Mesothelioma cancer is an aggressive type and a rare form of cancer that attacks the protective tissue lining that protects the bodies internal organs. This tissue lining is known as the mesothelium.
Approximately 3,000 cases are diagnosed each year in the U.S. and is also more commonly found in older adults rather than young people.
There are four types of mesothelioma which are diagnosed according to which body organ is being affected. Two of the types are common and the other two are considered very rare:
1. Pleural Mesothelioma (Most Common)
2. Peritoneal Mesothelioma
3. Pericardial Mesothelioma
4. Testicular Mesothelioma (Most Rare)
Vary rarely mesothelioma will arise in the lining that surrounds the testis. This is called tunica vaginalis (testicular mesothelioma).
What causes Mesothelioma?
Mesothelioma cancer occurs in the thin membrane that surrounds the body’s internal organs. Cancer forms when the DNA in the cells of the body are damaged. DNA is the chemical in body cells that make up our genes, and changes in the genes might cause cells to grow out of control which then leads to cancer.
The main cause of mesothelioma is asbestos. When the tiny asbestos fibers are inhaled, they travel to the pleura through small air passages. Once there they cause inflammation and scaring which damage the cells’ DNA and those changes result in uncontrolled cell growth. If the fibers are swallowed they may reach the abdominal lining which causes peritoneal mesothelioma.
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