Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, diagnosis and cure

Pleural Mesothelioma

Pleural mesothelioma, a type of malignant cancer that is very rare is characterized by the presence of asbestos in lungs of an individual. It is developed in the lining of the walls of the lungs. This lining is known as pleura and hence the name. Soft tissues surrounding the lungs are known as pleura. This disease though rare forms about seventy percent of all mesothelioma cases.

As per the statistics, this mesothelioma is mostly caused due to exposure to high levels of asbestos. Before we move on to the symptoms of the disease we must have a brief idea about asbestos and the effects of exposure to asbestos.


About asbestos

Asbestos a mineral that occurs in nature which has wide applications in the field of construction, especially houses and industries. Over the years, asbestos has been linked to several lung diseases. Lung cancer is a very common asbestos disease. Mesothelioma is another asbestos disease that has no standard cure. This disease under most circumstances is not fatal. However, it reduces the functioning of the lungs by a great deal. Irrespective of whichever form of asbestos you are dealing with, the risk of lung diseases goes up no matter what.

Asbestos mainly causes three types of lung diseases, namely:

Asbestosis: This is a disease that develops in the tissues lining the lungs and is non-cancerous.

Lung cancer: Cancer in the lungs. Though asbestos is one of the foremost elements responsible for lung cancer, there are several other pollutants in the atmosphere which may cause lung cancer.

Pleural mesothelioma: This disease results due to asbestos in lungs. It refers to the cancer in the tissues lining the lungs.


Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, diagnosis, and cure


Major symptoms of pleural mesothelioma

Believe me or not, you won’t ever want to come across this disease. Especially after reading this article. This disease has several symptoms some of which are listed below:

Persistent raspy or dry coughs: It refers to the shortening of the breath of an individual.
This symptom is very painful as the coughs are accompanied by minor blood spills.

Difficulty swallowing: This difficulty is referred to as dysphagia.

Night fevers or sweats: This is one of the primary symptoms of this disease.

Difficulty Breathing: Breathing becomes painful at times and may often turn out to be unbearable.

Weight loss: Weight loss that often remains unaccounted for.

Rib and back pain: Severe pain in the rib area and in the lower back region.

Lumps: Lumps under the skin in the area in and around the chest of an individual.



Pleural Mesothelioma: Symptoms, diagnosis, and cure


Diagnosis issues

It is often difficult for doctors to differentiate between lung cancer and pleural mesothelioma. This disease is usually suspected by doctors in the event that a patient has a history of asbestos exposure diseases, irregular results of the imaging tests, and the symptoms. However, all these are not sufficient for confirmation of the disease. Recently, doctors have come up with new ways and means to diagnose the disease. This includes Thoracoscopy. This test lets doctors view the chest of a person with the help of a small camera as well as collect a sample of the tissue for biopsy.



Over the years, chemotherapy has been used to treat cancer of various forms. Pleural Mesothelioma is no different. Various drugs of chemotherapy have been used, not all were effective to the same degree. Out of the various drugs used, only one was certified by the Food and Drug Administration. This drug consists of Cisplatin and Alimta. Scientists and doctors are carrying out several other trials so as to find a standard cure for this disease.