Showing posts with label Pleural. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pleural. Show all posts

Friday, October 12, 2012

Mesothelioma - The Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma

Mesothelioma is a type of cancer in which a malignant tumor occurs in the mesothelial tissues of some organs of the body such as the lungs which is called pleural mesothelioma. On the other hand, the mesothelioma cancer in abdomen medically termed as peritoneal mesothelioma and in the heart which is known as pericardial mesothelioma.

This type of cancer is related to exposure to asbestos dust or powder. According to some reports individuals who have been exposed to asbestos developed pleural mesothelioma after 20 to 30 years. The treatment given to this case depends on the malignancy stage of the cancer cells.

Stages of Pleural Mesothelioma

Cancer staging refers to the extent of the cancer cells. The higher the stage, the poor the prognosis is. Treatment and management of pleural mesothelioma depends on how huge and extended the cancer has become.

Stage 1. This is the earliest stage of pleural mesothelioma. This is where the cancer cells begin to develop and reproduce in just a single layer of the pleura (lining of the lungs). However in very rare cases, the lungs itself may already be involved during this phase. The lymph nodes are not yet affected therefore, surgery can be performed to remove the tumor. The prognosis is also very good at this stage.

Stage 2. In this stage, 2 layers of the lining are involved. In normal cases, the pleura produces fluid that serves as lubricant in order to facilitate the expansion and contraction of the lungs as we breathe air in and out of our system. However, stage 2 pleural mesothelioma causes the fluid to build up affecting the lungs and the chest wall. This later on result to pleural effusion making the affected person experience difficulty in breathing.

Surgery may still be performed by this time even though some lymph nodes are already affected. The prognosis is good but there is a chance of recurrence after some time.

Stage 3. During this stage, the cancer cells are no longer isolated in one area of the body and already metastasized to the chest wall or the esophagus. The patient may experience severe pain in the chest area and if it wont be managed properly, this may lead to stage 4 cancer. Surgery is not recommended during this stage because the chest wall and the heart are already in danger.

Stage 4. This stage is the final stage and is very fatal. The prognosis or the chance of recovery is already poor. Cancer cells have already affected the bloodstream and other major organs of the body such as the liver, brain as well as the bones. Radiation or chemotherapy may still be performed in this stage however palliative management is often the option both by the medical team and the patient.

Those are the 4 stages of Pleural Mesothelioma. So if you think you have been long exposed to asbestos, visit your doctor right away.

Harry Hassami is the author and producers of The Mesothelioma Journal. The complete website information about the mesothelioma.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

PET/CT Scan Challenge Of Pleural Effusion Treatment For Mesothelioma Patients

Early detection of the fatal and incurable mesothelioma and the subsequent provision of radiation, surgical and palliative asbestosis treatments are known to help a patient to have the best possible chance to extend and improve the quality of life remaining.

Crucial to the process is the use of body scanning technologies, ranging from X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), CT (computed tomography) or CAT scans, and the more advanced PET/CT (positron emission tomography and computerized tomography).

The long gestation period of up to 50 years from first asbestos exposure and inhaling of the fibre dust to the appearance of asbestosis symptoms can often mean that a diffuse malignant mesothelioma has reached an advanced stage and spread to other organ tissues.

While X-rays of chest or abdomen can detect fluid build-up, masses, or signs of non-cancerous pleural disease, evidence of diffuse cancerous growths by radiology will only show as a shadow formed by a single tumour, as with peritoneal mesothelioma. Similarly, despite MRI supplying a highly detailed image of the interior body and can determine the severity of a tumour, this type of scan is still unable to clearly indicate a cancerous growth.

CT scans produce images, which provide a cross section examination of layers of the body to more easily reveal abnormalities at a given depth within the body and can also accurately diagnose lung cancer sooner than chest x-rays, leading to an increased survival rate by up to 20 per cent. However, while CT scans are able to define pleural effusion, pleural thickening, pleural calcification or possible chest wall invasion, they cannot differentiate between benign or malignant mesothelioma.

Mesothelioma patients who suffer painful breathing caused by pleural effusions - the build-up of fluid across the lung linings in response to the spread of mesothelioma tumours - can undergo a procedure for the draining of the fluid and replacing the space with medical talc.

New medical research has found that the fluid draining process may interfere with the PET/CT monitoring, which also involves injecting the patient with a radioactive tracer and the level of absorption by cancer cells subsequently measured by the scan, once after 14 days and then again after 125 days.

It was discovered that by increasing the amount of tracer absorbed by cancer cells, the talc treatment can appear to show the disease is spreading more rapidly than its real progress.

The researchers concluded that to compensate for the interference with the evaluation, a slightly modified way of interpreting the scan results is advised for mesothelioma patients who receive pleural draining and talc treatments.

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