Symptoms Of Mesothelioma

Due to the tricky and unusual way malignant Mesothelioma takes over an individual’s body, the diagnosis of this like- wrecking Cancer is possible only during the last stages. The common and early symptoms of Mesothelioma are mistaken to be something very common and altogether ignored by the patients. By now, we know that the exposure to asbestos is the most common reason why people suffer from Mesothelioma Cancer.
However, not many people know that Mesothelioma has some really common signs and symptoms. Since these symptoms can be misleading in majority of the cases, an individual should immediately rush to see a doctor once they notice any of the below listed symptoms:


What is Mesothelioma?

 Mesothelioma is one of the many types of Cancer. Basically Mesothelioma affects an individual’s abdomen as well as lungs. It is a very aggressive category of Cancer which has disastrous effects on the patient’s mind as well as body. Among all the diseases which are related to asbestos, Mesothelioma is probably the most dangerous. The world has seen numerous cases of this infectious disease and the primary cause for its occurrence is found to be the exposure to asbestos. This means that people who are exposed to asbestos are at higher risk of acquiring this condition.


Study : UK should Improve Mesothelioma Care

Study : UK should Improve Mesothelioma Care
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Mesothelioma is a malignant neoplasm arising from the lung. The main cause of this fatal cancer is asbestos exposure. It is believed that mesothelioma results from a much smaller dose than that required to cause asbestosis. However, the threshold dose of asbestos is not still established. Males are relatively more affected than females.

Higher Exposure Occupations

→ Carpenters
→ Joiners
→ Plumbers
→ Boilermakers
→ Electricians

Great Britain As A Capital of Mesothelioma Cases


Great Britain has reported maximum number of cases along with Belgium and Australia. Mesothelioma has risen from rarity during the first half of the 20th century and has now become a fatal occupational health hazard in asbestos industries. The main reason for UK to harbor the cases of mesothelioma is that UK government had allowed the usage of asbestos even when other countries discontinues it.

The multi-armed fight against deadly Mesothelioma

To combat against malignant pleural mesothelioma, it is absolutely imperative for The United Kingdom to treat the patients through united efforts by all disciplines of medical science. This would ensure a longer survival to the patient and make sure that the cloud of mesothelioma has a thin silver lining along with hope to fight against the deadly disease.
The researchers were shocked to find striking differences in the management of the neoplasm. This has necessitated the establishment of better specialty hospitals with more experienced doctors, if we want to treat this cancer more effectively. Researchers have also predicted that The United Kingdom would continue to see the increasing cases of mesothelioma with the peak in 2020.

Startling Statistics


According to the research, hardly 67% of the mesothelioma patients were put on anti-neoplasm therapy. The patient group that was analyzed was part of the U.K. National Lung Cancer Audit from the year 2008 to 2012.

Number of deaths drastically increasing

1968 – 153
2001 – 1848
2008 – 2249

We hope to see a decline in the mortality rate of mesothelioma in 2015. In spite of the fatality of the disease, cases of mesothelioma are not reported regularly. These numbers reflect only 80 percent of the total cases of mesothelioma in the country during the respective years.


41.4 percent was the overall median one-year survival while the three-year survival was nearly 12 percent.
This value of the median survival was found to be variable at different centers and it ranged from 209 days to 349 days.
A significant issue is the fact that no guidelines are followed currently, for the management of mesothelioma, in the United Kingdom. This could be the reason because of which patients do not prefer aggressive surgery for the disease management. MARS trial, that is, Mesothelioma And Radical Surgery trial hardly bore any advantage to the survival rate. Another trial known as MesoVATS followed MARS trial and there was no added advantage of this trial too, when compared to the less invasive Video Assisted Thoracoscopic Surgery (VATS).

Multidisciplinary approach has become the standard of mesothelioma management in many specialty centers these days, but it was rarely used few years ago. A handful of 286 patients received the treatment which included chemotherapy, surgical intervention as well as radiation. Nearly 1,048 patients received two of the three treatment options.

According to the study, which treatment to be chosen, was decided as per the centers where the patients sought the treatment. The use of chemotherapy for patients ranged from 46% to 71%, depending on the respective center.


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Multimodal management of Mesothelioma

1: Studies have found that pneumonectomy, i.e. removal of the lung itself, followed by radiation prevents the recurrence in the chest in 80 to 85 percent of patients. Also, it has been stated that pleurectomy i.e. removal of the tumor has led to more recurrence and hence comes with a higher failure rate.
2: Chemotherapy drugs used for mesothelioma are cisplatin in comnination with pemetrexed or raltitrexed. Besides these, gemcitabine, carboplatin or oxaliplatin are other combination drugs.
3: Apart from surgery and chemotherapy, radiation is an important part of mesothelioma care. Intensity-Modulated radiotherapy, IMRT is a newer treatment option, which accurately targets neoplastic cells and no healthy tissue is harmed. Experienced clinicians can perform this and better results can be obtained.

A cancer patient has to be palliatively treated with utmost love and care. Efforts should be made so that the patient is always hopeful of his survival. Emotional support goes a long way in keeping the patient comfortable, happy and mentally sound as long as he is fighting the battle against this deadly disease.


Immunotherapy With Surgery Raises Hopes For Mesothelioma Patients

With continuous improvement in the field of cancer research and immunotherapy, many clinical trials are underway towards providing better therapy prospects for mesothelioma patients. Removal of cancer tumor with surgery has shown relapses in some patients, while immunotherapy is very appealing because of its nature of being specific with minimal damage to the non- cancerous cells.


