One of the worst things about mesothelioma diagnosis is that diagnosis normally occurs when the disease is in such an advanced stage that there is nothing much doctors can do to actually cure the patient. Doctors may be able to perform very aggressive surgical procedures followed by massive amounts of chemotherapy and radiation, which can prolong or extend life of the mesothelioma patient by several months, but the vast majority of patients die within 18 months of learning they have the disease.
The reason has to do with how asbestos affects its victims. When a person inhales deadly asbestos fibers, they become lodged in a layer of tissue known as the mesothelium. Here they can metastasize into malignant mesothelioma. If the cancer occurs in the lungs, it is know as malignant pleural mesothelioma. If the cancer occurs in the chest, it is known as pericardial malignant mesothelioma, and if it occurs in the abdomen, as is often the case, it is known as peritoneal mesothelioma. Continue reading →