How Pleural Mesothelioma Develops

Pleural mesothelioma is caused by inhaling asbestos. Over a long period of time, the asbestos can cause mesothelioma to develop in the lungs.

  1. Asbestos is breathed in.
  2. Asbestos fibers get stuck in the protective lining of the lungs.
  3. The trapped fibers irritate cells, causing genetic mutations.
  4. Tumors develop and eventually progress into mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma usually affects older people because it takes decades, about 20 to 50 years, for the disease to develop after someone is exposed to asbestos. The time between exposure and mesothelioma development is called the latency period.

In most mesothelioma cases, the patient breathed in asbestos at work. Some people are exposed at home, if their home was built with asbestos, or through secondhand exposure from being near someone who worked with asbestos.

Prognosis

The average life expectancy of a person with pleural mesothelioma is between 12 and 21 months. A prognosis is a prediction of the outcome of a disease. Doctor usually gives their patients an estimate of life expectancy. With the right treatment and care, a prognosis can be improved.

A patient’s prognosis depends on many factors including how advanced the disease is and the health of the patient. A patient can improve his or her prognosis by undergoing more aggressive or more targeted treatments. Adopting a healthier lifestyle is another way patients may be able to improve their prognosis and also their quality of life.

Treatment Options

The most effective treatment for pleural mesothelioma is usually surgery. Patients can also benefit from chemotherapy or radiation treatments. A combination of different treatments can be used to maximize treatment effectiveness. Clinical trials are also an important treatment option to consider because they can expand treatment options and have the potential to be curative.

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