Pleural Mesothelioma, pleura mesothelioma or malignant pleural mesothelioma is mesothelioma cancer in the lining of the lungs. This is different from lung cancer, which refers to any type of malignant tumor that originates in the lungs.
The pleura, is the tissues lining or covering that surrounds the lungs. There are 2 pleura. These can be called pleural membranes. The gap between them is called the pleural space. The pleura are fibrous sheets. They help to protect the lungs. They produce a lubricating fluid that fills the gap between the 2 pleura. This helps the lungs to move smoothly in the chest when they are inflating and deflating as we breathe.
Pleural mesothelioma is the most common form of mesothelioma accounting for 80-90% of mesothelioma cases.
In general, the clinical presentation of pleural mesothelioma may include the following:
- Shortness of breath, difficulty breathing
- Difficulty sleeping
- Pain in the chest and abdominal regions, which is generally unresponsive to analgesics
- Progressive loss of appetite and weight loss
- Pleural effusions (fluid in the chest cavity)
Management of pleural mesothelioma depends largely on the staging of the tumor. Early diagnosis and surgical intervention may lengthen life expectancy. Depending on the age and physical condition of the patient, however, surgery may not be a viable option. In addition to surgical options, radiation treatment and chemotherapy may be helpful in the overall therapeutic programfor treating pleural mesothelioma. Pain management and home care are typical alternatives in the later stages of pleural mesothelioma.
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