Mesothelioma is a rare enough kind of cancer that is open to misinterpretation. Because not a lot of people have it, certain misconceptions are formed when it comes to explaining the causes of this cancer.
So what exactly is mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma is a kind of cancer that is primarily caused by asbestos exposure. Asbestos is a fibrous mineral that can be inhaled and ingested which causes inflammation and damage in the lining of your internal organs. This lining is called the mesothelium from which mesothelioma’s name is derived.
This kind of cancer is easily mistaken for other diseases because its symptoms are similar to the others. Symptoms are fatigue, immediate weight loss, shortness of breath, etc. As of today, malignant mesothelioma (me-zoe-thee-lee-o-muh)has no known cure and the longer it stays in the body, the deadlier it becomes because the cancer cells can spread to the nearby organs.
There are three types of mesothelioma, pleural, peritoneal, and pericardial.
Pleural Mesothelioma – The cancer cells start in the lining of the lungs called pleura. Pleural mesothelioma is the most common type of this cancer which is why there’s a misconception that mesothelioma is a kind of lung cancer. Because the asbestos affects the lining of the lungs and the chest area, its symptoms are usually shortness of breath and difficulty in breathing.
Peritoneal Mesothelioma – This type starts in the peritoneum, the lining that is found around your abdomen. It is the second most common type of mesothelioma, although less than a thousand people get this disease every year. For peritoneal mesothelioma, the symptoms would be rapid weight loss even if you aren’t undergoing a diet and consistent abdominal pain. You might also feel stomach pains or swellings.
Pericardial Mesothelioma – Last but not the least is pericardial mesothelioma. Taken from its name, pericardial mesothelioma takes place in the lining around your heart called pericardium. Among the three types, this is the rarest form of the cancer. It is also the most difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are not always seen. There are also instances when pericardial mesothelioma is only discovered during the autopsy.
What Mesothelioma is Not
So now you know what mesothelioma is, it’s time to discuss what mesothelioma is not. Here are a few misconceptions regarding this kind of cancer.
It’s a kind of lung cancer
It was already mentioned above that mesothelioma is not a kind of lung cancer. There’s an association between the two because the most common form of mesothelioma takes place it the lungs (pleural mesothelioma). On the other hand, lung cancer can be caused by the uncontrollable spread and damage done by cancer cells that start off in the lungs. If you ever confuse the two, just remember that mesothelioma is caused by asbestos while lung cancer is not.
Only old people are affected
This is a myth because even young people can have mesothelioma. But because symptoms don’t always show and it takes 20-50 years for them to be noticeable, people only get diagnosed with it at an older age. Moreover, anyone and everyone can get mesothelioma as long as they get into direct or indirect contact with asbestos. So if you are a child and you’re exposed to asbestos, you immediately face the risk of them having mesothelioma.
Recovering from mesothelioma is expensive
Admit it, any kind of cancer is expensive to treat. However, what sets mesothelioma apart from the others is that you can find someone who is directly at fault and make them pay for the damages they cost you. You can use this money to pay for the medical expenses you had to do and all the working days you weren’t able to work in.
If you are concerned about the payment for treating mesothelioma, you can ask help from law firms that allow you to pay them once the case is going on. Moreover, getting an attorney for your mesothelioma case can give you a higher settlement should the other party refuse to make the case go public.
There are many more myths and misconceptions regarding mesothelioma. Although hopefully, this article has helped you understand the nature of the disease. Proper knowledge about mesothelioma can help determine what kind of legal action could be taken against the other party so you can be compensated properly.