Mesothelioma definition, types, manifestations, prognosis, prevention, DD, treatment

This article is to discuss mesothelioma cancer regarding its definition, known types, clinical picture, diagnostic investigations, prognosis , prevention and methods of management .

What is meant by Mesothelioma ?

Mesothelioma is an aggressive cancer that affects the membranous lining of the lungs, heart and abdomen , and most commonly affects persons who are exposed to Asbestos .

There are 2 types of mesothelioma which are :
(1) Localized fibrous mesothelioma .
(2) Diffuse malignant mesothetloma .
The most common site of mesothetloma is the pleura (75 % ) then comes the peritoneum then pericardium .

How to prevent mesothetloma ?

The only way to decrease the incidence of mesothetloma is to avoid exposure to  Asbestos

(1) Localized fibrous mesothelioma

This uncommon tumour arises from the pleural surface and most commonly is attached to the visceral pleura.
Clinical picture
• Chest discomfort. • Dyspnea.
• Hypertrophic pulmonary osteoarthropathy with arthralgia of the hands, ankles, wrists and knee plus clubbing of the fingers.
Investigations: chest x-ray showing mass ± pleural effusion.
Treatment: Surgical resection.
Prognosis: Most of these tumours are benign with good prognosis. A few of these tumours are malignant but have favorable courses.

(2) Diffuse malignant mesothetloma:

This tumour occurs with average age of 55 years. The incidence is increased with asbestos exposure, the malignancy develops 20 or more years after exposure.
Clinical picture
 Chest pain and dyspnea are the predominant symptoms.
Investigations: Chest x-ray showing pleural thickening or pleural effusion or both.
Open pleural biopsy is often necessary.
Treatment: Radiation or chemotherapy with unsatisfactory results.

Differential diagnosis of clubbing fingers with exposure to Asbestos 

Mesothelioma definition, types, manifestations, prognosis, prevention, DD, treatment
Dr.Tamer Mobarak


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