Mesothelioma is a malignant tumor originating from the membranes surrounding the lung, heart and abdominal organs. This tumor, most often caused by asbestos, is most commonly seen in the pleura, the membrane surrounding the lung. Tumor may cause death within a few months if left untreated.
The most important known risk factor for mesothelioma is asbestos. Inhaled asbestos, due to its fibrous structure, adheres to the lung membrane and causes mesothelioma.
Patients suffer from back, chest and lateral pain due to the accumulation of fluid in the lung membrane. The pain is initially stinging with breathing, then gradually increases in severity and shows continuity. Shortness of breath may occur in the patient. Cough is also seen.
Physical examination of the patient revealed decreased breathing sounds on the patient’s side and a slightly smaller chest side with a lower shoulder position. Chest X-ray and computed tomography showed fluid accumulation in the pleural cavity and the lung membrane was thickened.
Then, some liquid is taken from the patient with an injector and examined. Although tumor cells may be seen in the fluid, biopsy is required for definitive diagnosis.
Biopsy; closed pleural biopsy, open pleural biopsy or thoracoscopic methods. The most successful method to diagnose the disease is the thoracoscopic examination of the pleura and extensive biopsy.
How is mesothelioma treated?
There are three types of mesothelioma: epithelial, sarcomatous and mixed. Despite years of studies, there is no standardized treatment of mesothelioma. It is currently known and accepted that multidisciplinary treatment (surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy) should be given to selected patients.