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Immunotherapy was known since long in 1890 when Doctor William Coley noticed the reduction in re-occurrence of the tumor with patients who developed infection after surgery. This therapeutic response is due to the infection which can be applied for treatment of cancer patients. The therapy is revamped and is again in the spotlight because of its impressive effect on the tumor cells. But immunotherapy alone might not be the answer to reducing the tumor cells. The release of immune suppressor by the growing tumor has made the efficacy of the immunotherapy vaccines very arduous. This counter charge of the tumor can be tackled by reducing the size of the tumor. Both the treatments had half impact on the cancer tumor, which can be strengthened if subjected together.

Recent developments with the Mesothelioma Treatment

Recent research at the University of Pennsylvania, have found a way out to combat the loopholes of both the treatments. The surgical removal of the tumor followed by immunotherapy showed promising results in tumor burden. This could be due to re-institution of effectiveness of therapeutic vaccine due to tumor reduction.
“Surgical cytoreduction of established tumor restored the antitumor potency of the therapeutic vaccine, with significantly reduced tumor burden at post-operative day 18,” reports University of Pennsylvania researcher Gregory Kennedy.

Combination is the Key

Combination therapy is a new of treating difficult diseases. Debulking of the tumor and subjecting the patient to immunotherapy as an adjuvant can help in eliminating the residual tumor cells by stimulation of immune response. The laboratory results have been very encouraging and it is hypothesized to translate similar results in clinical trials.

Sole treatment is not the solution for mesothelioma. Bringing two strong treatment therapies in synchronization might help the patients with mesothelioma.

CRS 207: A ray of hope for patients with mesothelioma

CRS 207 is a live and attenuated strain of Listeria moncytogenes and has shown promising results in stimulation of immune response against cancer cells. This vaccine has shown an immunogenic response specific to mesothelin which is expressed in mesothelioma tumor. This vaccine has also been granted orphan drug approval for new cancer vaccine by the FDA. This helps in supporting the development of treatments for rare diseases.
Aduro Biotech which owns the agents are working towards phase 1b trial with the vaccine CRS 207. These trials are performed on patients with mesothelioma who are unable to undergo surgery options. The initial results are very promising which motivates in designing of a trial with combination therapy which includes surgical removal of the tumor followed by immunotherapy with CRS 207. Working towards designing such trials might open up a new arena of treatment options for patients with mesothelioma.


Hemoptysis – Symptoms Of Mesothelioma

Hemoptysis – Symptoms Of Mesothelioma
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Most of the symptoms of mesothelioma are interconnected, though one of the most distressing symptoms is Hemoptysis (Wiki link)or coughing up blood. Hemoptysis can be prevented, if detected earlier and monitored carefully. Exposure to asbestos has been associated with a malignancy known as mesothelioma, which is a cancer occurring in lining of lungs, abdomen and heart.  Asbestos containing products are used widely as a fire retardant and insulation material. Persistent use of asbestos will mean that more individuals will be diagnosed with mesothelioma. Though the incubation period for cancer development is as long as forty years but due to widespread use of the product, mesothelioma diagnoses should rise steadily over the next several years. For more information on diagnosis of mesothelioma, check this page.


Hemoptysis as a symptom of Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma affects different parts of body pleural mesothelioma (lungs), pericardial mesothelioma (heart) and peritoneal mesothelioma (abdomen). Click here to read about types of mesothelioma. Hemoptysis is coughing up blood from the respiratory tract. Hemoptysis presents, mainly, with pleural mesothelioma.

Hemoptysis in pleural Mesothelioma

Once a person is exposed to asbestos, particles become attached to lungs and remain there for decades.  In pleural mesothelioma, particles initiate a cellular chain-reaction, causing the pleura or the lining of the lungs to become cancerous. If left untreated or undetected malignant mesothelioma may develop. Detection at early stages   can prevent life threatening condition. Moreover, understanding the structure of lungs can help determine cause of Hemoptysis. Air travels from trachea/ windpipe into lungs through bronchi where it disseminates into smaller bronchioles. Bronchioles end at alveoli or tiny air sacs, surrounded by blood vessels. At the alveoli gaseous exchange occurs. Oxygen is absorbed into the blood and waste or carbon dioxide is exhaled.

Hemoptysis can originate in any of the three organs; trachea, bronchi or lungs. Examination of the coughed up blood will determine the source. Usually, bright red blood is from the respiratory tract, whereas dark red blood is from the gastrointestinal tract.
Sometimes various kinds of internal bleeding may occur which is mistaken for Hemoptysis. Usually blood vessels are very fragile and rupture which mimic Hemoptysis.

Major hemoptysis, also referred to as massive hemoptysis can be distinguished by the amount of blood coughed up over a period of twenty four hour. This condition may become life threatening if more than six hundred milliliters of blood is coughed up because it may lead to asphyxiation (lack of oxygen). During this condition, Lungs may become infested with blood because large volume is coughed up thereby interrupting breathing. Massive Hemoptysis is a medical emergency as the mortality rate of patients with massive Hemoptysis can be as high as 75%.
Minor Hemoptysis caused by coughing and shortness of breath can indicate a more severe health issue. As early symptoms of mesothelioma cancer  include shortness of breath, pain in the chest, coughing – hemoptysis may begin, slowly.   A little blood in expectorated mucus should not be ignored, especially if it becomes more persistent.

Minor hemoptysis can progress to major hemoptysis which can indicate rapid transformation of normal cells into cancerous cells over the period of latency.