What is Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is cancer of the mesothelium. Like most cancers, mesothelioma involves the abnormal dividing of cells of a particular part of the body -- in this case, the mesothelium. Mesothelioma is so deadly because it remains dormant for many years and then begins to rapidly expand. The cancer then begins to invade and damage nearby tissue, including the vital organs.
What is the mesothelium?
Many of the internal organs of the body are protected by a membrane called the mesothelium. This membrane actually consists of two layers of cells. The inner layer surrounds the organs, and the second is a sac surrounding the inner layer. When organs within this membrane must move, expand or contract -- such as the heart, lungs, bladder, and so on, they are able to do so because the mesothelium produces a lubricating fluid between the two layers.
How is Mesothelioma diagnosed?
Mesothelioma is often not diagnosed until it reaches an advanced stage. This is because of its long dormancy period, and because once it becomes active the initial symptoms are similar to much more comman and less dangerous sicknesses such as colds or the flu. If a patient has a history of exposure to asbestos, then a complete physical examination is advised. This would normally include x-rays of the chest or abdomen and lung function tests. It might also include a CT (or CAT) scan or an MRI. Both of these tests give detailed pictures of areas inside the body.
If these tests indicate the probability of mesothelioma, then it is necessary to perform a biopsy to confirm the diagnosis. Doing a biopsy involves an oncology specialist taking a small sample of affected tissue and examining it under a microscope for signs of malignancy. Depending on the location of the affected tissue, doing a biopsy can be a relatively traightforward procedure. It normally involves the insertion of a small instrument into the suspect cavity. These surgical devices have both viewing and sample taking capabilities. So the oncologist or surgeon can look at the cavity from the inside, and then take tissue samples from different areas.
If mesothelioma is discovered, the initial tests are followed up with what is called "staging". This involves more tests to determine how far the disease has spread.
How is Mesothelioma treated?
Standard treatments include the normal options available to cancer patients: surgery, radiation therapy, and chemotherapy. Sometimes, these treatments are combined. If the mesothelioma is discovered at an early enough stage these treatments can sometimes be effective.
Among the treatments that are used in order to reduce the effects of the disease are oxygen, postural drainage and pain killers. Many alternative treatment methods are also being tested, including attempts to strengthen the body's immune system. Gene therapy is also being tested in an attempt to attack the problem at the DNA level. Other treatments being tried and tested include homeopathy, herbs and acupuncture. Unfortunately none of these have been found to be very effective once the disease reaches its aggressive stage.
As with all cancers, early detection is the best defense against mesothelioma. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should be alert for symptoms and contact a doctor immediately. Detecting mesothelioma at the earliest stage possible greatly increases the chances of beating the disease.
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Get the Perfect Wedding Hairstyle - Tips and Ideas Your wedding is the most important day of your life and you want to look gorgeous! More ►
- Trends and Winners
Hairstyle trends 2013 are twists on some old styles adorned with interesting colors and flair introduced by some of the same trend setters as the year before. More ►
Long Hairstyles with fine or thin long hair worn straight usually will look very boring. However when pinned back it will appear to have more fullness especially if you roll the hair on curlers.
Long Wavy/Curly Hairstyles although classic and feminine are probably the most sexy. For round faces this hairstyle is better than completely straight hair. Either naturally wavy or gently permed it will conceal wide cheek bones.
Medium Length Hairstyles are easy to take care of and style than longer hairstyles yet more versatile than shorter hairstyles. Medium hairstyles match most facial shapes well as there is just enough hair complimenting the facial region and enhancing other features.
Short Hairstyles Short Hairstyles are generally best with an elongated oval face, are quick to blow dry or air-dry and can be styled with a little mouse or gel.