Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance is a Great Resource

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the membrane lining of the lungs and abdomen.

Malignant mesothelioma is the most serious of all asbestos-related diseases. Although uncommon, mesothelioma cancer is no longer considered rare. The primary cause and risk factor for mesothelioma is exposure to asbestos.

Making a correct mesothelioma diagnosis is particularly difficult for doctors because the disease often presents with symptoms that mimic other common ailments. There is no known cure for mesothelioma, but treatments such as surgery and chemotherapy have helped to improve the typical mesothelioma prognosis.

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Pleural mesothelioma (affecting the lung’s protective lining in the chest cavity) represents about three quarters of all mesothelioma incidence. Peritoneal mesothelioma which affects the abdominal cavity and pericardial mesothelioma, which affects the cardiac cavity comprise the remainder.

Testicular mesothelioma is extremely rare and is typically present with metastases of the peritoneal variety. There are three recognized mesothelioma cell-types. Between 50 and 70% of all mesotheliomas are of the epithelial variety.

While prognosis is generally poor, these are considered less aggressive than sarcomatoid mesothelioma and biphasic mesothelioma, which comprise the remainder of diagnoses.

The cavities within the body encompassing the chest, abdomen, and heart are surround by a membrane of cells known as the mesothelium. Mesothelial cells assist in general organ functions.

The mesothelium is particularly important to organs which are commonly in motion, such as expansion or contraction of the lungs, stomach, or heart. Lubrication from the mesothelial cells allows free range of motion within the body.

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The mesothelium of the chest, abdomen, and cardiac cavity are called the pleura, the peritoneum, and the pericardium, respectively. Each of these groupings of mesothelial cells are extremely critical to the functions of the body structures which they encompass.

Malignancies (cancerous tumors) occurring within the mesothelial membranes are known as malignant mesothelioma, or simply mesothelioma. Benign tumors of the mesothelium are known to occur, but are much rarer than the more common mesothelioma cancer.

While tumors of the mesothelium were first recognized in the late 18th century, it was not until the middle of the 20th century that this particular cancer was studied and examined with more detail.

It was at this time where suspicions of the cancer’s causal relationship with asbestos exposure became more substantiated. A joint study through the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the University of the Witswaterand/Johannesburg General Hospital in South Africa provided the most compelling evidence of the nexus between asbestos exposure and the development of pleural mesothelioma.

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Incidence of mesothelioma is still quite rare, with only 2,500-3000 diagnoses in the United States each year. There was a spike in reported diagnoses between 1970 and 1984, which has been attributed to the latency period between diagnosis and the height of industrial exposures- which occurred roughly 40-60 years prior to this time.

Exposure was common in nearly all industries but was particularly common in the WWII-era military industrial cycle, including Navy Shipyards.

Although this cancer is much more common in men over the age of 60 (largely attributed to the industrial exposures within male-dominated industries), mesothelioma in women and children has been described as well.

Mesothelioma causes for diagnosis in women and children are mainly attributed to secondary exposure to asbestos, as it was not uncommon for men to bring asbestos back into the home on their body or clothing if proper cleaning facilities were not available on site.

Mesothelioma is diagnosed through a comprehensive combination of biopsy and imaging scans.

So, can exercise help those afflicted with mesothelioma? Yes, if the person's body and lungs can handle the stress of exercise. Being active can decrease joint stiffness, keep blood circulating better and keep muscles stronger.

There are also emotional benefits that come with regular exercise. And, the increased energy might help the person endure medical treatments better. The patient's age would impact the amount of exercise he or she could do on a regular basis.

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Mark Dilworth at My Fitness Hut

About Mark

About Mark

Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.