Mesothelioma is a rare, asbestos-related cancer that forms in the protective tissues covering the lungs, abdomen and heart. Caused by asbestos, mesothelioma has no known cure and has a very poor prognosis. The increased awareness and scientific research have led to earlier diagnosis and improved mediastinal lymph nodes treatments are allowing patients to live longer than ever.
As more thoracic surgeons and oncologists become familiar with malignant mesothelioma, patients will have access to more experienced doctors who can extend their life expectancy and increase their chances of surviving this disease.
Dr. Arun Kanala is an expert surgeon in the field of open lung surgeries, minimally invasive surgeries, Video-Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS), treatment of mediastinal lymph nodes. He is a board certified thoracic surgeon with a surgical experience of more than 20 years and is presently serving at Al Zahra Cancer Center in Dubai.
What is Mesothelioma?
Malignant mesothelioma is cancer caused by asbestos exposure. It forms in the lining of the lungs, abdomen, heart or testicles. There are three type of mesothelioma, namely: Pleural mesothelioma – the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the peritoneum and pericardial mesothelioma that originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart.
Who Gets Affected By The Mesothelioma?
An individual might be at the risk of developing mesothelioma if he or she is exposed to asbestos in the workplace or at home. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos and/or by inhaling asbestos particles. Asbestos is a naturally occurring mineral once highly regarded for its insulation and fire-retardant properties.
Others who might get affected by mesothelioma are the ones who live near abandoned asbestos mines or areas where asbestos occurs naturally in the environment.
How Is It Treated?
Diagnosing Mesothelioma Symptoms
After the first exposure to asbestos, mesothelioma symptoms can take about 20-60 years to appear. The first signs of mesothelioma are very much similar to any other diseases, which can lead to misdiagnosis. When someone feels the mesothelioma symptoms, the doctors recommend them to undergo a variety of tests to rule out other diseases. It normally takes weeks or months for doctors to arrive at an accurate mesothelioma diagnosis.
Common Symptoms of Mesothelioma
- Trouble breathing or chest pain
- Effusion (fluid buildup) in the lungs or abdomen
- Anemia (especially in women)
- Nausea / vomiting
- Loss of weight
Four Stages of Mesothelioma
After diagnosis, the doctor will categorize the disease in one of the four stages. Although there are several staging systems, the most widely used is the TNM system which stands for tumor, lymph nodes, and metastasis.
- Stage 1: In this stage, the tumor is located in only one area and has not spread to other parts of the body.
- Stage 2: In this stage, the large tumor might have progressed to nearby areas and/or the lymph nodes, but has not gone on any further.
- Stage 3: In this stage, tumors have typically spread beyond the local area to several nearby locations and the lymph nodes.
- Stage 4: In this stage, tumors have spread into multiple areas and throughout the lymphatic system, invading other organs throughout the body.
While the Stage 1 and Stage 2 can be treated effectively with surgery and other forms of therapy but Stage 3 and Stage 4 mesothelioma are often treated palliatively.
The leading treatment options for mesothelioma cancer include surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. Many specialists prefer to combine two or more of these treatments, which is an approach known as multimodal therapy. Palliative treatments that ease symptoms are quite common for patients of all stages.
The most common treatments for mesothelioma include surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, immunotherapy, multimodal therapy, and HIPEC.
Al Zahra Cancer Center in Dubai is committed to consistently deliver healthcare of International Standards of Quality and Safety. Dr. Arun Kanala specializes in treating mediastinal lymph nodes in Dubai. Our Cancer Care Center provides excellence in cancer care services and uses state-of-the-art technologies for cancer treatment. Contact us to day to schedule your appointment with Dr. Arun Kanala.