WHAT IS MESOTHELIOMA?
Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer affecting the lining of the lungs, the heart, and other internal organs. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos.
KEY STATISTICS ABOUT MESOTHELIOMA
In the US, 2,000 to 3,000 new cases are diagnosed each year.
It typically takes 25 to 50 years after an initial exposure to asbestos for symptoms to arise.
Two to 10 percent of people with heavy, prolonged exposure to asbestos develop mesothelioma-related lung cancer.
Men are 4.6 times more likely to be diagnosed with this cancer.
The risk of developing the disease for people over 60 years old is 10 times higher than for people under 40.
It is more common in whites and Hispanics.
TYPES OF MESOTHELIOMA
Develops in the protective lining that surrounds the lungs. Accounts for 70 to 90 percent of cases.
Develops in the abdomen. Can spread to the liver, spleen or other organs.
Develops in the sac that surrounds the heart. The least common form.
WARNING SIGNS FOR MESOTHELIOMA
The early signs and symptoms of the disease can be subtle or mistaken for other common ailments. Mesothelioma can lie undetected for decades, even up to 30 to 40 years after exposure.
If you've previously been exposed to asbestos (no matter how long ago) and display any of these symptoms, seek medical attention.
Weakness and Fatigue
Anemia - A Lower-than-Normal Red Blood Cell Count
Blood Clotting Disorder
Severe Chest or Back Pain
Sudden or Severe Shortness of Breath
Fluid Buildup Around the Lungs or Abdomen
Persistent Cough (Sometimes with Blood)
Unexplained Weight Loss
EXPOSURE TO ASBESTOS - THE CAUSE
Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to airborne asbestos. Asbestos is an insulating material comprised of magnesium-silicate mineral fibers. It was favored by contractors for many years for its low heat conductivity and resistance to melting and burning. Millions of Americans have experienced serious exposure to this harmful substance.
TREATMENT OF MESOTHELIOMA
The leading therapeutic approach for mesothelioma is called multimodal treatment, which involves some combination of surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
STAGES OF MESOTHELIOMA
STAGE 1 - 21 Months Median Survival Rate
Tumor is localized. No lymph node involvement. Hasn't spread to other organs or tissues. Surgical removal is typically feasible.
STAGE 2 - 19 Months Median Survival Rate
Tumor has invaded the lungs or diaphragm. Lymph nodes may also be involved. Surgical resection may be possible.
STAGE 3 - 16 Months Median Survival Rate
Disease has invaded a single region, such as the chest wall, esophagus and/or lymph nodes. Surgery is generally ruled out.
STAGE 4 - 12 Months Median Survival Rate
Disease has invaded multiple regions and organs of the body. Lymph nodes are involved. Surgery provides no value.