Understanding Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Malignant pleural mesothelioma (MPM) is a rare and aggressive form of cancer that affects the thin membrane that lines the lungs and other organs of the chest cavity. It is caused by exposure to asbestos, a mineral fiber that was widely used in construction and other industries until its dangers were discovered in the late 1970s.

MPM is characterized by an accumulation of malignant cells in the pleural lining of the lungs. The cancer cells can spread to other parts of the body, making it difficult to treat. Symptoms of MPM include chest pain, shortness of breath, and dry cough.

The cause of MPM is exposure to asbestos, which was commonly used in construction and other industries until the late 1970s. Asbestos fibers can become trapped in the lungs, where they cause inflammation and scarring. Over time, the scar tissue can become cancerous. The risk of developing MPM increases with the amount of asbestos exposure.

The diagnosis of MPM is made through imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, and a biopsy of the affected tissue. Treatment options include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and targeted therapy. Surgery may be used to remove as much of the tumor as possible, but is often limited due to the location of the tumor and the risk of spreading the cancer. Radiation therapy is used to kill cancer cells, while chemotherapy and targeted therapy help to slow down the growth of the cancer cells.

MPM is a serious condition that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment to improve outcomes. If you have been exposed to asbestos, it is important to talk to your doctor about your risk of developing MPM. Early detection and treatment can help improve prognosis and quality of life.

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