Malignant pleural mesothelioma is a rare cancer caused by asbestos. It starts in the lining of the lungs and can cause symptoms similar to tuberculosis. A new article published in Respiratory Medicine provides a modern, comprehensive clinical overview of malignant pleural mesothelioma. The article provides an in-depth summary of everything you need to know.
Navigating Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma
Malignant pleural mesothelioma is not very common. In fact, only around 30,000 new cases were reported worldwide in 2020. This kind of cancer tends to affect older patients more, especially those over 40, and is more common in men. Malignant pleural mesothelioma is caused by exposure to asbestos, a material used in old buildings.
The way malignant pleural mesothelioma grows in the body can look different depending on the type. Doctors often split it into three categories based on the cells’ appearance under a microscope. Each type might need different kinds of treatment.
But how do you know if someone has malignant pleural mesothelioma? Well, it can be tricky because the symptoms, like trouble breathing or chest pain, can seem like other problems. Doctors might use different tests like imaging or biopsies to figure it out. Some specific tests, like staining cells in a lab, help doctors confirm if it’s malignant pleural mesothelioma or something else.
Decoding Mesothelioma Treatment
Treating mesothelioma is tough, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Different treatments, like chemotherapy or radiation, can be used alone or together. Surgery might also be an option for some patients, especially in the early stages of the disease.
But getting the proper treatment can be really complicated. Sometimes, by the time someone is diagnosed, the cancer has already spread a lot, making it harder to treat. And since mesothelioma is rare, not all doctors might know the best ways to manage it.
That’s why different doctors must work together. A group of experts from different fields can discuss each patient’s case and determine the best plan. This kind of team, a multidisciplinary tumor board, can make a big difference in how well someone is treated.
In the end, malignant pleural mesothelioma is a tough cancer. There’s ongoing research to find better ways to diagnose and treat it. By raising awareness and supporting more studies, we can hope for better outcomes for those affected by this rare disease.
Khan, Agha Muhammad Hammad, Shaikh Hasan Anwer, Samad Sayed, Muhammad Atif Mansha, Yazdan Bin Kamran, Afrah Khursheed, Fahd Haroon, Niaz Hussain Soomro, Romana Idrees, and Ahmed Nadeem Abbasi. “Comprehensive Clinical Overview of Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma.” Respiratory Medicine, December 30, 2023, 107511. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rmed.2023.107511.