioma a rare cancer

Mesothelioma x-ray image
In this post, we are going to discuss about a rare cancer form which is mesothelioma and some of its reason for this to be developed to a person. Before going any further, lets know what a cancer is.
What is Cancer?

This is a class of diseases in which the following properties could be identified.
1) A group of cells display an uncontrollable cell division or growth.
2) Intrution or destruction of cells nearby - Invasion
3) Spreading to other locations in body via lymph or blood - Metastasis
All these 3 malignant or harmful properties can be seen in cancer. Most cancers produce a tumor. A tumor means the formation of an abnormal new mass of tissue that serves no purpose. But cancers such as leukemia does not form a tumor. Then the field in medicine at which the study, diagnosis, treatment and prevention is called as oncology.

Now what are the causes for cancer?

There are several causes for cancer. Here we will discuss about the most commonly known causes for cancer.
1) Smoking also contributes cancer because a smoker absorbs at least 80 different cancer causing substances.
2) Gene mutation could also make cancer. The substances that cause DNA mutations are called as carcinogens. A small mutation could give rise for abnormal growth of tissues which could also result in formation of tumors.
3) Exposure for excess UV rays and other harmful rays such as x-rays.

Now we know what cancer is and in this post we are going to discuss an example of cancer which is called as mesothelioma.

What is mesothelioma?

Mesothelioma is a rare form of cancer which is developed from protective linings that covers many of the body's internal organs which is called as mesothelium. This cancer is usually caused by exposure of asbestos. Usually this cancer settles in the pleura which is the lining that covers the lungs and internal chest walls. But it may also occur in peritoneum, the lining of abdominal cavity, the pericardium which is a sac that covers heart.
The common symptoms of mesothelioma can be shortness of breath, pain of chest wall and weight loss. This mesothelioma diagnosis is suspected by chest x-rays, CT scan and is confirmed by examining a tissue sample.
Usually people who have developed mesothelioma are people who have worked where exposure of asbestos are greatly identified. And it is found that people who usually washes clothes of people who work where exposure of asbestos is observed are also in risk of having mesothelioma.
As shown before in causes for mesothelioma, unlike other lung cancers, this mesothelioma has no association with smoking. But smoking could bring rise to other asbestos induced cancers but not mesothelioma.
We hope you have gained some knowledge by reading this post. So don't forget to make a comment about this post.


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