Mesothelioma is a type of cancer involving mesothelial tissues of body organs usually lungs or abdominal. It is often caused by exposure to asbestos. However, there are 30-50% of patients without any history of asbestos exposure. People who have received asbestos exposure of as little as one or two months to very low doses are at risk of mesothelioma cancer. Even people who wash clothes of asbestos exposed people are at risk. A person exposed to asbestos could develop mesothelioma after 50 years of exposure.
People in the occupations such as construction jobs in shipyards, insulators, boilermakers, etc. are at the risk of contracting asbestos disease.
The 2 common types of mesothelioma are:
Pleural mesothelioma (lung cancer) and Peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen organs).
The survival time for a patient with diffuse malignant mesothelioma is from 4 to 24 months from the observance of the symptoms. Mesothelioma is also difficult to diagnose.
The chance of recovery for a patient with mesothelioma depends on size and location of the cancer, age of the patient and his response to the treatment.
Presently, the treatment options for mesotheliomas are:
- Radiation therapy
- Surgery and Photodynamic therapy
There is some evidence that provitamin A or beta-carotene may decrease the risk of mesothelioma.