Mesothelioma is a chronic and deadly cancer that is oftentimes diagnosed only after it has developed to a point that can no longer be treated. It is acquired through exposure to asbestos, a type of mineral that is highly elastic and resistant to electricity, chemicals, heat, and fire. Remarkably useful, asbestos was quickly accepted globally. This miracle mineral proved to be a great component in the manufacture of cement, generators, turbines, boilers, steam pipes, brakes and clutches, insulators, gaskets, hot water piping and many others.
Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos can develop mesothelioma. There are certain men and women, though, whose chances of developing it are far more greater than other since their jobs make direct contact with asbestos a daily occurrence. They are the asbestos miners, processing plant workers, plumbers, machinists, auto workers, electricians, firefighters, shipyard workers and construction workers. Even the US Navy, which saw how extremely useful this mineral is, exposed many of its men and workers to this deadly mineral too.
There are four known types of this malignant cancer which develops in the cells of the mesothelium, a covering that protects the body’s internal organs. These types are:
- Pleural mesothelioma – this is the most common type of mesothelioma; it develops along the lining of the lungs, known as the pleura. Difficulty in swallowing, shortness of breath, constant dry cough, persistent chest pain, night sweats, fever and fatigue are some of the symptoms of this type of cancer
- Peritoneal mesothelioma – is cancer that grows along the abdomen’s mesothelial lining. This spreads in the body faster than the other types of mesothelioma via small cells that are carried through the blood. Symptoms of this deadly cancer include abdominal pain, abdominal swelling, weight loss, nausea / vomiting, constipation or diarrhea and fatigue.
- Pericardial mesothelioma – pericardium or the outer heart covering is where this cancer develops. This may be the rarest type of mesothelioma, but the needed surgery to remove it is the riskiest due to its nearness to the heart. Its symptoms are irregular heartbeat, chest pain, breathing difficulty, coughing, night sweats or fever and fatigue.
- Testicular mesothelioma –this is a very rare type of mesothelioma which develops along the lining of the male’s reproductive glands, the testis. Swelling of the scrotum and testicular lumps are the major signs of this deadly cancer.