As time passed and workers began to age, a devastating discovery was made—nearly every case of aggressive cancer known as mesothelioma can be linked back to asbestos products.
A movement took place towards the middle and end of the 20th century to remove materials that contained asbestos from the marketplace, but structures were still being built with asbestos well into the 1990s.
There are four different types of mesothelioma, each affecting a different area of the body. Peritoneal mesothelioma develops in the dural membrane that encases the organs of the abdomen.
Pericardial mesothelioma develops in the membrane around the heart. Pleural mesothelioma develops in the lining that surrounds the lungs, and testicular mesothelioma develops in the testicles. Each type of mesothelioma presents its own unique symptoms. In regards to reduced chest expansion, pleural mesothelioma is normally the responsible culprit.
This aggressive cancer has no cure, and a positive prognosis is dependent on early diagnosis.
Pleural Mesothelioma and the Lungs
Mesothelioma cancer does not normally develop over a short period of time. In fact, Individuals exposed at an early age, for a long period of time, and at higher levels are more likely to develop this cancer. Mesotheliomas take a long time to develop. The time between first exposure to asbestos and diagnosis of mesothelioma is usually between 20 and 50 years.
Pleural mesothelioma begins after tiny particles of asbestos are inhaled or ingested, entering the body and embedding deep within the soft tissues of the lungs. The particles migrate, eventually settling in the soft membrane that surrounds the lungs. It is here that asbestos metastasis, irritating the cells and giving birth to pleural mesothelioma.
Reduced chest expansion is normally associated with cases of mesothelioma that have progressed to advanced stages. Pleural effusions are created as the pressure from tumors and fluid build up interrupts the normal capacity of the chest.
While healthy people are able to expel excessive amounts of fluids from their lungs, those who suffer from mesothelioma cannot. The results are side effects such as coughing, wheezing, trouble breathing, chest pain, shortness of breath and reduced chest expansion.
Treating the Symptoms of Mesothelioma
Treating the symptoms of pleural mesothelioma begin with treating the condition itself. Doctors may recommend surgery to remove the developing tumors, chemotherapy or radiation therapy, an individualized nutrition plan, and a pain management regiment.